Big waves close coastal walkway, but some still brave stormy seas – Taranaki Daily News

DAVID BURROUGHS

Last updated15:17, June 26 2017

DAVID BURROUGHS

Part of the coastal walkway in New Plymouth is closed due to large waves.

High waves crashing on to the footpath turned a pleasantstroll into a soggy adventure for people on New Plymouth's Coastal Walkway.

The section of the walkwayrunning adjacent to the Woolcombe Terrace cliffs was closed off by the New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) around midday on Monday and barriers and warning signs were erected.

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GRANT MATTHEW/Fairfax NZ

Members of the public avoid the big waves caused by high tides along the Coastal Walkway.

However a number of people ignored the signs, with one person commenting "that was fun" as they clambered under the barrier and back onto the open stretch of walkway.

Another biker was seen almost getting washed off his bike before hopping off and watching the waves crash around him.

Those that stayed on the open stretch of walkway weren't safe either, with some people franticallyrunning when particularly large waves hit.

GRANT MATTHEW/Fairfax NZ

Part of the walkway was closed due to the size of the waves.

Delwyn and John Lusted, who were visiting from Palmerston North for a few days, didn't let the waves deter them from taking a walk and managed to dodge getting hit.

"I nearly did, it's fun,' Delwyn said.

"If you like getting covered in sea water," John added.

DAVID BURROUGHS/FAIRFAX NZ

The walkway was closed at 11.30am and the New Plymouth District Council estimated it would be closed for about three hours.

He said quite a few people had told them about the walkway and they had finally come to have a look.

"It's lovely here, so we got a good day," he said.

Mark Joyce walked along the top of the cliffs and said the the waves were "stunning".

"You feel the power of nature," he said.

Andrea Payne was eating her lunch on the nearby railway overpassand said it was a great form of entertainment.

"I'm just getting my giggle from it, watching people get smoked," she said.

She had seen a few people get drenched and a few waves that had come right across the walkway and onto the grass.

It was the worst she had ever seen it.

"I come down most days," she said.

TheNPDCposted on Facebook to say the walkway had been closed for the public's safety due to high seas.

"The Molesworth Street underpass alongside Huatoki Stream is also closed - we'll reopen them in about three hours when the tide drops," it said at midday.

NPDCmanager parks and open spaces, Stuart Robertson, said the walkway was closed as a precaution due to a combination of the high tide and the large waves as it was quite easy for people to be washed off their feet.

"There's a reason why we close it and but at the end of the day it's precautionary and people will make their own decisions obviously,"

"But the reality is you should never turn yourback on the sea and it's a moment ofinattentionand you could be knocked off your feet and swept out.

"People shouldprobablyrespect that."

He said the walkway was usually only closed around four times a year, and he didn't expect it to be closed for too long.

-Stuff

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Big waves close coastal walkway, but some still brave stormy seas - Taranaki Daily News

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