Topic: Storm - 2001

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3 February 2001  

Tongaporutu Coastline - Four Brothers Beach





On Gibbs’ Fishing Point looking north along the Four Brothers Beach.

On Gibbs’ Fishing Point looking south along Beach One, including the Fledglings.

On the Maori Pa bluff looking north along Beach One.

PHO2008-825, PHO2008-826, PHO2008-827

On the Maori Pa bluff looking south towards Twin Creeks and White Cliffs.

The tide wasn’t recorded but was relatively high.

The weather was bright and sunny with some cloud.  There was a slight onshore breeze.


 4 February 2001  

 Tongaporutu Coastline - Four Brothers Beach



PHO2008-829, PHO2008-830, PHO2008-831, PHO2008-832, PHO2008-833, PHO2008-834, PHO2008-835, PHO2008-836, PHO2008-837, PHO2008-838, PHO2008-839, PHO2008-840, PHO2008-841

On Gibbs’ Fishing Point looking north along the Four Brothers Beach.

At the locked gate looking north along Beach One.

The tide wasn’t recorded but it was high.  Though fine, there was a stiff westerly blowing.  This resulted in a typical westerly ribbon type cloud formation over the high hills.  I remember I particularly wanted to record the vigorous wave action, particularly how they slammed into the Wall.  Though it was late afternoon, after 4.30 pm, due to daylight saving, the light levels were high.

The cliffs of Gibbs’ Fishing Point are wall-like in structure.  The one I call the Wall looks north along the Four Brothers Beach.  The cliff I call the Mega-Wall is located on the seaward side of the Gibbs’ Fishing Point.  Gull Rock lies just to seaward of the Mega-Wall.  These remarkably smooth cliff ‘walls’ (as far as cliffs go), are regularly hammered by the biggest waves on the Tongaporutu coastline.  They are also subjected to backwash.  PHO2008-840 shows a ‘water bomb’ slamming into the Wall.  I have only observed this phenomenon once.

Though Gibbs’ Fishing Point, which is a large promontory, is subjected to severe wave smashing, due to it mostly being outside the inner wash zone, it is not subjected to the severe fracturing that occurs on the more landward cliffs.  The wave action at Gibbs’ Fishing Point has a compressing effect on the cliffs.  I believe this compression forces the cliff particles closer together and in effect ‘hardens’ them into wall-like structures which are remarkably flat and two dimensional.  This relatively smooth surface means that water flows more freely over them.

The inner cliffs, being subjected to wash zone fracturing are more ‘broken’ and three dimensional, thus rendering them more susceptible to further fracturing.  Resonance also plays an unseen but key role in the evolution of the Tongaporutu coastline, including its cliffs, sea caves and rock stacks.


8 September 2001  

Tongaporutu Coastline - Dulcie Richards outside her Tongaporutu bach


PHO2007-154, PHO2007-155, PHO2007-156, PHO2007-157, PHO2007-158

PHO2007-167, PHO2007-168


PHO2008-842, PHO2008-843, PHO2008-844, PHO2008-845, PHO2008-846, PHO2008-847, PHO2008-848, PHO2008-849

PHO2008-850. PHO2008-851, PHO2008-852, PHO2008-853, PHO2008-854, PHO2008-855, PHO2008-856, PHO2008-857, PHO2008-858

The Tongaporutu baches.

Dulcie Richards – Tonga baches.

On Pilot Point looking south over the Tonga River and the Three Sisters Beach.

The Three Sisters Beach.

A very low tide was due late afternoon.

To say it was the middle winter, the weather was exceptionally fine and calm.  Some innocuous high cloud was present earlier in the day but it soon disappeared.  This was the first time I accessed any of the beaches at Tongaporutu.

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