Topic: Cliffs - Beach Two

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The cliffs at Beach Two are mostly rock based at the northern end.  As you travel south, though the cliffs are still rock based, the soil content increases.

Beach Two starts at the Pipeline and continues south towards a large impassable bluff that marks the northern boundary of Twin Creeks.  This bluff, the Maori Pa Promontory, is impassable.

Though the cliffs on Beach Two are compositionally similar to Beach One, Beach Two, like the other beaches, has its own unique characteristics.  For a good distance south, the cliffs appear stupendously high.  Cliff collapses, when they do occur, primarily consist of huge slabs.  Soil and vegetation slides occur on smaller scales than at Beach One.  The beach has a high concentration of smooth, rounded stones of varying sizes.  I believe they scale fractally.  There are numerous caves, mostly small and blind, plus a number of arches.  They are all located south of a waterfall that is situated not far south of the Pipeline.  No rock stacks are present, though there appears to be the remains of one further south down the beach.

Some of the cliffs, especially in the vicinity of the first boulder field had soccer ball type rock concretions extruding from them.



3 January 2001  


This image was taken from the Maori Pa Promontory that marks the southern boundary of Beach Two.  It gives a good view of the cliffs with their mix of rock overlaid with soil.



23 January 2004  

PHO2008-563, PHO2008-564, PHO2008-565, PHO2008-567

PHO2008-600, PHO2008-611

PHO2008-636, PHO2008-637, PHO2008-638, PHO2008-639, PHO2008-640, PHO2008-641, PHO2008-642, PHO2008-643, PHO2008-644, PHO2008-645


CLIFF SEQUENCING.  I noticed several large cliff-face collapses.  One particular cliff collapse looked like gigantic slabs of rock had been carved out by ancient Egyptian stonemasons.  The only thing missing was a giant statue of Ramesses II.  Further down the beach, the cliff to the rear of a large, open domed cave, had a narrow mud chute carved into its face.  This chute was funnelling a semi-continuous flow of liquefied soil/sandstone debris from the top of the cliff down to the beach below.  The chute itself terminated at the boundary separating the top soil/sandstone rock strata from the bottom mudstone rock strata.


PHO2008-563 shows the Pipeline bluff that is the boundary between Beach One on the left and Beach Two on the right.  This is the northern end of Beach Two.


15 February 2004  



SUPER-STORM EVENT.  Super-Storm One.  Due to the appalling conditions;  specifically persistent rain, I only obtained four images with my big camera.  This view looks north along the beach.


7 March 2004  


PHO2008-712, PHO2008-713


I observed a rock cliff collapse and a soil bleed slide, plus numerous vegetation slides.  I believe these occurred during the massive rain event that occurred on 29.2.2004 – part of February 2004’s Super-storm event.



7 April 2004  


I climbed part way up a hill just past Bush One to get an overview looking both south and north.  The photo shows the Maori Pa promontory that separates Beach Two from Twin Creeks.


29 August 2004  


This is a standard view looking south along the beach from the Pipeline bluff.



16 October 2005  

PHO2008-1466, PHO2008-1469

PHO2008-1471, PHO2008-1472, PHO2008-1473, PHO2008-1474, PHO2008-1475


Walking from the Pipeline towards the boulder field, I noticed quite a few recent tumblings.  Further down the beach (south), a huge rock fall was present at the base of a large cave.  Also, massive scouring of the nearby cliff-face (northern side), indicated severe storm damage.  Probably from the alpha storm of 19.9.2005.  This particular cliff site, from my limited observations, appears to be in a highly elevated erosion state, having a permanent chute embedded in its face that channels soil slop down on a regular basis.


6 November 2005  


Looking down from the Maori pa site separating Beach Two from Twin Creeks, there appeared to be more erosion along Beach Two and a large cliff chunk appeared to have recently been taken out at this southern end of the beach.

14 November 2005  


The photo was taken from the Pipeline entrance and looks down Beach Two towards White Cliffs.



26 June 2006  



I’d gone up to Tonga specifically to photograph looking south along Beach Two under calm, clear conditions.



12 September 2007

I noticed a fresh cliff calving at the base of a cliff between the Pipeline and the waterfall.  This was relatively fresh because the area was a clean grey colour, not overlaid with brown.  A little further on I saw a small ‘family’ of large boulders, ranging in size from an Austin mini to a large car in size.  One boulder was particularly decorative with different interbedded rock strata.


27 September 2007  


PHO2011-1054, PHO2011-1055, PHO2011-1056, PHO2011-1057


PHO2011-1062, PHO2011-1063, PHO2011-1064, PHO2011-1065


I returned so soon after my last visit because I didn’t access Beach Two then.  I particularly wanted to photograph the unusual boulder I had seen then.  Also to document an unusual feature of some of the cliffs.  This was the appearance of ‘soccer-ball’ like rock concretions that were embedded in the cliff wall around 20-30 above the ground.  On one wall they were on the same line and roughly evenly spaced apart, while on a neighbouring wall they were more randomly spaced.  Some Small cliff shavings had sprinkled the beach since the last high tide.  They extended roughly 30 feet outwards from the cliff base.  This 30 foot distance emanating outwards from the cliffs is what I term the Death Zone.

Not far south of the waterfall, a small rock pillar is forming on the southern side of a small, blind cave.  Unusually, it is about five feet above ground level.  Most arches and rock pillars form at ground level.

I also found the cliffs immediately beyond the Pipeline to be of particular interest.


27 October 2007  


After finishing at Twin Creeks, I accessed the Maori Pa Promontory and photographed looking north along Beach Two.



6 April 2008  


This is almost a repeat photo of the one taken on the 27th October 2007.

12 October 2008  


Again, this is a repeat photo.  Repeat images are useful for comparison purposes of how things change over time.


15 December 2008  


The arch is clearly seen to the right of the photo.  Of interest is that the Middle Rock was once part of this cliff.  This appears to show that the cliff is preferentially eroding in a northerly direction.







22.6.2009   PHO2011-1771-1773


An unusual dry spell for over a week allowed for a winter access.  Took my ‘new’ panoramic camera to try and get more cliffs for my buck, so to speak.  Though sunny, the wind was a bitter, in your face southerly.


Between the Pipeline and the waterfall, a three quarters cliff-face collapse was present.  A mix of large boulders and soil-like sandstone.  I couldn’t date the cliff fall as it appeared to be sitting at the boundary of the high tide mark.  I estimated it to have occurred during the past month.  The small, upper rock pillar I had observed on 27.9.07 had now gone, replaced by two ground based pillars.  The cannon-ball rocks that were embedded in the cliff were still there, but in some places they had been carved off, most likely by violent sea conditions.


Three quarters of the way down the beach, it opens out into a huge amphitheatre which winds around to a sloping, southern bluff that occurs just before a small bay. The bay curves around to the impassable bluff that separates Beach Two from Twin Creeks.


On the way back, I set up to photograph the huge, defunct cave (having lost most of its opened domed roof). The arch remained, although it seemed to have widened.  Of key interest though was a large, fresh fan of yellowish cliff slide material at the base of the cliff immediately opposite and north of the cave.  This had originated from the narrow slop channel or mud chute carved into the face of the cliff that I first observed in 2004.  Material was feeding into it while I was there.  You could hear it coming down.  It didn’t bother the black-backed gulls resting nearby on the beach though.


I don’t know when I’ll access this fascinating beach again as the access is such an arsehole.  And at 63, I’m not getting any younger.  While the body isn’t quite clapped out, it doesn’t have the zing of a 20 year old.

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