Eastern bays nudist beach loses direct public access due to slippage

Ladies Bay in St Heliers (pictured) will be one way to access Gentleman's Bay in future - but only at low tide.
JACK VAN BEYEN/FAIRFAX NZ

Ladies Bay in St Heliers (pictured) will be one way to access Gentleman's Bay in future - but only at low tide.

An east Auckland nudist beach is set to lose its public walkway.

The walkway, extending from Glover Park to Gentlemen's Bay in the desirable suburb of St Heliers, will be removed at a cost of $38,000 due to erosion and unstable ground conditions.

Public access to Gentlemen's Bay will remain available from neighbouring Ladies Bay and Karaka Bay but only at low tide.

Existing signage discouraging people from accessing the Gentlemen's Bay pathway has not stopped people using the ...
MARY FITZGERALD/FAIRFAX NZ

Existing signage discouraging people from accessing the Gentlemen's Bay pathway has not stopped people using the dangerous pathway.

Gentlemen's Bay is located below Glover Park between Achilles Pt and West Tamaki Pt at the coastal edge of St Heliers.

The small, sheltered bay with views across the Waitemata Harbour is well known as one of Auckland's male nudist beaches.

READ MORE: Glover Park cliff dog rescue nothing to sniff at

The land around the steps leading down to the beach has a history of slippage and coastal erosion and has been closed since 2006 due to safety issues.

However, people have continued to bypass orange hazard mesh fencing blocking the path, to walk to the beach via the Glover Park entrance.

On Thursday the Orakei Local Board approved for the pathway to be dismantled and permanently blocked off with planting.

The views from the cliff tops along the edge of Glover Park looking over Gentlemen's Bay extend across the Waitemata Harbour.
MARY FITZGERALD

The views from the cliff tops along the edge of Glover Park looking over Gentlemen's Bay extend across the Waitemata Harbour.

Orakei Local Board chairman Colin Davis said the access had become dangerous. 

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"This cliff area is subject to erosion and the ground is unstable," Davis said.

"The board had a legal duty to warn people of potential risks and decided for safety reasons to close the access and remove the steps to the walkway," he said. 

Pete Waldron from Glendowie, who walked through Glover Park most afternoons, said it was not unusual to see people heading down the access path to Gentlemen's Bay.

"I know it's dangerous down there because of slips and people shouldn't go down."

He agreed it should be blocked off to stop someone getting hurt.

The decision to remove the beach access came following the submission of a geotech report to the board.

The report said repairing the pathway would cost upwards of $500,000 and the best option was to decommission it.

After steps and railings are removed, drainage will be installed to ensure the remnants of the walkway would not contribute further to erosion.

Additional signage is also planned for the cliff edge in Glover Park to warn of the dangers.

 - Stuff.co.nz

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