Arthur's nose job: Coastal protection ramps up at Lyall Bay

Rock armouring work at Arthur's Nose, near Lyall Bay, on Wellington's south coast.
KEVIN STENT/FAIRFAX NZ

Rock armouring work at Arthur's Nose, near Lyall Bay, on Wellington's south coast.

Wellington's south coast is getting some new armour, as Wellington City Council ramps up efforts to strengthen it against mighty swells.

Dorrie Leslie Park, also known as Arthur's Nose, is one of six sites targeted for strengthening work along the Lyall Bay coastline, after big storms in 2013 and 2015. 

The council is spending three years on beefing up the protection of Lyall Bay, with major works due to take place over the next 12 months.

Chas Brown, left, and Lyal Reedy get a drenching as waves crash over Queens Drive, Lyall Bay, at high tide after a storm ...
KEVIN STENT/ FAIRFAX NZ

Chas Brown, left, and Lyal Reedy get a drenching as waves crash over Queens Drive, Lyall Bay, at high tide after a storm in 2013.

The efforts, which include planting, grading and relocating the Surfers' Corner car park, comes after storms put coastal areas "under threat of falling into the sea", Wellington City Council urban ecology leader Myfanwy​ Emeny said.

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A process known as rip-rap, by which rocks are packed tightly together on the shoreline to armour it against the waves, began at Arthur's Nose last month.

Swells surge up to the Maranui Surf Lifesaving Club at Lyall Bay, in May 2015.
ROBERT KITCHIN/ FAIRFAX NZ

Swells surge up to the Maranui Surf Lifesaving Club at Lyall Bay, in May 2015.

Emeny said swells and storms meant they were "on the verge of losing" green areas at the tip of Lyall Bay.

Diggers are moving rocks along the beach front, in order to protect the grass and pohutakawa trees.

A map showing planned restoration works for Lyall Bay.
Wellington City Council

A map showing planned restoration works for Lyall Bay.

"They are gradually working their way from out at the point to Dorrie Leslie Park to ensure that all that coastline is protected,"  Eastern ward councillor Simon Marsh said.

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Strengthening work was being carried out on all the foreshores around the city, particularly where the roads were being threatened, he said.

The latest strengthening at Lyall Bay was based on a report on tidal flows and storm surges around the area.


Surfers' Corner car park, around the other side of Lyall Bay, would also get a makeover as it was very susceptible to storm action.

"There was no point spending thousands of dollars repairing it again when chances are we will end up with another southerly storm," Marsh said.

But further consultation was needed on where the car park could be relocated.

Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club chairman Arie Moore said it was great to see the council taking the initiative to protect the coast.

"It's all about looking at the area and seeing what can be done for resilience."

Rock armouring work at Arthur's Nose is expected to finish in late July, when additional planting work will be carried out.

 - Stuff

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