Highs and lows of king tides

00:14, Feb 05 2014
king tide monaco
ON THE RISE: Taking the chance to cool off in the king tide at Monaco yesterday.

The planets aligned over the weekend to bless Nelson on its anniversary with an especially high tide, and an especially low one.

The king tide which rose to 4.7 metres in Nelson and almost 5m in coastal parts of the region lapped the edges of gardens and stranded cars parked in Monaco, and closed roads in Golden Bay.

The conversely low tide, down to 0.2 of a metre and even lower in Golden Bay, caught out boaties anchored near Kaiteriteri while others found rocks previously unknown along the coast of Abel Tasman National Park.

king tides
PUSHING ON THROUGH: Cyclists negotiate their way through unusually high water along the Great Taste Trail.

Rototai Rd in Golden Bay was submerged by the king tide on Saturday, causing drivers to reroute.

Peter Blasdale, of Stoke, said he and his wife cycled to Monaco on Sunday to check out the effects of the type of tide that occurs naturally several times a year.

King tides are caused by a chance alignment of the moon, earth, and the sun, resulting in the largest tidal range seen over the course of a year.


king tide monaco
SEA LANE: Nicola Blasdale walks on the road at Monaco during a king tide.

King tides are simply the very highest tides. Conversely, the low tides that occur at this time are the very lowest tides.

Mr Blasdale said he knew the tide would be higher than usual, and that it was lucky that the weather was calm.

"With any strong northwesterly winds, it would have been even higher.

"We used to live in Golden Bay and the biggest tide I ever saw there reached 5.2m."

He said the tide at Monaco was not quite in people's gardens, but was "lapping at the edges".

"There were quite a few cars parked in the water," he said.

The Nelson Mail