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Ture mō te taraiwa i tātahi

Rules for driving on Muriwai and Karioitahi beaches

Beach driving permits

To drive on Muriwai and Karioitahi beaches, you must hold a beach driving permit, which you need to renew each year. See apply for a beach driving permit or renew a beach driving permit.

Road rules on beaches

Under the law, beaches are legal roads, so all road rules apply.

This includes:

  • speed limits
  • licensing of drivers
  • vehicle registration and warrant of fitness
  • alcohol use
  • seatbelts
  • helmets
  • driving behaviour.

Beaches are policed. You must carry a photo ID and your beach driving permit when you use your vehicle on the beach.

Speed limits on beaches

  • Muriwai Beach from southern boundary of Motutara Road to 650m north of Coast Road access: 30km/h.
  • Muriwai Beach from 650m north of Coast Road access to southern extent of New Zealand Defence Force bombing range: 60km/h.
  • Karioitahi Beach from 1000m north of Karioitahi Road to 1000m south of Karioitahi Road: 20km/h.
  • Beyond these areas: 100km/h.

Beach driving guidelines

  • Take safety equipment, including a spade and a rope.
  • Always drive with headlights on.
  • Stick to the hard part of the beach below the high tide line. Check tide times before you go out.
  • Access to the beach is limited to three hours either side of low tide.
  • Look out for partially submerged objects.
  • Stay off the dunes - fragile dune systems are damaged by vehicle use.
  • Always slow down when there are people or animals around.
  • Be aware of shorebirds nesting at high tide.
  • You must always have your beach driving permit when you are driving on the beach - having it on your mobile phone or device is fine.

You should know

Driving on all other beaches is prohibited, except to launch or retrieve a boat or in emergency situations.
For launching or retrieving a boat:
  • there must be an appropriate way for your vehicle to access the beach, such as a boat ramp
  • you must drive directly to the launch and retrieval spot
  • you must not exceed 10km/h
  • you must remove the vehicle as soon as the boat is launched or retrieved.

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