Tongan volcanic eruption affects Waikawa Beach

In the early evening of Saturday 15 January 2022 many people at Waikawa Beach, and around Aotearoa New Zealand, were wondering what the thumping explosion noises they could hear were. It turned out they were from the massive eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in Tonga — a one in 1,000 year event!

Since then have come warnings about coastal surges or tsunamis in various parts of the world — for NZ’s north and east coast in particular.

But even here at Waikawa Beach we saw unusual surges in the river. Watch this YouTube video from Sue Culver (linked with permission):

Did you know Tonga is about 2,500 Km away. The power of that eruption, that we could hear it at Waikawa Beach!

Update 21 January 2022: note the Comment by John Brown that this tidal surge was probably not related to the tsunami, but was rather a small tidal bore.

Burglary and suspicious car activity at Waikawa Beach in January 2022

From the Neighbourhood Support Newsletter 14 January 2022:

  • Burglary: Waikawa Beach Rd (520-550) 06 January 2022 (between Walkers Lane and Emma Drive)
  • Car/person acting suspiciously: Drake Street 9-11 January 2022

For more information or to get your own copy of the weekly Neighbourhood Support newsletter contact:

Deborah Campbell
District Coordinator | Horowhenua Neighbourhood Support
L/L 06 3660574 – P 021 222 1006


C/ Levin Police Station: 7 Bristol Street, Levin 5510

Rare Lamprey in Waikawa stream

Sometimes you notice one little snippet about Waikawa Beach in a larger article on the web:

one of New Zealand’s rare native fish Lamprey (Geotria australis) has been discovered in waterways like the Waikawa Stream and reaches of the Ōhura River in the Horizons Region.

Lamprey (Geotria australis) being measured.
Lamprey (Geotria australis) being measured.

This comes from a Horizons Regional Council article: DNA techniques reveal the full spectrum of river life. The article also says:

A technique called environmental DNA or eDNA for short, is helping … identify the animal species present in our waterways. …

DNA is shed by aquatic life from their skin, scales, fluids and faeces. The technique is able to detect even minute traces of each species and the overall proportion of it within the water sample. The species of fish, birds, mammals, reptiles, plants, fungi, bacteria, insects, snails, worms and anything else are identified by comparing the DNA fragments to a reference database. This requires as little as a mug of water sucked through a filter, though more water increases the chance of detecting organisms.

Waikawa Beach drone photos, January 2022

Over the past couple of weeks Twitter user SirWB has published a fair few drone photos of Waikawa Beach. The following are posted with permission. All photos are from a drone and show various views of the river mouth, estuary and river, and Strathnaver.

Beware if you’re viewing using cell data — there are about 20 photos totalling around 10 MB. There is only one photo on the first page, the rest need a click to see them. No captions or alt text.

Waikawa Beach January 2022.

Continue reading “Waikawa Beach drone photos, January 2022”

Happy New Year

In this last hour of 2021 I’d like to remind you all to take a tour of the most excellent Christmas lights around Waikawa Beach. Starting with the huge tree at the village entrance, going through the village and around in Strathnaver many houses are displaying lights, from a simple string on the gate through to the magnificence of Wendy and Peter Clark’s display in James Street.

Take an evening tour and enjoy. Some of the lights are shown below. Thanks to all those who dedicated themselves to bringing a bit of sparkle to the end of a tough year.

Happy New Year everyone!

Christmas lights at Waikawa Beach.
Christmas lights at Waikawa Beach.
Christmas lights at Waikawa Beach.
Christmas lights at Waikawa Beach.
Christmas lights at Waikawa Beach.
Christmas lights at Waikawa Beach.
Christmas lights at Waikawa Beach.
Christmas lights at Waikawa Beach.
Christmas lights at Waikawa Beach.