Safety around the port

Staying safe around the port

If you’re visiting the beach next to the port or using the boat ramp, please stay safe. We’re a busy place, so bear that in mind whether you’re planning to travel by land or by water.

We’re lucky to be located in a beautiful environment surrounded by many natural attractions. To help and protect everyone who enjoys the areas surrounding Napier Port, we’ve created some clear guidelines. Please take some time to read these before you visit.

There are various parking options available close to the beach on Breakwater Road. Please do not use the port car parks near the main office. These parks are in a busy, high-risk area, and are reserved for port-related business.

If you’re ready for the beach, then we can recommend the one next to Napier Port. It’s safe, sheltered and shallow, making it a great spot for families. Dogs are welcome too – please keep them under control at all times.

While the beach is owned by Napier Port, it’s always open to our community. Remember that this can be a high traffic area, so take care when crossing the road and railway line to get to the beach. Please use the designated crossing and look out for trains and trucks.

There’s a lot of water traffic in and around Napier Port, but you can feel safe swimming in the designated zone inside the orange buoys. Only swimmers and non-motorised craft like kayaks, paddle boards and surf training boats are allowed within this area.

If you’re swimming long distance, we can recommend the T&G Ocean Swimming Circuit out from Hardinge Road, Ahuriri. It’s a 2km loop starting at Perfume Point, marked with yellow buoys.

We’ve provided a shower on the grass verge so you can wash away the sand and salt before you leave. When you go, we’d appreciate it if you could take any litter with you – that will help us to keep the beach beautiful and ready for the next group of visitors.

We ask that you observe a 5 knot speed limit until you are 200 metres from the shore. This distance is marked with a yellow buoy.

Watch out for the orange buoys – these mark the designated safe swimming area where only swimmers and non-motorised craft like kayaks, paddle boards and surf training boats are allowed.

Remember to stay safe and consider others on the water at all times. Don’t forget to wear your lifejacket, take a beacon, and make sure you have two waterproof forms of communication, such as a VHF radio or a cellphone in a sealed bag.

The shipping channel is marked by tall buoys and is a high traffic area. For your safety and the safety of other vessels on the water, please be aware of shipping movements before using this area. These can be checked on our Shipping Schedule, which is updated every 15 minutes.

The inner port is a restricted area and cannot be entered without the permission of the Harbourmaster.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Harbourmaster (see details below).

Napier Pilotage Area
If you are entering the Napier Pilotage Area, you must stay at least 1km ahead of cargo or cruise vessels or 500 metres from either side.

Martin Moore
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Harbourmaster
(06) 833 4525
027 445 5592

Coastguard NZ – Safe Boating
Coastguard NZ has more information about how to stay safe on the water.

Maritime NZ – Safer Boating
Maritime NZ also has great resources and tips in its Safer Boating campaign.