The opening of the Hooper’s Inlet channel by the Dunedin City Council on the 6th of June saw a marked change in the water levels within the inlet. Since the opening work was undertaken the Otago Peninsula has been in the grips of a keen storm front that has swept across from the South Island into the central North Island. Accompanying the storm were high seas and tides and it was worth the chilly walk to see how the channel opening had coped since the original opening.
There has been a marked increase in the width of the channel as the eastern edge has eaten into the existing dunes. This has increased the height of the channel upwards of 3-5 metres in places. Typically of storm periods there was significant debris on the beach which had also been pushed into the inlet. Noticeable too has been the increase in water around the old channel position across the beach, though it was difficult to see whether it had reopened back into the sea. There is still extensive water movement in and out of the channel and visitors should be cautious while visiting the area. Certainly the recent tidal and wind conditions along with the water movement have altered the area and it will be interesting to see how the channel changes once the weather calms down into spring and summer. The pictures taken here were at high tide on Sunday the 23rd July. Click on pictures to view in gallery.