Cyclone Gabrielle on the Coromandel – what you need to know

Published on 10 February 2023

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Image: MetService forecast of expected rainfall from Cyclone Gabrielle for early Tuesday.

Although the exact path of Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle is not yet 100 per cent certain, it’s going to have a significant impact on the Coromandel. Residents of low-lying properties in some areas identified below are encouraged to prepare and stand by to self-evacuate by Monday before the cyclone intensifies.

This afternoon our Chief Exec and Controller spoke in a video about the impending cyclone and areas of concern:

Specific areas within these communities are considered certain to experience at least some impacts (see the map below):

  • Otama – Coastal inundation may flood low-lying areas southwest of the bridge
  • Brophy’s Beach – Coastal inundation of Centennial Dr, Parkland Pl and properties west of SH25
  • Buffalo Beach – Potential significant wave overtopping/inundation around boat club & 99-107 Buffalo Beach Rd properties
  • Flaxmill Bay/Front Beach – Coastal inundation/flooding of culvert/low spot coming into Flaxmill Bay
  • Cooks Beach – Potential significant wave overtopping for properties along Captain Cook Rd near Iti Lane
  • Tairua:
    - Flooding of Paku Dr near marina
    - Flooding of low-lying properties along Bayview Tr
    - Flooding of SH25 by Pepe Bridge
  • Pāuanui – Flooding near Hikuai Settlement Rd and Duck Creek
  • Whangamatā – Coastal indundation/flooding of Beach Rd, Harbour View Rd and properties by the marina.

People in other low-lying areas that have flooded in previous storms should also be prepared to self-evacuate their properties.

Gale force winds with easterly to northeasterly gusts exceeding 130kmh, between 300-400mm of rain between Monday night and Wednesday afternoon and coastal indundation in the above-mentioned areas and along the Firth of Thames coast are almost certain at this stage.

Out to sea, Niwa has forecast 10m waves and strong currents which will impact beaches, rivers and waterways. Surf Life Saving New Zealand have today issued a strong message to everybody to stay away from the coast until the cyclone has passed.

If you have a dinghy, kayak or small catamaran that you keep on or near a beach or dune area, please remove it now or arrange for somebody to this on your behalf.

“We have three days to prepare for this, so I strongly urge everyone to hatch a plan about how you and your family can be ready. Secure everything outside, check drains and gutters, check on your neighbours, then get enough supplies to last at least three days. Don’t forget medicines, batteries, gas, torches,” says Garry Towler our Civil Defence Controller.

A list of places to collect sandbags is below.

Over the next three days we will provide further updates and points of contact regarding Civil Defence centres, evacuation areas and additional support.

Our kerbside rubbish and recycling collection service as well as our Refuse Transfer Stations are likely to be affected.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is clearing its campsites and huts by Sunday. Many campgrounds and tracks are already closed because of the earlier storms. Check their website for more details.

In the meantime, stay connected with MetService for weather updates.

See our website and Facebook page for local roading conditions and changes to other services due to the weather. If you see anything on our local roads, let us know on 07 868 0200 or email

For State Highways, keep an eye on their website or contact 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).

Check before you travel with | Thames-Coromandel District Council Facebook | Waka Kotahi/NZTA | MetService

Sandbags available

  • Thames - TCDC office 515 Mackay St - empty bags
  • Thames - Shoppers' car park, Danby Field Queen St - sand
  • Coromandel Town - James Drainage Seabrook Rd near 1020 Tiki Road - empty bags, sand
  • Whitianga  - Buffalo Beach main reserve - empty bags, sand

  • Whitianga - TCDC office 10 Monk St - empty bags

  • Pāuanui - Veolia wastewater treatment plant Hikuai Settlement Rd - empty and filled bags

  • Whangamatā - Depot Lindsay Rd - empty and filled bags, sand

  • Te Puru Hall - 4 West Crescent - empty bags and sand

  • Tapu - Fire station 750 Thames Coast Rd - empty bags, sand

  • Tairua - Red Bridge Rd - filled bags

Please bring your own string or ties to tie your bags otherwise the flap can be folded over to close.

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