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South Coast by William Mein Smith

The soaring cliffs between Te Kopi and Whatarangi on the Wairarapa south coast, painted in the 1850s by William Mein Smith.

Source: Alexander Turnbull Library

A car crossing a bridge at the Whatarangi cliffs, 1937.

Looking at Te Kopi from the Whatarangi Cliffs, 1947.

A further view of the road clinging to the Whatarangi Cliffs, 1947

Outside a few sheltered bays, much of the south coast is an unforgiving, harsh environment. Coastal erosion is a huge problem: houses and roads have been lost in southerly storms.  The photo below, of a small section of the south coast, taken in the middle of winter 2010, shows a small part of the erosion protection in place.

Alexander Turnbull Library
Picture Wairarapa


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