Work to begin on Makorori rest area upgrade


The Makorori rest area near the bottom of the Makorori headland will be partially closed for two weeks from 13 June while it receives an upgrade to its amenities.

Tairāwhiti Roads General Manager Dave Hadfield says the Makorori site will have 50 marked parking spaces, four new picnic tables, two rubbish bins and an extra beach access to help stop people eroding the dunes as they make their own path to the beach.

“This is an exciting project and it’s great to see it getting underway. We’ve been working closely with members of the Makorori surfing community and those who frequent the site to come up with a design that best suits everyone and improves the amenity value,” Mr Hadfield says.

“We’ve been able to run with most of the ideas put forward, which has created more parking spaces than originally planned and will keep the rest area looking more natural, in keeping with its world-class surroundings.”

Because of the high numbers of surfers and visitors who use the Makorori reserve, work at the site will be completed in two phases. This means that half of the site will remain available for parking throughout the upgrade.

The upgrade is designed to provide both safety and tourism benefits by giving travellers the opportunity to pull off the road, take a break, and enjoy the area’s attractions.

The Makorori rest area is one of seven sites between Gisborne and Opotiki to receive an upgrade using $700,000 of Crown funding as part of the Tairāwhiti Economic Action Plan.

“The schedule of works was developed following a survey of existing sites and takes into consideration best practice, travel times between rest areas, as well as feedback from the community and Tairāwhiti Roads’ stakeholders,” Mr Hadfield says.

  • Sites at the Tolaga Bay Reserve, Tokomaru Bay Playground, and Te Araroa will be upgraded to fully serviced rest areas.
  • Picnic areas will be installed at Makorori and Tikitiki, while layby areas will be built at the Ruatoria and Anaura Bay turn-offs.

“Each site will also feature an information board showcasing the region’s ‘first light’ branding, a brief history of the area and details about tourist attractions and local amenities,” Mr Hadfield says.