Well. Oriental Bay is an artificial beach maintained for the community by Wellington City Council.
In 2004, we purchased 22,000 tonnes of sand from the Golden Bay area in Nelson to enlarge and enhance both Freyberg and Oriental Bay beaches. The beach's sand area is now four times larger than before, and the Freyberg Beach grass area is twice as large as it once was.
Throughout the year, wind and wave action moves sand on the beach from east to west, with sand building up at the western end of the beach (near Freyberg) where it is held by the headland. If too much sand builds up at the headland, the holding area will overtop and the sand will be lost out into the harbour.
To maintain the size and shape of the beach, we undertake a sand shift twice a year. On behalf of the Council, Dixon and Dunlop relocate the built-up sand from the western end to the eastern end of the beach (near the Band Rotunda). This opportunity is also used to re-shape and tidy the sand along the shore.