These bare areas running parallel to the coast are beach ridges that have been raised above sea level by large earthquakes. The youngest raised beach (closest to the present-day shoreline) was uplifted 6.4 metres by the 1855 Wairarapa earthquake. Older ridges have been dated and are associated with earthquakes occurring in 2900 BCE, 1100 BCE and 1460 CE.
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Photograph by Lloyd Homer
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