Collapse at the Woe Hole

HOLE IN THE EARTH: The damage to the Woe Hole has caused a significant opening to the surface. Picture: District Council of Robe.

Tyler Redway

THE Robe Woe Hole has seen a major collapse due to natural erosion, prompting the District Council of Robe to reconsider where the coastal trail leads.

District Council chief executive officer James Holyman said recently that it would be discussed as to how tourists and locals would be able to work around the damage while the site was currently closed.

“This is similar but it just happens to be inland so it looks a little bit different to what’s normally occurring along our coastline,” Mr Holyman said.

“We will potentially move the coastal trail to make it a lot safer for the community.”

Mr Holyman said there had been a recent form of technology implemented for the town known as Lidar, which measures ranges with a laser to measure the time it takes for the light to return to the receiver.

“We have recently had technology in town [Lidar] so we have mapped all of the limestone cliffs from Long Beach to West Beach and we are using this to identify and understand where the natural undercuts are occurring in the cliffs,” he said.

“That significant piece of work will form a baseline where we can measure any future change.”

Mr Holyman added that this was a solo project only done by the Robe council, but that there was another project lined up for the future.

“We do have a project where we are going to put monitoring equipment into the bay to start measuring tidal movement, sea temperature, wave height etc.,” he said.

“We’re doing that as a project with Flinders University and as part of that, we have part-sponsored a PHD student who will be using the data.”

He also said that predicting the imminent collapse of a cliff edge or a surface, like the Woe Hole, was always difficult and the advice the council was given could never give a warning as to when it would happen.

“There is a fair undercut, which we can have on Lidar so we know the extent of the undercut at the moment,” Mr Holyman added.

“We anticipate with the natural wave and the seaside actions there will be further erosion and collapse along the coastline, including the Woe Hole.”