Ocean Beach is south of Cape Kidnappers on Hawke's Bay's southern Pacific coast. The beach is popular due to its largely unmodified coastal environment and proximity to Napier and Hastings. Ocean Beach has a small community of baches serviced by individual septic tanks.
The Waipuka Stream discharges into the southern end of the beach. Samples at this site are taken in the main swimming area, immediately in front of the surf lifesaving tower.
Ocean Beach is a golden sand beach with established nationally important dune structure that stretches north east to Cape Kidnappers. A conservation programme at Cape Kidnappers extends to some of the dune area at the northern end - http://capetocity.co.nz/. The beach is very popular throughout the summer and there are weekend lifeguard patrols from November till March.
Elevated levels of bacteria are generally found after heavy or prolonged periods of rain where increased surface runoff enters the river from the surrounding catchment.