All Kiwis share a common appreciation of our unique landscape, so it’s no surprise many city folk are cashing up and moving rural. Having purchased a block of land, your first priority will be gaining access from the road. A gravel driveway is recommended for rural properties north of Auckland, where it’s been known to rain… a bit… sometimes! 

Driveways may need building consent. To save dramas in the future, contact your local council for advice. Think carefully about the line your drive will follow. The cost of gravel depends on the size of the stone but as a guideline budget for at least $160 psm.

Mark off the area where your new drive will lie by placing landscape stakes every 2 to 3 meters along the length of one side. Place a second set of stakes at least 3 meters from the first to mark the other side.

It is crucial you do not lay gravel on a spongy bed,  our Little Digger can to remove any loose topsoil. Watch out for tomo’s or sinkholes. Trust me, in a rural Kiwi community the sight of a bloke wedged in a hole with his little digger poking out will define the bar side banter in the local pub for years to come. 

Hiring a plate compactor is a good way to compress the surface before adding gravel. Our Bobcat with its Box Rake attachment can also level and resurface. Once your surface is compact and level you can arrange your gravel, we can deliver in our 4t Tip Truck and we know some great landscape suppliers in the area. You’ll need at least two layers of different sized gravel.  Each layer needs to be at least 10 to 15cm deep. Gap 65 size stone works well for your foundation. The second layer needs tobe smaller, gap 20 or 30.

Calculate the quantity of gravel you need for each layer by multiplying the length, by width, by depth of your driveway. Spread each layer evenly across the drive and then thoroughly tamp the rocks down. A plate compactor or a vibrating roller is ideal for this.

Grade the top of the drive making the centre slightly higher than the edges to assist with water drainage. No need to overdo it. A subtle 5% height difference is fine.

Consider also constructing a drainage swale on either side of your drive using granite rip rap rocks. It’s cost effective and looks good in a rural setting. 

Give your new driveway a little TLC and water tabling each year before winter.  Doing so will reduce the need to top up the surface layer.

The driveway will need some maintenance over the years and our Bobcat with Box Rake attachment can repair potholes and smooth the surface if it’s become uneven over time. Also, if you need a gravel top up, we can deliver it in our 4t Tip Truck!

A well constructed gravel drive will last a lifetime. Plus, you will be able to get to know your new neighbours over a beer or three at the local,  without being that guy who built a lemon not a drive!

To Your Success, 
Chris Dyer