14 August 2014

Remember in our second Marine Parade post I spoke of the seaward pathway that ran alongside the places profiled, well that is part of a Rotary project, and our final post in this series wouldn't be complete without paying homage to the good works they have done in the community.

Not only does this cycle and pathway run from Awatoto in the south to Napier Port in the north, but it continues around past the port to Ahuriri too.

Here is one last north to south tour of Marine Parade.


The beginning of the track by the surf club and before Ocean Spa (a commercial pool facility).



Just one aspect of the views - this one's at the playground.



The Junior bike track, coffee cart and Danish ice cream stand (not pictured) are south of the playground.



A sculpture, Ecliptic, by David Trubridge, which in my mind looks like the Stargate is south of the junior bike track.  You can just begin to see the tip of Cape Kidnappers on the far right.  Further on from this is the National Aquarium.



There are several shaded picnic areas (some with bbq) which would be a great place for families to meet especially in summer.  The children could cycle or kick around a ball or do whatever they wanted on the expansive green spaces; while the adults enjoyed each others company.  It should be noted that the beach is not a swimming beach.  The sea floor of the beach was greatly altered by the 1931 earthquake and now there is a very dangerous rip.  Another reason for the cycle and pathway - to encourage people to use that and go no further onto the stony shores.



Out on it's lonesome at the southern end is the Gilray Fountain.  Recently recast and re-installed it continues to be a solitary place to sit; or if you are game to kick off your heels - to wade around in the water at the base.



Further south is the council dumping station, toilet block & car park, in case you were looking for that.  You are allowed to stay for one night at no charge only though, as the general council policy is against freedom camping in their backyard.

Hawke's Bay
07 August 2014

A playground speaks for itself.  You only have to have children to know what fascination a new place brings and how they can get lost for hours exploring.  Marine Parade playground is no exception.  We have been here many times and each keeps getting better.  The space is now divided up for little children, and older children; and includes lots of picnic facilities, a water fountain and bbqs.  There is an adjacent toilet block, danish ice cream stand and coffee cart between the playground and the junior cycle park. Oh, and the view!!  What more could you want?



[Photograph taken and used with express permission of parent.]






Hawke's Bay
03 July 2014


Marine Parade is a strip of road and green space along the waterfront of Napier which has been developed with thought and incredible benefit to the community.  It reaches from the south side of the port to Awatoto at it's southern end; and takes in the views up to the Mahia Peninsula and down to Cape Kidnappers.

In the spirit of being a tourist in our own backyard we stopped to focus on what is there (taking photos is a great catalyst for that) starting at the northern end.

The fountain (above) is rather iconic, featuring on many a postcard, lit up in it's array of colours at night.  During the day you might see people picnicking around it's perimeter and even the occasional child with their clothes hoisted up to their knees wading in the fountain,

Right next to that is another icon - the bronze statue of Pania on the Reef.



You look from here along a long lush grass stretch towards the Sound Shell - an entertainment platform that is used for public events, at one end of an open courtyard.



On the left in a colonnade, hangs the Veronica Bell once per year for the Art Deco celebrations but is marked year-round by a couple of plaques and a gorgeous spherical sculpture (which I would love to have in our front yard!).



Directly opposite on the road-side of the courtyard is the commanding New Napier Arch - a testament to the courage of it's people struggling with rebuilding their lives, homes, and society after the earthquake of 1931.



All these places are great for sitting, eating, walking or running around, staring out to sea and generally just hanging out.



The area also makes for a very effective back-drop to Art Deco celebrations in February each year - the long lunch in particular which stretches from the Tom Parker fountain right down to the Sound shell court-yard.



Hawke's Bay