Unspoiled Marine Parade a tourist magnet

By Kaysha Brownlie kaysha brownlie@hbtoday co nz

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MAGNET: Fish Bike owner Brian Fish has a view of the ocean each day and wants the Marine Parade to remain an open and non-commercial area. PHOTO/PAUL TAYLOR
MAGNET: Fish Bike owner Brian Fish has a view of the ocean each day and wants the Marine Parade to remain an open and non-commercial area. PHOTO/PAUL TAYLOR

The owner of bike hire business, Fish Bike, says Napier's Marine Parade is a "magnet".

Brian Fisher is into his sixth year of business on the Marine Parade near Ocean Spa and hires bikes out daily to tourists from both overseas and around the country.

He said they generally commented on how clean and quaint the Marine Parade was.

Mr Fisher said this season had been the biggest yet with more people visiting the region bringing their bikes, which encouraged others to start pedaling as well.

He said the pathway along the waterfront had made a big difference and added to the flow of the parade, the new viewing platform was a "draw card" as well.

"The parade is a big magnet for Napier," he said.

Another thing he encouraged was the introduction of more trees, he said people needed more shade to sit in on hot days.

While Mr Fisher noted some positive aspects he did have concerns about future development.

It would be detrimental to the parade if it was to become too commercial, he said .

"They have to be careful about building too many structures. The idea of open space and recreational space is very important.

"A big open pool would be a good idea."

Many people wished the beach was sandy, but it would almost be impossible, he said.

Mr Fisher said it would good to fix the common public perception of the beach being dangerous.

He said any beach could be dangerous, and Napier's Marine Parade was patrolled and wasn't always unsafe to swim in.

Keen to see a balance of natural and commercial, he said he liked the idea of a building with views towards Cape Kidnappers and of the beach.

While freedom campers had been on Napier City Council's agenda last year Mr Fisher said he missed their presence.

"They brought energy to the area, they would swim in the sea and hang out."

They lived cheaply but spent their money at local businesses and in town, he said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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