A water jet fountain, a curved amphitheatre and terraced waterfront seating will all feature in a new park planned for central Whangārei.
The interactive fountain has 19 water jets, each with colourful lighting, that can be programmed with varying sequences and colour displays which will make for an impressive feature at night.
In the day time during summer months it will certainly be a source of entertainment for children.
Work is scheduled to start on the new Town Basin Park next January and due to be completed by the end of 2020 and will link the waterfront, Loop walkway and the central city.
Whangārei District Council's manager of infrastructure planning and capital works Shelley Wharton said the park had been in the planning process since 2015 so to have a finalised plan to work from was great progress.
"The park will be a versatile space with an amphitheatre to hold community concerts, markets and events, a great lawn for people to gather and relax, terraced waterfront seating, trees for shade, a small play space and illuminated water jets for park users to splash around in during summer."
The new park will stretch across what are currently two car park areas off Hatea Dr and Dent St. The park would also flow up to the Hundertwasser buildings.
The water feature will be located in the centre of the park so it is visible from all pedestrian entrances – drawing visitors in.
Similar water features have proved to be popular and fun park additions in other places around New Zealand and the world. The water is recycled and treated to enable use all year round, especially during long, hot, dry periods when there can be water restrictions.
Water will be continuously treated to a high standard to ensure it is safe for play. During events the water jets can be turned off so the area becomes a large flat paved plaza.
A water play feature is also planned for the new Pohe Island Destination playground.
Wharton said an amphitheatre and a great lawn was perfect for hosting community events.
"The amphitheatre and great lawn will be flexible spaces that can be used for events such as the Matariki Festival, outdoor cinema, artisan and food markets. When they are not being used for events the public will be able to enjoy using the spaces for recreation, picnics, catching up with friends and family, and relaxing."
She said park lighting would make it possible to host night time events and help create a vibrant night time atmosphere within the central city.
"Careful thought has gone into the design of the park to ensure safety and accessibility for park users of all ages and abilities."
Another important consideration was designing the paths to guide the public to use designated pedestrian crossings.