Ten years after the demise of Marineland, with its performing dolphins and seals consigned to history, Napier City's Marine Parade is again the place to be thanks to a smorgasbord of new family attractions.

Thousands are flocking to the child-safe playgrounds and tracks for young wheels.

Former Napier Mayor, Barbara Arnott said the seafront development was initiated by citizens, who described its existing attractions as 'a string of broken pearls'.

"We started with the walkways – Napier Rotary Pathways segued into the walkway – and we kept upgrading and upgrading," she said.

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"It's the highlight of Napier and it's a focal point."

Napier Mayor, Bill Dalton said the aim of adding vibrancy and vitality to Napier was a goal that was being achieved.

"The kids are loving it, the adults are loving it – it is just a wonderful place to be," he said.

Ashhurst grandfather, Stephen Jenkins said the four-hour return trip was made several times over summer.

"It's a really great place for my grandchildren to play – they love it here," he said.

"Napier City Council have done an awesome job. I really love what they've done – it's a nice safe area for the kids. It is really so good to enjoy and everybody is friendly and welcoming here as well. It's just great."

Marine Parade is home to the National Aquarium of New Zealand, due for a $45 million development next year. It is expected to be a drawcard for both domestic and international tourists.

Mr Dalton said further Marine Parade recreational developments were planned "but we will also make sure we leave plenty of green space because we do not want to blot out the sea and we want to retain the view to Cape Kidnappers".

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