A big revamp is being planned for one of Rotorua's most popular lakeside swimming, boating and fishing spots.
Tarawera Landing is to be made safer, easier to navigate, modern and more culturally appropriate.
While the plan is out for feedback, iwi, locals and business operators in the area are already giving it the thumbs up.
The Rotorua Lakes Council has worked with Tūhourangi representatives and Tarawera locals to develop a concept plan for Waitōharuru, also known as Tarawera Landing.
The concept plan is now being shared with the wider community and feedback is being sought before the final detailed design phase is finalised.
Council group manager operations Jocelyn Mikaere said the upgrades would help to harmonise all the activities taking place on the reserve and make it a safer and more enjoyable experience.
"A key focus is the promotion and conservation of the cultural significance of Waitōharuru and the adjacent Punaromia areas. That is something our staff have worked closely with Tūhourangi on and incorporated into the concept plan."
The concept plan addresses a lack of general awareness, acknowledgement or understanding of the cultural and historical significance of the reserve.
There is also damaged and aging infrastructure, the toilets are not fit for purpose, access and protection of the Wāhi Tapu rock site needs to be enhanced and there are safety issues for pedestrians in parking areas and swimmers near boats.
Mikaere said the council secured $293,000 from the Government's Tourism Infrastructure Fund to carry out the work but the total cost wouldn't be known until the council had a final detailed design and went through the consenting process.
Part of that work is already under way with the public toilets on track to be finished before Christmas.
Mikaere said the earliest tentative start date is February 2022.
She said where possible the work would be timed to minimise disruption to users, especially during busier times of the year such as the opening of trout fishing season and during dabchick breeding season.
Tūhourangi Tribal Authority Pouwhakahere Ngarepo Eparaima said Tūhourangi were excited by the opportunity to be a part of the redevelopment project that allowed them to "restamp our mana whenua by having our cultural values acknowledged and being able to share our stories".
Tarawera Landing Cafe owner Geoff Webber said the revamp would be in line with the improvements he had instore for the cafe.
He was thrilled the area was finally getting some attention.
"It will make it more relaxing and family friendly. At the moment it does look tired and there's old concrete. What they are doing is fantastic. It caters for the kids with the raft out on the water and be safer. It will be good for us as well."
Lake Tarawera Ratepayers' Association chairwoman Libby Fletcher said the community was happy.
"It is the birthplace of tourism in Rotorua and I think it is great it is being upgraded."
Resident and retired Rotorua Coroner Wallace Bain said he attended a presentation to the community this month regarding the plans.
"I commend the attention to safety - boating, swimming and parking. Also having regard to Tūhourangi and the cultural and historical significance of the area which is significant."
Duck Tours owner Trevor Weir said he was thrilled with the plans.
"We had concerns during summer time as there were a lot of issues around the boat ramp with kids jumping into the lake with boats operating out there."