Hanmer Springs is sliding into summer with not one new attraction - but two.
From October 11, Hanmer will open its new purple and orange hydro-slides to their first riders.
The recent site revamp has pumped $3.2 million into the north Canterbury waterpark and replacements for some of the original infrastructure from 1998.
Two weeks away from opening to the public, the slides now have new names, as well.
Chosen by public vote, the eight-metre-tall water slides will now be known as the Waiau Winder and Violet Vortex.
The Violet Vortex is a white-knuckle ride, coloured purple and lit along its length with LEDs.
Meanwhile, the orange-coloured Waiau Winder has something unusual interior. Although it’s a milder ride, the new slide has video projections on the inside of the loop, which can be programmed to show riders coral reef and shoals of fish.
“We’re the first place in Aotearoa to use this technology,” says Hanmer general manager Graeme Abbot.
“We plan on creating themed slide rides that change with the seasons, so depending on when you come, you might see scenes from the mountains or an underwater experience.”
To find names for the new thrill ride, the waterpark bravely opened itself up for suggestions from the local primary school. Thankfully, Slidey McSlideface did not stick, and Hanmer was delighted by the quality of suggestions. To encourage top suggestions, they offered exclusive access to the slides for the winning submission.
The winning name, “Violet Vortex”, was provided by Katie Paige-Hill, 21, from Christchurch who was invited to the opening weekend on October 14.
“We were stunned to see such an influx of suggestions, but the most popular names were clear early in the voting,” says Abbott.
The final names were narrowed down to a short list of just six, after more than 1000 suggestions by members of the public.