Where to find the fun this summer

Hundreds of playgrounds, tracks and pools, were closed after extreme weather hit last summer, mostly in the north. Some have been repaired and reopened, so where can the fun be found now?

Parnell Baths

Severe storms at the beginning of 2023 caused slips on the cliff face next to the Parnell Baths, requiring major work to make it safe.

Opened in 1914, this retro-cool complex boasts a 60m saltwater pool – the largest of its kind in Aotearoa, an interactive aqua playground, and a heated lido pool, toddler pool and adult spa pool.

The pools were due to re-open in November, but the collapse of a sewer pipe in Parnell meant wastewater was entering the Waitematā Harbour near to where the baths draws its seawater. Finally, the pools reopened for the summer on December 2. Entry is $7.70 for adults, 16 years and under are free.

West Wave

West Wave Pool and Leisure Centre has a wave pool, toddlers pools, a hydroslide, spa pools and sauna.

But floodwaters swamped the basement and operations hub in January, closing the pools for nine months during which extensive repairs and seismic strengthening work was carried out.

The revamped pools reopened on October 9. Entry is $8.50 for adults, and free for those 16 and under, while the hydroslide costs $4.60.


This giant skating rink is right next to a swimming pool. The centre had to close more than once this year due to flooding. But it also underwent a refurbishment that included new flooring for the skating rink. Entry to the skating rink costs $7.60 for adults, and $6.20 for children, while skate hire is an additional $4.10 per person.

David Lange Park playground

Although the park flooded at the start of the year, construction of this destination playground opened in Māngere in November after years of planning.

It includes the large play tower, Mataaoho, the guardian of earthquakes and volcanoes, accessible toilets, refreshed basketball and skatepad areas, with the narrative of Mataaoho incorporated into the landscape and equipment. There are also spinners, trampollines, an agility trail, flying fox, and slides and swings.

Ocean Spa

Napier’s seaside heated pool and fitness centre was closed for refurbishment when Cyclone Gabrielle hit. The storm delayed the reopening of Ocean Spa until the middle of May, but this popular facility is back up and running. Entry is $11.50 for adults and $8.50 for children.

Splash Planet

This Hawkes Bay water amusement park closed on February 7 due to staff shortages rather than storm damage. A week later, Cyclone Gabrielle ravaged the region.

Heretaunga Hastings District Council has spent $2.4 million upgrading the park which has hydroslides, the steep “Sky Castle Screamer” side-by-side slides, bumper boats, go-karts and mini-golf. Entry costs $36 for 14 years plus and $26 for those aged four to 13 years.


Auckland’s west coast communities were devastated by Cyclone Gabrielle which left homes demolished by slips and inundated by flooding.

With roads damaged, land stability a concern, and sightseers discouraged, cordons were in place on the road into Piha for months.

In May, the cordons were lifted, with the public once again able to access this settlement and popular beach an hour’s drive from downtown Auckland.

Article by stuff.co.nz

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