The popularity of the Friendly Bay children's playground at
Oamaru Harbour is expected to soar this year, with the
installation of more rides and attractions.
The steampunk-themed playground, which had been developed as
part of the Waitaki District Council's harbour development
strategy, was last year named in a residents survey as the
district's most used facility, and council corporate services
manager Carolyn Carter said although a host of swings, rides
and climbing frames had already been installed, more was to
A basketball practice court, some steampunk-themed barbecues
and a rocket ship, and a Victorian sloop were also due to be
installed this year, she said.
''The harbour is being rejuvenated to be a people-friendly
place, in accord with the harbour development strategy.
The farmers market, the vibrant Victorian precinct and
renewed use in development in the harbour has been enhanced
by the work done by council in the area, the activity with
the regular train rides and penny-farthing rides and our
wonderful restored rail bridge.
''Oamaru is now becoming a destination with more to offer the
tourist and it is also more enjoyable for locals who are now
coming down to a rejuvenated harbour and a playground that is
a lot more fun than the plastic, primary colour, overly safe
and routine playgrounds that have been a feature in the last
She said although a playground ''designed with a bunch of
blokes and a steampunk artist'' was never going to be
mundane, she had also been thrilled by the volunteers and
local businesses who had been prepared ''to go the extra
mile'' to ensure the playground became an attraction the
whole town could be proud of.
''The result is a fantasy playground that demonstrates the
talent of our local artists and manufacturers, as well as the
quality of our community and their willingness to get
Between June 2011 and June 2012, the council spent $580,000
on the playground, but Mrs Carter said further work would be
paid for using budget carried forward from last year.