Pohutukawa are radiating red and it’s the season for sun, sand and surf. This summer, there’s no better place to experience the natural beauty of our city than along the new Marine Parade coastal pathway in Mount Maunganui.
The pathway, which is located between Hopukiore (Mount Drury Reserve) and Oceanbeach Road, was officially blessed this morning at an opening attended by Tauranga City Council Commissioners, Anne Tolley and Shad Rolleston, members of local hapū Ngāi Tūkairangi and Ngāti Kuku, project partners and other guests.
The three-kilometre pathway curves alongside the beach and provides many opportunities for locals and visitors to embrace this stunning section of coastline.
“Whether you’re taking an evening stroll, having a beachside picnic or enjoying the views over the moana (ocean) and nearby motu (islands), the Marine Parade pathway is the ideal location to soak up all that summer has to offer,” says Commission Chair, Anne Tolley.
“Mount Maunganui is already home to one of New Zealand’s top scenic walks, with around a million visitors walking up or around Mauao each year. We anticipate the new Marine Parade coastal pathway will become a natural extension of this popular walk.”
At four metres wide, the pathway provides ample width for multiple users, who are all encouraged to share with care.
“In response to community feedback, we’ve ensured this is an accessible and inclusive space. The pathway has been designed for a diverse range of users – including pedestrians, cyclists, users of wheelchairs and mobility devices, skaters and scooter riders – to safely experience this wonderful environment together.”
Tauranga City Council is thankful for the support from the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment and the Port of Tauranga in helping to bring the Marine Parade pathway to life, says Commissioner Shad Rolleston.
“The Port’s contribution towards a new playground along Marine Parade will be enjoyed by children for years to come. The play space, which features equipment designed especially for younger children (under 10), is low in height so it blends in with the dunes and is designed to complement the Te Ngaio Reserve playground on the opposite side of Marine Parade.”
Other new amenities installed along the Marine Parade pathway include seven new barbeques, 15 bike stands, 12 picnic tables, 11 seats and multiple rubbish and recycling stations.
The Marine Parade pathway is a continuation of the existing Main Beach boardwalk, which was built in 1999. Made from a mix of concrete and timber surfaces, the new pathway was developed in partnership with local hapū Ngāi Tūkairangi and Ngāti Kuku. Designed by Boffa Miskell and built by Fulton Hogan, construction got underway in April 2023 and sections of the path have opened for the community to enjoy as the project has progressed.
While the majority of the pathway is open to the public, some additional finishing touches will be completed early in the New Year. Revegetation and dune restoration work along the pathway will continue throughout planting seasons over the next few years as more native species are reintroduced to the area.
The Marine Parade coastal pathway is part of a network of walkways and cycleways across Tauranga Moana which provide a healthy, environmentally friendly way to get around, as well as the opportunity to experience the city’s natural beauty.
Find out what else is happening in Mount Maunganui by visiting www.tauranga.govt.nz/mountprojects.
Members of the community enjoying the opening of the Marine Parade coastal pathway.