What is the secret of Wynyard Quarter’s popularity?

Bikeman rickshaws spend a lot of time picking up people from Wynyard Quarter so I thought I would explore some of the reasons why this is such a popular area.

 There are Strange water features that children and dogs love

In a city that often values practicality over art Wynyard Quarter has some refreshing and interactive things to do. There is a shallow gutter over the Wynyard bridge that is always full of water and for quite a while I thought this was some kind of design mistake. Like they couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the water. Then I realised that it is for children to play in. And it’s therefore quite an innovative move to have an unexplained modest water feature that could be mistaken for a design flaw.

Another feature that children love is the cruise-ship style vent pipes in front of the restaurants. Kids are forever putting their heads into them and sending each other messages down the pipes. They seem to serve as dormant babysitters to children while the parents watch from their restaurant tables.

A selection of restaurants for all budgets

The selection of restaurants here, coming under the umbrella term ‘North Wharf’ ranges from average to incredible. Of particular note is Baduzzi. This Italian restaurant is renowned for their commitment to excellent customer service, which as we all know elevates the taste of food from excellent to exquisite.

There are a number of Bars here ranging from casual to more formal and because most of them offer terrace style outdoor tables it’s quite a good spot to sit and casually watch the boats loading and unloading fish and cars.

A playground that is also a piece of art

Further past the restaurants there more child oriented spaces with a very chlorinated pool with an interactive sculpture, a basketball court and the most interesting playground in Auckland.

This playground has an ocean theme, so of course the ground is sand and every piece of equipment has been lovingly fashioned into giant coral and enormous sea shells and Kina. Each of these pieces being more like interactive artwork so that the effect is that the running children are like fish swimming between the marine life. Well done Auckland. Well done for realising every playground doesn’t have to be identical.

Silo park the industrial wasteland birthing a creative wildness

Progressing Playground there is an area called Silo park. These empty grain, petrol and concrete silos are part of the industrial area that is slowly being turned into a useable space. Hopefully soon the remainder of the silos will be removed and turned into useful land. The current debate is whether this area should be residential and retail or just green spaces.

My favourite part of Silo park is the piano parked under one of the silo towers. Often walking through this area I would come across a random stranger making incredible music in the middle of this silo graveyard. This is truly a diamond in the sometimes charcoal paucity of creativity that is Auckalnd city. This remarkably creative addition to an area that is so hygienically curated made me feel immediately enamoured to this new space. The joy of enabling anyone to play a piano in public makes me feel like this is a great place to visit. Although recently I can’t find the piano. It seems to have been removed. Perhaps it was damaged. Perhaps it was upsetting some of the billionaires who park their yachts next to it. Perhaps it was too creative and unpredictable.

A date night at the local swimming hole

At the other end of Wynyard quarter there is an equally unpredictable activity. The swimming area. Boasting the best view of Auckland city, this is truly the best place to park a pedicab when you have a couple on a date on the bike. There are enormous concrete steps steps that lead down to a roped-off swimming area, tourists by the dozen congregate here and Teenagers are doing bombs and diving off the steps into the green harbour water that seems surprisingly clean despite all the boat activity. The Sky Tower actually looks impressive here, framed by the city and the sun going over towards the west.

This is a good spot, worthy of time spent here. Asides from the missing piano, the one addition I would like to see is a rotunda for bands to play in. This could be a way to bring in a larger and more diverse community to the area

Posted on July 1, 2016 in Auckland Culture

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