Karanga Plaza Tidal Steps swimming improvements

2024

  • Wynyard Quarter
  • Approved

Tidal Steps swimming improvements design approved

Eke Panuku is improving health and safety and access to the city centre waterfront.

Karanga Tidal Steps Swim Fac

The Karanga Plaza Tidal Steps, in the Viaduct Basin, is a popular place for people to jump into the water from the steps and wharf edge. After a full health and safety review, the Eke Panuku Board has approved the design for a bespoke jumping platform to make this unique space safer for users. At the Mayor’s request we will also include a new lap swimming facility in the area, as a pilot.

This will create a multi-purpose swimming area, to provide further opportunities for Aucklanders to safely connect with and enjoy the city centre waterfront.

The area will be enclosed by pontoons, to protect and contain swimmers and provide a visual and physical barrier for boats operating in the viaduct channel.

We hope to have the expanded swimming area open by the end of this calendar year, in time for summer.

 

Artist’s impression of the jumping platform area at the Karanga Plaza Tidal Steps.

Artist’s impression of the expanded swimming area at the Karanga Plaza Tidal Steps.

The project

The Mayoral Proposal on Auckland Council's Draft Long-term Plan 2024-2034 includes provision to progress a waterfront swimming pool. Eke Panuku has been working with the Mayor’s office to investigate a potential lap swimming facility in the city centre harbour.

The lap swimming area would operate initially as a pilot project. This will allow real-time testing of the concept, location, structure and operational requirements. The results will inform the viability of providing a more permanent lap swimming area in the waterfront over time.

Having considered the options, the best location for the pilot is at the Karanga Plaza Tidal Steps in the Viaduct Basin, which is already a popular location for swimming. This location is also on the Swim Safe Website and water quality is regularly monitored and tested.

Eke Panuku had been working through plans to improve the health and safety for swimmers at the Karanga Plaza Tidal Steps by adding a dedicated jumping platform, so expanding the area to enable lap swimming makes good sense.

The new and expanded facilities will include:

  • a larger area for swimmers, enclosed by floating pontoons
  • a dedicated jumping platform with balustrades and a grab rail
  • approximately four 33m long swimming lanes, with lane ropes and ladders for access
  • a range of safety improvements
  • changing sheds and lockers in Karanga Plaza (toilets are already provided).

The swimming area will be free to use, and open during daylight hours only (dawn to dusk).

The idea is to provide a low cost, lightweight structure to test the appeal of lap swimming, and Eke Panuku will re-use existing pontoons to keep costs down.

Pontoons and balustrades will separate swimmers from the Viaduct Harbour navigation channel, which is an important safety feature.

The project team is working through design, consenting and safety in design matters, with a goal to have the new swimming area open by the end of this calendar year, in time for summer.

This project will build on Eke Panuku’s ongoing efforts to open up the city centre waterfront to Aucklanders. The longer-term vision is to include a harbour pool as part of our work to revitalise Wynyard Point through the Te Ara Tukutuku project, so this swimming area will provide a way to test and refine the appeal of lap swimming in the harbour.

The swimming area will be the catalyst to improve water quality in the Jellicoe Harbour, which will have a long-term benefit and build on our efforts to improve the mauri of Te Waitematā.

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