Tidal stairs prove immensely popular

A snapshot of the tidal stairs over Easter Weekend. Photo: Victoria Goldsbro.

There were naysayers right from the start – but the completed tidal stairs are a roaring success.

Even as winter approaches, kids have been making the most of the redesigned waterfront, braving the chilly waters for a holiday swim (or bomb).

Last weekend's Jazz Festival attracted thousands to The Strand, many of whom wandered across the train tracks to check out the steps.

Victoria Goldsbro has been following the waterfront development since work on the tidal stairs began, and brought her family in specifically to check them out.

“We live in Papamoa, but we quite often come to The Strand as a destination. In the last few years they've really done it up. They do this kind of thing really well in Australia, so it feels like we're catching up with them in that regard.”

Based on the reactions of other people, she thinks the stairs will be great drawcard for the city.

“There were heaps of kids jumping off the pier, and all the people talking around us were really positive about it.”

Having a bomb competition. Photo: Ben Haarmann.

Tauranga City Council parks and recreation manager Mark Smith says the public reception to the tidal stairs has so far been overwhelmingly positive.

“You only have to go down to The Strand at lunchtime on a sunny day to see how many people already love the space. Every day you can see families paddling, workers in the CBD having lunch, and teenagers jumping off the bombing platform. It's fantastic.”

He says the reaction on social media has been especially significant, with people arranging via the council's Facebook page to go down and jump off the bombing platform, and posting photos of their waterfront experiences.

“Planning is underway for an opening event and ceremony on the waterfront, at 12pm on Saturday, May 6, in collaboration with Paradox Street Art Festival,” he adds.

“The event is free, and attendees will be able to enjoy an autumnal dip at the new tidal stairs, join in Tauranga's first Official Bomb Competition off the new pier, warm up with street food, listen to live music, and watch dragon boating.”

People can register for the bomb competition here.

Photo: Tauranga City Council.


Murray Guy,

Posted on 29-04-2017 10:04 | By R. Bell

as usual you try ( badly) to lay the foundation for your next tilt at Council. This initiative is all about council catering to the needs and enjoyment of all. Not just the select few. In the process it adds to the aesthetics of the reclamation in general. Chill out a bit Murray, forget the budget for once and, ENJOY, like the rest of us, well most of us . Robin Bell.

Extra facilities

Posted on 28-04-2017 23:09 | By Papamoaner

If the indicated thus far popularity endures, the addition of shade, changing facilities etc., would make good sense. No matter what the perceived original intentions were, this is good for Tauranga. A classic example of "suck it and see"

What measure 'a roaring success'?

Posted on 28-04-2017 11:31 | By Murray.Guy

"There were naysayers right from the start but the completed tidal stairs are a roaring success," writes Ryan. A few days of sunshine and a new attraction being well used 'does not' equate to a roaring success. Ryan chooses to forget the intent, purpose of the $3million spend up, being, an investment in the waterfront to enhance the economic viability of the CBD. Given a $3 million budget and the opportunity to meaningfully contribute, I suspect the CBD businesses would have come up with a number of options that better attract a 'spending public' to their business. Memorial Park has no shade and a similar investment would have secured better outcomes. Yes, it was great to see people in numbers having fun in the sun, BUT that was not the primary purpose. By the way, where are the changing / shower facilities? I captured the fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spuot3N5g4g

@the forum

Posted on 24-04-2017 18:16 | By Papamoaner

If I remember correctly, most of the earlier naysayers were rabbitting on about "safety" Today's buzzword, second only to "Icon"Kids need to get out into the mountains and the sea, and the outdoors in general. These character-building pursuits are not only immensely exciting for the kids, but they are also an important part of growing into adults of substance. Otherwise they just become lost potential, wasted opportunity, and aimlessly lost due to city boredom, prisoners of "helicopter parents"No wonder the poor buggers resort to glue sniffing. Never Mind Colleen, I have good news for you - they have cotton wool on a special down at the 2 dollar shop this week.


Posted on 24-04-2017 12:58 | By NZer

Has any other part of the harbour where people can swim got a lifeguard? No? I wonder why. Maybe because people have common sense???

Great to see...

Posted on 24-04-2017 11:49 | By Ammonite

... families enjoying themselves and Council catering for the majority not the handful of naysayers.


Posted on 24-04-2017 10:32 | By Colleen Spiro

The naysayers, of which I was one, with genuine concerns about safety, are still here...It is VERY EARLY DAYS and I noticed a LIFEGUARD over Easter....I have just come back from Oz, Southbank to be exact, where they have a PERMANANT lifeguard lol on a man made beach...no stairs to speak of.....I am genuinely hoping there will be no accidents, but remember how long the fountain at Memorial Park has been there and they nearly roped it off, because one parent found it difficult to keep their eyes on all children, at all times...

What a refreshing thread,

Posted on 24-04-2017 10:17 | By R. Bell

of positive comments. Almost as good as the steps themselves. Great to see . The kids are gonna love them for years to come . Robin Bell.


Posted on 24-04-2017 08:06 | By dookie

This is awesome, good to see so many people down there.


Posted on 23-04-2017 16:17 | By jeancraven@kinect.co.nz

Fantastic to see so many people enjoying them - my grandchildren have been in the water twice and jumped off the pier - congratulations.

Roaring success

Posted on 23-04-2017 16:10 | By Papamoaner

The article says it's a roaring success. Great! We knew it would be. So where are the roaring naysayers? I call them the long loud silence. Negative thinkers that lack vision. Congratulations on a splendid initiative.

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