Timaru District Council Gets Playground Funding

NZCT has awarded $10,000 to the Timaru District Council to install a 3x3 metre rock climbing wall in Timaru’s Caroline Bay playground.

Spokesperson Alice Brice says, “This will form part of a challenging, Ninja-style obstacle course within the play space. The purpose of this area of our playground is to cater to older children, youth, and adults who will be able to both compete and challenge themselves.”

“The CPlay Committee (a voluntary community group overseen by the Timaru District Council (TDC)) is creating a stimulating, inclusive destination play space where the community are encouraged to think creatively, enhance their physical and mental wellbeing, connect with other people and to learn about our local history. The Playground will become a space where culture is shared and we can learn, connect and most importantly have fun!”

“The design includes around forty carefully chosen play pieces including bespoke elements that are uniquely related to Timaru. The space will have something for all ages and will be accessible to people of all abilities including those in wheelchairs, something very rare in existing playgrounds in our region. We have included space for family gatherings and our themes highlight elements of Timaru’s Māori and European heritage.”

“This playground will be easily accessible by our whole community as well as those visiting from outside our area, as it is open at all times and free to use. It will have a positive community feel and create another great reason to visit Caroline Bay and Timaru.”

“The support and funding of our project by NZCT is vital to help us achieve our community's vision for this space,” says Brice. “Our volunteers have had to raise nearly $2.5 million which is more than our original target of $2.2 million, due to inflation. We are a charitable cause contributing to community health, education, arts, culture, fitness, and wellbeing. We strive not only to be accessible to all ages and abilities, but also fun for everyone involved, by enabling sections of our community who currently miss out on these benefits to join in.”

“This playground will be easily accessible by our whole community as well as those visiting from outside our area, as it is open at all times and free to use. It will have a positive community feel and create another great reason to visit Caroline Bay and Timaru.”
Spokesperson Alice Brice

“We have several goals to enhance our community’s well being including -

- A fun and free experience for residents, visitors, and tourists.

- More challenging and imaginative play equipment to stimulate physical and mental activity.

- Safe, strong, and damage-resistant play equipment.

- More accessible equipment, surfacing and landscaping to suit a range of abilities and ages, including children and caregivers in wheelchairs.

- Better drainage (the area floods), seating, shelter and shade all year round.

- A safe space in which to learn about both European and Māori heritage, themed to Caroline Bay environment and history.

- Economic benefits as a flow-on effect from providing a high quality destination playground.”

Caroline Bay is the most widely known of all the parks in the Timaru District. When speaking to some from outside Canterbury about Timaru they will usually mention Caroline Bay, whereas locals will often refer to it as 'The Bay'. The beach is sheltered by the harbour breakwater and is the only sandy beach between Oamaru and Banks Peninsula. March 2014 saw Caroline Bay beach being voted the most popular beach in the South Island. Finishing in the top 10 entitled Caroline Bay to signs promoting its popularity.

Caroline Bay is the most popular outdoor events centre in South Canterbury as well as being a very popular recreation area. There is a destination sized children's playground, two free barbeques, outdoor gym equipment, large open spaces and plenty of infrastructure to support its various uses. There are also beach volleyball courts, mini golf, tennis courts, skate park and a small train offering rides. The various walks are enjoyed on a daily basis by many people and are also used for events such as triathlons

The Trevor Griffiths Rose Gardens includes a fine collection of Old Roses. These are a style of rose that is bred to have a shorter flatter flower, rather than the taller tapering flower of Modern Roses. This is largely as a result of the legacy of the late Trevor Griffiths, a local rosarian, who specialised in growing and writing about old roses.

Public artworks such as sculptures and a mural, along with items of historical significance make a visit to Caroline Bay a culture and educational experience. Ample car parking and indoor venues complement the outdoor venues to cater for many events. Caroline Bay also contributes to the landscape by giving world class views over its green area and across the sea to the distant mountains which are often snow covered in winter.

Caroline Bay is located between the Pacific Ocean and the Timaru Central Business District, being separated from the main shopping area by the South Island Main Trunk Railway lines. The Piazza straddles the railway line and provides access for pedestrians via a grand staircase or via a lift which is unique for a public park in this country. Caroline Bay covers an area of thirty-four hectares, excluding the beach itself.