One of the highlights of the 2011 Rugby World Cup (other than New Zealand winning of course), was the opening of Wynyard Quarter, a globally recognised example of good urban redevelopment. An area ten minutes walk from the CBD originally home to a motley collection of industrial buildings has been transformed into a vibrant place home to restaurants, offices, apartments, playgrounds and parks.
Most people walk to Wynyard Quarter through Viaduct Harbour, an area similarly transformed for the hosting of the American’s Cup in 2000. The signature ASB Building is in the centre below, looking from the Viaduct. Colourful lines (through a car park, very Kiwi!) guide you toward Wynyard, past shipping containers converted into a free book exchange and seating area.
The game change was the opening of a bridge spanning the harbour, providing easy access to Wynyard Quarter, while still allowing boats through.
The views back toward the CBD, with the distinctive Skytower on the right, are pretty special at any time of day.
Immediately to the right after crossing the bridge is the curvy if somewhat underused ANZ Viaduct Events Centre.
The industrial use of the area continues with the tank farm beyond North Wharf, though the plan is to convert to parkland in the future, post a pretty significant clean up exercise!
North Wharf itself is the heart of the restaurant scene, housed in converted sheds along the waterfront, catching the sun all day, with the ever present ASB Building behind.
The visitor centre is made of a pretty funky collection of shipping containers.
A recent addition are scenic sea plane flights.
The Sealink ferry heads over to Great Barrier Island, about four hours away.
The ASB Waterfront Theatre opens later this year and will be the new home of the Auckland Theatre Company
The anchor office tenant of Wynyard Quarter is the huge new home of the ASB bank, certainly the flashiest building in the area.