Celebration planned for the playground opening at The Esplanade 12 June 2019 We're looking to a date in mid-July to celebrate the official opening of the upgraded playground in Whitianga, along with the completion of Stage 2 of the town centre upgrade. The playground is nearing completion, with the water-play section all done. Our contractors are now finishing the installation of the timber rail fencing around the playground, along with a new carousel and the double lollipop swing.The new timber boat that is replacing the Jolly Roger has been moored in place and is just getting some final touches. The lawn areas is being laid with ready-lawn, while the gardens surrounding the playground are being planted with shrubs and trees. Other work this week includes pouring the remaining concrete along the plaza at Taylors Mistake and finishing the construction of the hoggin path from the plaza down to the waterfront. Meanwhile the landscaping works have finished at the trailer parking area. Our contractor Dempsey Wood will continue on with the construction of the timber fence barriers along the hoggin path next week, followed by the installation of timber seats and placement of rock boulder barriers. "Everything is coming together really well and we're looking forward to celebrating this final part of the project with the community," says Andrew Boden our project manager. Stage Two of the Whitianga Town Centre upgrade has involved creating a new playground and footpath at The Esplanade, and improvements to the lower end of Taylors Mistake, which included the beautification of the stream edge of Carina Creek. Stage One, which was completed last year involved the redevelopment of a large section of the main street, Albert St. On Albert St, there is currently a large commercial property up for sale. If you are interested in taking a look click here. For more information on the Town Centre upgrade visit the project page. Take a Cathedral Cove Cruise on the Glass Bottom Boat during your next holiday Each week we catch up with local businesses affected by the town centre upgrade. This week, we spoke to Hayley Jones, owner of The Glass Bottom Boat in Whitianga. Hayley and husband Mark have been working in eco-tourism for over 15 years around the world. Whitianga is somewhere they like to call home and their business, like them, is focused on having fun with friends. The Glass Bottom Boat in Whitianga is the only tour to explore above and below the ocean's surface. They offer a one of a kind experience that is a must do on the Coromandel Peninsula. "We're also only two companies in the Coromandel that have a mammal watch permit and we share all their information with DOC and Orca Research Trust," says Hayley. Their business at 16 Monk Street has a good view of what's happening down towards the Esplanade where the latest upgrade work is taking place. "The Esplanade is looking amazing, the works that have gone on have made the area much safer for pedestrians," Hayley says. “The new footpath is so smooth and the area will be something everyone in the town will benefit from," she says. If you are keen on booking with Hayley and the team for a Glass Bottom boat experience (which is as much fun in winter as in summer) click here.