Wynyard Quarter and North Wharf

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Took the fam down to the recently unveiled Wynyard Quarter redevelopment on the weekend, and for the first time in so, so long, I felt a little swell of civic pride. At long last, some of the city’s commercial waterfront is able to be utilised as a public space. The old silo towers have been kept, and light up at night to create a striking landmark; there’s a pretty decent kids’ playground, a lovely long walk right through to The Viaduct via the new footbridge over the water, and a handful of places to get fed and watered en route in the North Wharf development.

And boy were those places busy – Jack Tar, Urban Turban, Rushworth and The Conservatory. So busy we couldn’t get a table without standing and waiting for at least 20 minutes – no mean feat with a whining toddler and a baby needing a feed. Staff seemed unable to cope with the crowds and there was no system in place for allocating tables to those waiting. A shame. We had walked from here through to Britomart with the idea being we would stop for a late lunch and a drink somewhere on North Wharf on the way back. Lunch at North Wharf will have to wait, because we couldn’t – we nipped up the road to The Drake which was quiet and served us some really good pub nosh. But I am keen to return to the ‘new’ waterfront to explore the food options again, very soon. When the crowds have died down a bit.

There are some pretty vintage fishing boats moored down there, and you know what would be really cool? A fishing boat that doubles as a takeaway cafe. I’m thinking of those boats on the Bosphorus, in Istanbul, serving up fresh fish kebabs, the fishermen/chefs passing kebabs and change back between swells. Straight from the source.

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