Work has started to upgrade Hannafords Wharf - a popular tourist gateway to the region as the connector for the 360 ferry between Auckland and Coromandel. The upgrade will improve access to the jetty and create a shelter area for charter boat and ferry passengers, which will give visitors a better tourism experience at the wharf. The work follows a successful bid to the Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund. Thames Coromandel District Council has matched the funding to ensure the work is finished by the end of June. Mayor Sandra Goudie said the community was grateful for the grant, which provides a much-needed boost for marine-related infrastructure within Coromandel Harbour. ‘‘It’s great to be getting stuck in on the project now and we look forward to enjoying the new area and experience for visitors arriving and departing from the wharf.’’ The first stage of the project involves relocating the concrete wharf pathway slightly inland to improve access to the wharf and help mitigate erosion. New solarpowered lighting, a retaining wall and provision for better stormwater management is also part of this phase of work.