New bridge for hot pools
ROBERT STEVEN O¯ tumuheke Hot Stream is closed to swimmers until June 20 while a replacement bridge is put in.
The popular Spa Park attraction is being developed by Taupo¯ District Council.
The new toilet block and changing room facilities is already in place. Contractors are now building a viewing platform on top of the block.
This week the existing bridge will be removed, leaving the bathing area clear of overlookers.
A wider, two-lane footbridge will be installed further up the stream.
Following this, terraced seating around the public bathing area will be put in.
The pools are being closed to swimmers because heavy machinery will be used to put in the new bridge.
Walkers on the Huka Falls track will still be able to continue through to the Spa Park car park via a signposted bypass route.
Taupo¯ District Council landscape architect Fraser Scott said erosion, safety, and rubbish issues will be addressed by the development.
These issues have increased as visitor numbers have risen, he said.
‘‘The new bathing area will be a real asset to the Taupo¯ community.’’
The natural hot springs are of cultural importance to local iwi as an historic bathing and meeting place, he said.
A rare species of native fern also grows alongside the stream.
Construction and landscaping will continue until July.