Splash Planet is proving a hot-ticket holiday destination this summer, and shaping up to have its busiest season ever.
Always a popular attraction, about 79,000 visitors have been through the gates since it opened in November last year, and attendance for the whole season looks set to match if not better the previous record visitor tally of more than 100,000 in 2020/21.
Hastings District Council aquatics sports and recreation manager Tom Page said that following the disruptions caused by COVID, which forced the facility’s early closure in March 2020, and then staff shortages that meant weekend openings had to be cut short in February 2023, it was great to be able to make the most of the perfect summer conditions to date.
“About 59 per cent of our visitors have come from outside the region – both national and international – which shows the appeal of this facility, which is also a springboard to showcase what else our district and region has to offer.”
Within New Zealand, Auckland was the region where the most visitors came from, closely followed by Wellington and Manawatu/Whanganui.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said she spoke to visitors hailing from Auckland to Whangarei, Sydney and Christchurch when she visited the facility on New Year’s Eve.
“The new electric go-karts and the electric bumper boats, along with the train dropping people off at all the attractions, were major hits with those I spoke to.
“It’s wonderful to have our region well and truly open for summer and to have our local people, as well as those from further afield, enjoying spending time in Heretaunga Hastings.”
This season’s opening was also a chance to reveal the results of the $2.4m upgrade programme undertaken by Council over the past year.
This included the relocation of the flying fox and new jungle jeep track to the front area of the park, where new playground equipment had been installed.
A major rebuild and redesign of the pirate pool playground took place, and in the second week of January new electric go-karts arrived, enhancing this ever-popular feature of the park.
People had also taken up the recommendation to buy tickets online in order to avoid queues and help manage visitor numbers to keep within the 3000-person daily limit, said Mr Page.
“The amount of people pre-purchasing tickets online has grown with about half buying their passes this way this season compared to about 20 per cent online sales last season.”
Splash Planet will be open seven days a week, from 10am to 5.30pm until February 11, after which time it will be open weekends only from February 12 to April 7.
Press release: Hastings District Council