Bigger, better Splash Palace hydroslide approved

An exciting upgrade of the hydroslide at Splash Palace has been approved by the Invercargill City Council.

The current hydroslide at the pool is at the end of its operational life. It has been a great slide and has been in use for more than 40 years – first at the Queens Park pools, and later at Splash Palace.

 Artist's impression of the hydroslide
Click the image for a larger version.

Council had already approved an upgrade of the existing slide through the Long-Term Plan. However staff  undertook more research and came up with a bigger, better plan which was approved by Council on Tuesday, 28 August 2018.

The new design incorporates three slides atop an 11m tower.

  • The first slide, with a sphere, is a raft slide with rafts for both one and two people. It is 101m long plus the sphere and is suitable for all ages.
  • The second slide is a body slide, 60m long and is also suitable for all ages.
  • The third slide is a more exciting body slide, pitch black inside, 75m long and while suitable for all ages will particularly attract those looking for a thrill!

The new plan sets Splash Palace apart from any other hydroslides in New Zealand. No other all-weather, all-day indoor slides start as high as 11.34m with as many slide options.

A facility of this scale will encourage people from outside the region to visit Invercargill, increasing visitors to the city and admissions to other facilities and destinations in the area.

Additionally, a fulltime hydroslide facility will provide Splash Palace the opportunity to become a venue of choice for many national aquatic sports and also non-aquatic sports looking for “visiting” team or tournament down-time, recreation or relaxation time. This will have a significant positive flow-on effect contributing to local accommodation providers, restaurants, businesses and other facilities.

As with the 2018 LTP development project, the new slide project will  require capital funding via loan.

The investment required to upgrade to this option from the LTP approved option, however, is incremental.

The project proposal has been developed on the basis that it would be a commissionable product on a user-pays model to service capital loan funding, ensuring the impact on ratepayers is minimised.

Further, the nature of the proposed facility helps to mitigate risk by being standalone.

At a glance:

  • Original slide redevelopment proposal estimated cost: $2,274,000
  • New, approved design estimated cost: $2,892,752
  • The user charge for an all-day pass is expected to be $6 on top of the admission fee.
  • The existing hydroslide was first installed at Queens Park pools in the 1970s, before it was moved to Splash Palace in 1996/97 – that makes it about 45 years old.