Wharf Street transformed in newly completed upgrade

19 April 2021


What started as a trialed shared space in 2015, attracting visitors, residents and a number of additional hospitality offerings to the street. In September 2019, Tauranga City Council approved the detailed design and the budget to commence the upgrade of Wharf Street. 

Officially being declared as a pedestrian mall in late 2020, and come to present day in 2021 Wharf Street has officially opened as a pedestrian-friendly street that has been designed to bring people together, to gather, relax and eat. 

Through a central clearway, it connects the city centre with the harbour, and the new lighting system, native planting as well as seats and bike racks are part of the Tauranga City Councils work to create a vibrant and successful city centre. 

The Wharf Street project implements the council's vision to create better spaces that put our people first and celebrate our unique cultural and natural identity. 

Tauranga City Council’s General Manager for Community Services, Gareth Wallis says people are enjoying the new environment day and night and what they’ve heard to date is very positive. 

“We’ve heard comments about the fresh look of the street, including more plants, extended dining areas and the limited vehicle access which make this a safe and enjoyable space. The new lighting system is also a standout feature, including artwork designed by master carver Whare Thompson. 

“The new event-friendly space has already proven to work well for community events. People enjoyed the Wharf Street festival and the street will again transform and come to life with the National Jazz Festival.” 

Gareth says that businesses have embraced the upgrade with improvements to outdoor furniture and offerings that have further added to the street appeal and improved customer experience. 

“The upgrade has been a catalyst for attracting new businesses to the street and also for rebranding opportunities.”

He says upgrading Wharf Street is part of council’s ongoing efforts to create inviting and people-friendly spaces within the city centre. 

“The pedestrian-friendly street has been designed to bring people together, to gather, relax and eat – a design that evolved through community engagement and ongoing conversations with Wharf Street businesses and property owners. 

“Upgrading Wharf Street has achieved many of the strategic outcomes envisioned, including putting people first, celebrating culture and heritage, attracting residents to the city centre through improved amenity and experiences, and helping businesses to thrive.” 

Just some of the businesses and eateries that reside on Wharf Street are:

  • Thai Thani 2

  • Crown and Badger

  • The Barrel Room

  • Arirang Sushi

  • Dumpling Delight

  • Dry Dock Café

  • Takara Japanese

  • Pho Vina

Words: Caitlin Houghton
Image: Supplied/Tauranga City Council