Riverside Park, Blenheim
Last Modified: 21-2-2019 8:26
The reserve includes an area of boardwalks and a pedestrian bridge and a concrete amphitheatre with beaver sculptures near the water in recognition of Blenheim's former name as 'The Beaver' or 'Beavertown' due to frequent flooding.
The Blenheim Riverside Railway runs from Braysahw Park to Riverside Park, and the River Queen boat departs from moorings in the park for cruises on the Opawa River.
The site of the current amphitheatre previously was a road bridge carrying the main traffic of State Highway One, however a new bridge was constructed in the present location to realign the road and improve traffic flow, with the previous bridge being demolished and the current recreational structures constructed in its place, completed in 2004.
The Riverside Park area has had various efforts to make it an attractive location over the years with bird aviaries on the river bank in the past, and even monkeys at one stage. More recently, a commercial operator applied to build an ale house on the river bank, however their application was declined. Subsequently the Marlborough District Council proposed a new library, art gallery and cultural precinct on the site to act as a focal point for the central business district of Blenheim, however due to public opposition to the proposal at a cost of over $23 million, the council agreed to defer plans for three years after seeking submissions on its long term plan in 2015.