New aerial footage shows all that remains of Waiwera’s formerly bustling hot pool complex is basically the ground it once stood on.
Piles of rubble and scrap are all that occupy the vacant site after months of demolition work to give prospective buyers a blank canvas to develop the site as they see fit.
After decades as a relaxing mecca for day-tripping Aucklanders, the park fell on hard times and has passed through a number of hands over recent years.
It took weeks to dismantle the towering slides that stood at the parks heart.
They have been sold off to a waterpark in Northland, while all that remains of the 26 swimming pools are the springs that fed them.
From the air, the destruction is even more evident, with only a brown patch of land and the remnants of the pale blue facade visible from high above.
The 1.73 hectare property, valued at $17.5 million in Auckland Council’s most recent valuation, has sat empty since 2018 when staff were laid off ahead of a supposed 3-month redevelopment.
But then-owner Russian billionaire Mikhail Khimich never followed through on plans for redevelopment, and eventually the property ended up in the hands of liquidators Urban Partners, who are now trying to make it as appealing as they can.
The company said earlier this year they were looking at having it ready for a spring sale.
According to a 2014 Metro Magazine article, Waiwera was bought from Māori for “26 blankets, four spades, one cask of tobacco, four double-barrelled guns, one bag of shot, four cartridge boxes, three casks of powder, five shirts, two cloth caps, one coat and £16 in cash.”
People continued to use the hot pools until 1875 when entrepreneur Robert Graham made them even more appealing, building bath houses and a large hotel for guests on the site.
As at time of publication, no sale date has been set.