Bluebridge ferry passengers can indulge their skate addiction at both ends of their Cook Strait crossing – although skating isn’t allowed on board for obvious reasons!
The Waitangi Skate Park on Wellington’s waterfront features bowls, half pipes and various things to grind, slide and roll along. It’s an easy skate along smooth asphalt from the Bluebridge terminal and right on the edge of the Wellington CBD. The downside of it being so handy is that it can get very crowded. Show respect and wait your turn, watch out for kids, and everybody’s happy.
On the other side of Cook Strait is the slightly less impressive Picton Skatepark. While not as feature-rich as parks in the big city, it offers enough fun and challenges to make it a great place to pass the time while you wait for your ferry to depart.
If your travels take you to Auckland – and let’s face it, they probably will – you’ll discover the city’s best skatepark simply by driving along the motorway. Victoria Skatepark is a relatively recent addition to the skateable landscape of Auckland. It replaced a dilapidated old collection of ramps that used to be there, when the new Victoria Tunnel was constructed.
These days it’s a state of the art network of bowls, ramps, pipes and boxes. Like its Wellington inner city counterpart, crowds are its main downside. But choose your time wisely and you’ll find a park that’s well worth planning a day in Auckland around.
For the best example of skatepark excellence cropping up in our rural backblocks, you can’t go past the town of Reefton. A historic gold-mining town of around 1000 people, Reefton is the first town you hit as you approach the West Coast from Lewis Pass.
It’s known for being the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to offer public electricity – before London and New York! But among the skating community it’s better known for having the best small-town skatepark anyone’s ever seen. Anywhere.
Featuring a full Hollywood bowl and a dazzling arrangement of ramps, pipes, rails and boxes, it’s like something you’d expect to find in a big city with a huge skating population. As it stands, you’re more likely to find yourself sharing the park with a couple of young scooter rats. And rather than urban jungle, you’ll look out on actual jungle – well, West Coast rainforest. There’s even a beautiful river alongside the park for keeping fresh between hot summer skate sessions.
To plan your New Zealand travels around skatepark visits, check out skateparkhunter.com
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