Dolomite Point, Punakaiki is located along the southern stretch of the Great Coast Road between Westport and Greymouth on the West Coast of the South Island, and is nestled within the stunning broadleaf and nikau coastal forest and the magnificent limestone landscape of the Paparoa National Park.
Through meaningful collaboration with tangata whenua and other stakeholders, the Dolomite Point Redevelopment Project (DPRP ) seeks to create an authentic and compelling visitor experience at Dolomite Point as the key gateway to the Pancake Rocks and the Paparoa National Park, whilst providing opportunities for economic growth of the West Coast region.
Three key objectives underpin the project: securing and and future-proofing the infrastructure and visitor facilities at Dolomite Point in accordance with best-practice; deepening natural heritage visitor immersion by considering and celebrating the natural environment in all redevelopment plans; and establishing a compelling cultural footprint and story-telling platform.
In addition, a series of landscape and built form objectives will ensure that redevelopment has regard to the natural environment. These are: integrating the development within the natural setting and avoiding sprawl; minimising the footprint and bulk of the redevelopment within the highly valued natural environment (including areas of significant vegetation); actively seeking ways in which the redevelopment can respond to, reflect and showcase the highly dynamic and natural coastal setting, including thorough forms and materials; and ensuring that the height of any building or structure does not dominate.
Aligning with the project vision and landscape and built form objectives, a broad scale concept masterplan has been developed to create a cohesive and comprehensive site design for the visitor centre. The development concentrates on locating proposed key features on existing cleared land where possible to avoid the need for further degradation of the native forest and nikau trees and arranging walkways and boardwalks around the doline (sinkhole) karst features.
Existing car park areas have been expanded at either end of the development acting as bookmarks, with the proposed Visitor Centre as the jewel in the middle. This new tourist facility will be an iconic building with forms and materials derived from the surrounding landscape.
The building will provide a space to share a range of stories, including local Maori creation stories, information on the limestone karst landscape unique to the area, and reference the Great Coast Road Journey.
New walkways and boardwalks, as well as a new road underpass, will provide safe access to existing features (notably the Pancake Rocks) and new attractions, such as the proposed viewing platform/ lookout located up the hill at the rear of the development.
Key features of the concept masterplan and imagery include:
• Built features – Visitor Centre, toilet block, pedestrian shelters, and car parking.
• Pedestrian connections – Promenade, road underpass, walkways and boardwalks.
• Public spaces – Courtyard, picnic lawn and viewing platform/lookout.
The project is strategically aligned with the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) imperative to enhance economic opportunities and employment, enable and facilitate potential of Maori, encourage social interaction and foster community resilience.
Boffa Miskell consultants worked with the client's project manager to develop and deliver a concept masterplan for the site in a very short, four-week timeframe. This included contracting and managing sub-consultants to deliver a project that considered traffic engineering and overall cost for the PGF funding bid.
|Client||Department of Conservation|
|Project team||Katie Chilton|
|Project date||2018 - ongoing|