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Aotea Lagoon
Aotea Lagoon,Porirua,NZ from north-east (straightened).jpg
A view from the north-east: Pipitea miniature railway station across the lagoon, State Highway 1, North Island Main Trunk Railway and Porirua Harbour to the right.
Location North Island
Type artificial lagoon
Primary inflows Porirua Harbour and stormwater drains
Primary outflows Porirua Harbour
Basin countries New Zealand
Surface area 5 ha (12 acres)
Shore length1 732 m (2,402 ft)
Surface elevation sea level
Settlements Papakowhai
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Aotea Lagoon is an artificial lagoon surrounded by a 7-hectare (17-acre) public park in the Papakowhai suburb of Porirua, North Island, New Zealand. Aotea and two nearby lagoons were created when major arterial transport links were realigned from the natural coastline to land reclaimed from Porirua Harbour.

Hydrology

The lagoon is 5 hectares (12 acres) of seawater, connected to Porirua Harbour by a culvert under the model windmill. Stormwater drains empty into the lagoon, two in the east bank and a third in the south-east.

The lagoon's "water body receives limited flushing and aeration" and "little can be done to improve water quality without extensive engineering works." Poor water quality means swimming is prohibited.

History

The North Island Main Trunk railway and State Highway 1 used to run round three bays between Porirua and Paremata.

In the early 1960s, the railway was realigned to a causeway built between headlands at the mouth of Porirua Stream, Gear Homestead, present-day Thurso Grove and Brora Crescent. Cut off from the sea, the bays became lagoons.

To realign the highway, on the inland side of the railway, the lagoons were partly filled in with material from the Ministry of Works and Development's nearby earthworks.

The Ministry, Porirua City Council, Project Employment Programme and local service clubs turned the area around the middle lagoon into a public aquatic park that opened as Aotea Lagoon in 1980. Originally leased from the Crown, the park was taken over by the City Council in 1994.

Facilities

Plaque giving distance around Aotea Lagoon, Porirua, NZ
Plaque in the path giving the distance around Aotea Lagoon - 732 metres

The park's centrepiece is a path around the lagoon.

The Waitangirua Lions built a ¼ scale ridable miniature railway with an 833-metre (2,733 ft) loop track including two bridges and a tunnel. The train runs Sunday afternoon, weather permitting, from Pipitea Station south-west of the lagoon.

The park has lawns on three sides, some with barbecues. Other facilities from the north to south-east are adventure and toddlers' playgrounds, duck pond crossed by boardwalk, splash pad, island reached by bridge, Pétanque terrain and a rose garden.

Most people visit Aotea Lagoon for exercise or relaxation while children enjoy the playgrounds, feeding the ducks, riding bicycles and the train.

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