Interest grows in Te Awa Lakes adventure park and housing development

People want to buy homes or operate businesses from the Te Awa Lakes development, the Perry Group says. 

A plan for a water adventure park surrounded by housing, accommodation and a business zone is proving popular.

People are asking if they can buy a house or run a business at the Te Awa Lakes development in Horotiu, but the group behind it can't get started without approval from Hamilton City Council.

The Perry Group developed the billion-dollar idea for the former quarry, bordered by the Waikato River and the Waikato Expressway.

It plans to create a gateway into Hamilton, complete with hotels and food tourism, and near other attractions it hopes will pop up - such as waka tours.

But the Te Awa Lakes land is zoned for industrial use, so the Perry Group needs Hamilton City Council's approval to use it differently.

At a Sunday open day on the edge of the site, a couple of hundred people dropped in.

"Today there have been a lot of people interested in the housing component," Perry Group chief executive Richard Coventry said.

"But then we have also had a lot of interest from people wanting to run bars and cafes. Then you have other people more interested in the cable ski."

Te Awa Lakes
The group has a potential partner for the project, which it hopes to confirm once the plan change is over the line.

Construction could start in April if the private plan change is approved, Te Awa Lakes development director Lale Ieremia said, or sooner if a special housing area gets the tick.

The development will be on the path of the Te Awa Great River Ride cycleway and there are ideas brewing in the tourism zone, Ieremia said.

Iwi groups shared theirs at a tourism symposium and they include zip lining, waka tours, a Kīngitanga experience or an augmented reality Land Wars exhibit.

New Zealand currently doesn't have anything like the proposed Te Awa Lakes adventure park, Perry Group chair Simon Perry said.
The first example he thought of was America's Texas Ski Ranch.

It's described on its site as a "70-acre action sports paradise" where you can do everything from snowtubing to wakeboarding to paintball.

"Really clever design" will help separate the Waikato's adventure park and housing areas, Perry said, and there could be a couple of co-housing areas with some shared facilities.

The Perry Group also has ideas for about 14 hectares of land just across the Waikato Expressway, which falls inside the Waikato District Council boundary.

The group is working with district council and plans to make a formal submission to its district plan review, Ieremia said.


Te Awa Lakes