Interested in booking the amphitheatre for your next concert, function, or event?
Please phone Shona on 07 5524423 or 027 4973400
22 YEARS IN THE MAKING
Where it started
The amphitheatre was first visualised by Shirley Sparks and her family when they looked at the old quarry and dreamed of turning it into a park. The original old track up the hill came to an open area backed by cliff faces and nestled into the hill. When work on the park started in 1997, it became known as the amphitheatre and one of the first improvements was the formation of grass slopes around a central flat circle that could serve as a stage.
A space for all events
In that form, the amphitheatre was used for many different things. Carol concerts were held there, and some major events, like a choral version of The Sound of Music, variety concerts with local performers, and an Animal Blessing Day. Te Puna School held a fund-raising concert with Malvina Major as the star of the show. How wonderful that was on a moonlit night. Weddings have been held there and children have enjoyed rolling down the slopes. Over the years numerous performers have taken part in QuarryFest festival days that included all day entertainment in the Amphitheatre.
Ideas, ideas, ideas
But from the very beginning, the idea was to build terraced seating with ancient Greek theatres in mind. Surveying was done and a concept drawn, funding applied for. That application was turned down and when the person critical to the idea left the quarry park committee, it went into the “too hard basket” for a lot of years.
Putting a plan into action
Eventually the terrace idea re-emerged, particularly as using the slopes for audience seating was a rather uncomfortable option. Many older people would bring their folding chairs and crowd onto the narrow flat area at the top of the slopes. There had to be a better way. After several years in the wilderness with an idea that didn’t have a plan and inspections by various possible plan makers and builders who either weren’t really interested or put it in their “too hard basket”, the project was going nowhere. Then at last a designer drew a plan and a landscaper was keen to do the job. Three funding sources were contacted and at a meeting held on site, they worked out how it could be funded and there was general enthusiasm for the project.
A sight to be seen
Completed at the end of 2019, the result can be seen today – a beautiful terraced theatre just begging to be used. Unfortunately, Covid-19 meant promotion of the venue and use of it was put on hold. QuarryFest and other events were cancelled.
Ready and waiting
But now the Quarry Amphitheatre is ready and waiting. Please phone Shona on 07 5524423 or 027 4973400 if you are interested in putting on a concert, a function or an event. We’d love to hear from you.