Looking for the go-to place for a swim, stroll or picnic? Not only is Memorial Park one of Palmy's signature summer hotspots, but it once played a significant role in our city's early development.
Our poppy themed playground, free splashpad and paddling pool make Memorial Park the go-to spot for your whānau on a hot summer day.
The playgrounds suit all ages and feature climbing tubes, slides, ramps, swings, balancing balls and ropes, climbing walls and fall nets.
The toddler playground has a slide, bridge and tunnel. Both playgrounds feature large poppies coming out of the structures to draw on the park's history and provide shade.
Large ramps around the fort mean everyone can play together.
The splashpad has separate areas for babies, toddlers and older children.
Under-fives are physically separated from the older kids' area by the main footpath, and they also have a fenced barrier to keep them safe. Within this area there is a smaller section for babies.
Our all-ages area includes the southern hemisphere's only free supersoaker - a giant bucket that tips water.
The fenced-in paddling pool sits next to the splashpad for easy access.
The pool and splashpad are open in summer between 10am and 9pm.
Memorial Park is also home to a duck pond and a great shaded picnic area, a skate rink and sportsgrounds.
The park has toilets, changing rooms and picnic tables scattered around the park.
Memorial Park is a dog-free zone.
Changing room upgrade
We are making use of the quiet winter period to upgrade the changing rooms at the Memorial Park playground.
Our contractors started work in July and expect to finish the job in November.
The upgrade will not affect facilities at the playing grounds, and the field will remain open for the duration of construction. The changing rooms at the playground will be closed during construction. This means they’ll be ready by summer for those who enjoy using the park’s water features.
The new changing rooms will have:
- 6 unisex changing rooms
- 2 family change rooms
- 1 assisted change room with a toilet
- 2 accessible toilets
History of Memorial Park
Memorial Park is located on Napier Road, near the eastern edge of Palmy, in a former quarry that was excavated to provide gravel for the Palmerston North to Napier Railway that once ran alongside the main road.
The Terrace End railway station stood where the now-upper car park, though this was demolished when the railway was relocated to the north side of the city in the 1960s.
The Fitzroy Street entrance features the Workers' Memorial which was erected in 2011. Each year on 28 April, an event is sponsored by Unions Manawatū where a cross-section of community groups remember those killed, injured or made ill at work.
The park has a strong connection to our wartime history, and remembrance is a key value. The play areas have been set out to loosely follow the ANZAC Poppy symbol.
In remembering our fallen soldiers, the New Zealand Defence Force donated in 2019 an M101A1 105mm howitzer that was developed by the United States during World War II. The light field gun could fire shells up to 11 kilometres and also served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars as well.
Our journey to redeveloping Memorial Park
We asked you in 2016 what you wanted to see at Memorial Park. You told us your key values were:
- WWII and Historical Memory
- Family and Social
- Safety and Accessibility
- Sport and Active Recreation
Although stakeholders considered the historical associations to be important, the public respondents had greater interest in the actual facilities and activities that could be undertaken at the park. Overall family, socialisation and play (especially water fun) were the three most popular values people held for Memorial Park. It is a place where people come to swim, to stroll and to picnic.
Memorial Park, Main Street, Terrace End 4410 View Map