The fountain was gifted to the city in 1973 by local resident, Hugh Carter. Originally named the "Oriental Bay Fountain" it was changed to the “Carter Fountain” in honour of its benefactor who unfortunately drowned just days after it was installed.
Many urban legends surround the timings of the fountain but the truth is not quite as strange as the fiction with set hours of operation, and a wind sensor which shuts it down if the wind is at 10 knots or higher. Hours of operation are:
- Monday to Thursday: 7.30am - 9am, Midday - 2pm, 4.30pm - 6pm, 7.30pm - 10.30pm
- Friday: 7.30am - 9am, Midday - 2pm, 4.30pm - 6pm, 7.30pm - 11pm
- Saturday & Sunday: 8.30am - 4.30pm, 7pm - 11pm
In 2004, the Council shipped in 22,000 tonnes of sand from Golden Bay to enlarge the beach areas of Oriental Bay, and the Freyberg Beach grass area was developed with a modern playground introduced. The Council project won numerous awards including The Supreme Award – New Zealand Institute of Landscape and Architects, and an INNOVATE NZ Gold Award.
Oriental Bay is now a bustling area with a population of 1,308 recorded in 2013, a popular destination for beach lovers and fitness fanatics, and the place to be for major events like the Sky Show – so it’s obviously a lot more appealing than when Mr George Duppa turned up on its fair shores!
Freyberg Pool mural
Up until 2017, the front of the Freyberg Pool and Fitness Centre featured a mural called 'Portal' by Victor Berezovsky.
'Portal' was painted in 2008 and celebrated the pool's 1960s Modern Movement design and architectural features, and paid homage to the decade.
The mural also highlighted one of the building's unique features - the portal windows. Comprising of simple red, blue and ochre geometric shapes, the design suggested swimming lanes, swimmers and synchronised swimmers.
Images courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library and Francis Guerin. View scenes of Oriental Parade as they are today - and as they were then, in our gallery below.