You may have noticed the road works around our Queenstown office and library located on Gorge Road. Don’t worry, both are still open so pop in and see our friendly team! For information on the road works underway, please visit our Major Projects page.

CURRENT WATER RESTRICTIONS: Arrowtown is in Alert Level 2 (hand-held hosing to a minimum, no sprinklers or contracting takes at any time) and the rest of the district is in Level 1 (hand-held watering to a minimum, and outside watering only between the hours of 12.00am and 6.00am). Find out more: https://www.qldc.govt.nz/wai-wise 

Queenstown Town Centre Arterial Road

Construction of Stage 1 of the Queenstown Town Centre Arterial Road is underway.

About the project Town Centre traffic impacts What's the latest Plans and illustrations Frequently asked questions

About the project

  • The Queenstown Town Centre Arterial is a key enabling project for the Queenstown Town Centre.  Stage 1 will link Melbourne and Henry Streets, removing general traffic from Stanley Street and unlocking a range of other investments that will vastly improve the town centre experience for locals and visitors.  

    The need to look at an alternative roading solution to address traffic and congestion in the town centre has been identified in a number of strategies and studies since the early 2000s including the 2005 FutureLinks Transport and Parking Strategy, 2008 and 2014 Inner Links Study and 2017 Queenstown Town Centre Masterplan Town Centre Arterials indicative business case.  All of these strategies and studies have been subject to community engagement, highlighting that this is a project that already has a reasonably high profile across the district.  

    The full route is made up of three stages:

    • Stage 1: Melbourne / Henry Street (construction starts on 27 September)

    • Stage 2: Gorge Road to Hay Street

    • Stage 3: Hay Street to One Mile Roundabout

    The project was granted consent under the new COVID-19 (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020.   Full details of this process, including the decision and associated reports, can be found on the Environmental Protection Authority website:  www.epa.govt.nz/fast-track-consenting/listed-projects/queenstown-arterials-project/ 

    Stage 1 is jointly funded by the Government's shovel ready fund ($50m) and QLDC ($15m).

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  • This part of the project is not currently funded for construction.

    A Community Liaison Group has been set up and will meet for the first time later in March. The purpose of this group is to share updates and invite feedback as we progress detailed design for stages 2 and 3 of the new road.  

    Stage 2 – Gorge Road to Hay Street: Further work on the design is underway, including a focus on providing an active travel connection down Man Street.   

    Stage 3 – Hay Street to One Mile: Works associated with the Lakeview project (Hay Street to Glasgow Street) have been progressed into construction.  

    Further design work for Glasgow Street down to and including a new roundabout at One Mile will be considered early next year. 

    If you have any questions about stages 2 and 3 of the Town Centre Arterial Road, please contact our Transport Strategy Manager, Tony Pickard via email: tony.pickard@qldc.govt.nz

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  • A project to build an Arterial Road around the Queenstown Town Centre has been under discussion since the early 2000s when Council released the FutureLinks Strategy for community engagement. 

    Since  then it has been part of various transport strategies and most recently part of the Queenstown Town Centre Masterplan and a detailed business case for transport improvements all the way from Ladies Mile, through Frankton  and into and around Queenstown Town Centre.  

    View the Council's existing transport strategies here

    View information about the Frankton to Queenstown detailed business case here 

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  • The full recommended Town Centre Arterial route is not without its challenges.   

    Stage 2 will involve the demolition of the existing Queenstown Memorial Centre facility.

    The Memorial Centre is part of the fabric of the performing arts and returned services community and the Council is committed to proactively working together on a solution for a replacement facility.  

    It is currently a proposed condition of the designation that the Memorial Centre cannot be demolished (effectively Stage 2 of the road cannot be constructed) until Council has, through its Ten Year Plan process, and after further consultation with users, confirmed a timeframe, funding and programme for the construction of new facilities.

    The Council will be engaging with existing users of the facilities soon.   

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Town Centre traffic impacts

Check out a map showing the road closures and disruptions due to ongoing upgrades in the Queenstown Town Centre.   This map is updated weekly by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.


What's the latest?

Gorge Road closure

We’re completely rebuilding a section of Gorge Road and all the connecting roads – while keeping all properties connected to underground services. That means carefully working around existing pipes under the ground – and those pipes are old, fragile and not always where expected. The work is intricate and slow, taking approximately twice as long than if we were laying new services in a new subdivision.

To complete this work as quickly and safely as possible, we will be closing a section of Gorge Road, between Stanley Street and Weaver Street. This closure will see the following work completed:

Lay all new underground infrastructure, including:

  • stormwater lines

  • water lines

  • wastewater lines

  • electricity conduits

  • telecommunication conduits

This will be followed by the excavation of the existing road and footpaths and the construction of the new intersections, including:

  • new kerb lines

  • road carriageway

  • line marking

Gorge Road will reopen in June 2023 (finishing up before ski season starts), and we will continue with the upgrade over the next six months, completing:

  • footpaths

  • traffic lights

  • street furniture

  • signage

Over this time there will be a two-way detour via Robins Road.   

Please note Gorge Road will reopen on 19 November for the Queenstown Marathon and over the Christmas-New Year period (24 December until 8 January).

Frankton Road/Melbourne Street intersection

From late-March until late 2023, crews will be building a new road layout to create the gateway to Stage 1 of the new road. Deep trenches will be dug to upgrade underground services and the road will be widened and rebuilt, creating a safer intersection at Melbourne Street and Frankton Road, as well as more space for buses, walking and cycling.

Over this time there will be quite a bit of disruption to a 200m stretch of Frankton Road between Suburb Street and Adelaide Street.

If you travel into town regularly you can expect:

  • Two lane traffic is maintained but the lanes will be narrow

  • Speed limit reduced to 30km/hr

  • Intersection closures

  • Changes to bus stop locations

  • Access for walking and cycling maintained

Please take care in this area – slow down, stay alert and follow all signage in place.

There will also be localised traffic disruption experienced by people at various times on all the other roads that form, or are connected to the Arterial.

We know these disruptions can be challenging and we’re grateful for the support, patience and open dialogue so far. The construction underway is significant but please remember it won’t last forever and will be worth it.


Plans and illustrations

These are very large files. If you are having trouble downloading them, please get in touch and we can provide you a printed copy. 


Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Queenstown Town Centre Arterial Road is a key enabling project for the Queenstown Town Centre.  Stage 1 will link Melbourne and Henry Streets, removing general traffic from Stanley Street and unlocking a range of other investments that will vastly improve the town centre experience for locals and visitors. 

    The full route is made up of three stages:

    • Stage 1: Melbourne / Henry Street (construction began 27 September 2021)
    • Stage 2: Gorge Road to Hay Street
    • Stage 3: Hay Street to One Mile Roundabout

    The project was granted consent under the COVID-19 (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020.   Full details of this process, including the decision and associated reports, can be found on the Environmental Protection Authority website:  www.epa.govt.nz/fast-track-consenting/listed-projects/queenstown-arterials-project/

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  • Stage 1 of the Arterial will deliver the following elements:

    • A significant upgrade to the underground services along the Arterial route and adjoining streets – so that means new water, wastewater and stormwater lines for a section of Frankton Road and parts of the following streets:
      • Melbourne Street
      • Henry Street
      • Sydney Street
      • Beetham Street
      • Ballarat Street
      • Suburb Street
    • Undergrounded power along Melbourne and Henry Streets
    • Wider footpaths with new street trees along Melbourne and Henry Street
    • A shared path for pedestrians and cyclists along the northern side of Melbourne Street
    • Intersections controlled by traffic lights at the following locations:
      • Frankton Road and Melbourne Street
      • Sydney Street and Melbourne Street
      • Henry Street and Gorge Road
    • A pedestrian overbridge at the intersection of the Arterial and Ballarat Street
    • Retaining walls, some with art work designed by Mana Whenua artists, that share the stories of the Whakatipu region.
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  • The need to look at an alternative roading solution to address traffic and congestion in the town centre has been identified in a number of strategies and studies since the early 2000s including the 2005 FutureLinks Transport and Parking Strategy, 2008 and 2014 Inner Links Study and 2017 Queenstown Town Centre Masterplan Town Centre Arterials indicative business case.  All of these strategies and studies have been subject to community engagement, highlighting that this is a project that already has a reasonably high profile across the district. 

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  • The budget for the design and construction of Stage 1 of the Arterial is $86.5 million. 

    QLDC is funding $36.5 million and the New Zealand Government, via Crown Infrastructure Partners, is funding $50 million.

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  • The project is being delivered by Kā Huanui a Tāhuna, an alliance formed by QLDC and Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency, along with two construction companies and two design companies, Downer NZ, Fulton Hogan, Beca and WSP.

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  • We are planning to have Stage 1 of the Arterial complete by mid-2024.  Some enabling works began on 1 July 2021 – so that makes a three-year construction programme.

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  • The alignment of the Arterial goes through a neighbourhood that is entirely residential properties or visitor accommodation – places that people sleep.  QLDC’s district plan includes hours of work and maximum noise limits that are compatible with people sleeping and enjoying respite from construction activity.  The Arterial construction crew will work within these specified hours and noise limits. 

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  • Stage 1 of the Arterial connects into Queenstown’s road network at two busy intersections – Frankton Road/Melbourne Street and Henry Street/Gorge Road.  Both of these intersections will be completely rebuilt and traffic lights will be installed.  There be a lot of visible disruption while each of these intersections are under construction.  The Frankton Road/Melbourne Street intersection will be under construction from March 2022 until late-2023, while the Henry Street/Gorge Road intersection will be underway from October to December 2022 and again from January until June 2023.

    For the Frankton Road/Melbourne Street intersection you can expect lots of cones and barriers and the speed limit will be reduced to 30km per hour past the worksite.   You can find a map below.

    We will need to close part of Gorge Road (between Stanley Street and Weaver Street) to construct the Henry Street/Gorge Road intersection.   A full closure means we can safely complete the upgrades to underground services and construct the new intersection faster than we could with a partial closure.    A two-way detour will be in place via Robins Road as shown on the map below.    Please note, Gorge Road will reopen over Marathon weekend (18-20 November) and the Christmas-New Year period (24 December until 8 January).

    Please allow extra time for journeys that take you through these parts of town.

    There will also be localised traffic disruption experienced by people at various times on all the other roads that form, or are connected to the Arterial.

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  • Temporary changes to vehicle access are likely to be the most disruptive thing that you will experience.  Unfortunately, when new underground services are being laid, there will be times when getting your car in and out of your driveway won’t be possible.  We’ll keep that time as short as possible, but please bear with us.

    Some streets will be closed to through-traffic from time to time – so you may not be able to take your usual route.

    Construction is quite noisy.  The district plan sets noise limits and we’ll be monitoring our noise levels regularly to make sure we’re working within those limits.  Work will mostly be completed between 7.30am and 6.00pm, Monday – Friday.

    We’ll be building some large retaining walls that will use large piling rigs to get the piles in.  This may cause some vibration that you feel inside your home.  We will be monitoring vibration levels and do not anticipate any damage to buildings or properties.

    We’ll make sure your rubbish bins can be emptied each week – pop them out in the usual spot and we’ll move them to a spot where the trucks can empty them – and bring your empty bin back to where you left it.

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  • At times during construction, car parking spaces on the streets below will be unavailable.  We will stay in touch with local residents and accommodation providers when there are temporary changes to on-street parking spaces along these streets:

    • Melbourne Street
    • Suburb Street
    • Sydney Street
    • Beetham Street
    • Ballarat Street
    • Henry Street

    When Stage 1 of the Arterial is complete, the number and location of parking spaces on the following streets will be similar to before the project began:

    • Suburb Street
    • Sydney Street
    • Beetham Street
    • Ballarat Street

    Most of the parking spaces on Melbourne Street and Henry Street will be removed. 

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  • The full recommended Town Centre Arterial route is not without its challenges.  

    Stage 2 will involve the demolition of the existing Queenstown Memorial Centre facility.

    The Memorial Centre is part of the fabric of the performing arts and returned services community and the Council is committed to proactively working together on a solution for a replacement facility. 

    It is a condition of the designation that the Memorial Centre cannot be demolished (effectively Stage 2 of the road cannot be constructed) until Council has, through its Ten Year Plan process, and after further consultation with users, confirmed a timeframe, funding and programme for the construction of new facilities.

    The Council plans to engage with existing users of the facilities in the future.

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  • There is a key interface between the Arterial Road and the NZ Upgrade Programme at the intersection of Frankton Road and Melbourne Street.  This intersection will become controlled by traffic lights to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.  It will also include measures to prioritise public transport.  The NZ Upgrade Programme will apply the same principles to a number of intersections along SH6/6A.

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  • From early-March 2022 until late 2023 the kiss and drop parking spaces for St Joseph’s School will be located on Hallenstein Street – please see the map below.  Once the Arterial Road is completed, the kiss and drop spaces will be relocated to their original spot on Beetham Street.

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  • During construction of the Arterial Road, there will be quite a lot of disruption around St Joseph’s church.  We will stay in touch with the parish regarding the best place for parishioners and others attending church services to park.  Once construction is complete, dedicated parking spaces for St Joseph’s church visitors will be available on Melbourne Street.

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  • Queenstown Hill will still be well-connected to the town centre – every street between the two areas will still be connected for pedestrians, so you can continue to take your normal route. 

    If Ballarat Street is your preferred route, your journey will take you across the pedestrian overbridge and you’ll be able to experience stunning views of the town centre and Lake Whakatipu.

    During construction there may be temporary footpath closures that mean you’ll need to cross to the other side of the street – but there will still be a simple route into town and back.

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  • Both sides of the Arterial Road (currently Melbourne Street and Henry Street) will have wide, safe footpaths. Sydney Street and Ballarat Street will both provide safe and fully accessible routes between the Arterial Road and the town centre.  Stairs on the lower side of Beetham Street mean it will not be a fully accessible route.

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  • There will be a 3 metre wide shared path on the northern side of Melbourne Street, from Frankton Road to St Joseph’s church.

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  • The Arterial will be a local road.

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  • 40km per hour.  The same as other urban roads around Whakatipu.

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  • No, vehicles or loads that are over-dimension will still useState Highway 6A, along Shotover Street and Stanley Street through Queenstown’s town centre.

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  • Please contact Alan Howard-Smith, the Communication and Engagement Manager for Kā Huanui a Tāhuna. 

    Phone 021 361 158, or email:
    Alan.Howard-Smith@downer.co.nz

    If Alan can’t answer your questions, he'll put you in touch with someone who can.

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