Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Here Come’s Summer

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is all geared up for the yearly influx of over 100,000 visitors during the busy summer holiday period.

Alternative route signage will be in place to take the pressure off Frankton Road in Queenstown with free temporary overflow parking available at Warren Park, by the old high school on Gorge Road between 17 December and 13 January.   In Wanaka temporary overflow carparking is also available at the showgrounds from 17 December until 31 January.

To help with the parking changes in Wanaka, two ambassadors will be based on the waterfront to direct both campers and other vehicles to the correct locations and an additional warden will be in place for the Wanaka town centre to help keep things moving over the busy period.

More public litter bin collections are already underway to help deal with the increase in rubbish produced over summer and keep up with demand in Queenstown, Wanaka, Arrowtown, Glenorchy and Kingston.   Extra recycling bins will also be located at Queenstown Bay and Wanaka Lakefront.

Extra town custodians have been put on patrol to ensure the town centres remain clean and attractive for residents and visitors, with the Glutton (industrial vacuum) being used in Arrowtown prior to Christmas and a new street sweeper introduced in Wanaka.

The town centre public toilets in Queenstown, Arrowtown and Wanaka will also be kept clean by the extra custodians, and over Christmas portaloos will be going into the busy hotspots of Glenorchy waterfront, Roy’s Bay and Penrith Beach in Wanaka and along Marine Parade.

The liquor ban in Queenstown CBD, Frankton, Arrowtown, Wanaka CBD and Hāwea has recently been extended to start at 8.00pm every night and a full 24 hour liquor ban will be in place from 27 December until 6 January.  This will be strictly enforced and anyone found drinking in a liquor-ban area is likely be fined $250.

The Red Frogs will also be back between 29-31 December, operating ‘chill-out zones’ in Queenstown and Wanaka where people can hydrate, eat and charge their phones.

The Responsible Camping Ambassadors will also be onsite at the camping and service hubs and out roaming the district educating campers on how they are expected to behave while in the district and directing them to appropriate camping locations.

The Harbourmaster and his team will be out and about all summer long helping to keep us all safe on the water and strictly enforcing the rules around wearing lifejackets.   In this district, lifejackets must be worn in any vessel six metres and under, including paddleboards.   If you’re caught without one, expect a fine.

QLDC Chief Executive Mike Theelen says that Council and its contractors are well prepared to ensure the district continues to operate smoothly over the summer period.

“While our population surges dramatically for a few weeks over the summer, we’re well-resourced to cope with all the extra people we’re expecting.”

“We do ask that people are welcoming, patient and responsible and to make sure they plan ahead when travelling.  Particularly around known pinch points such as petrol stations and town centres.”

“We want to make sure everyone, whether they’re residents or visitors, has a great summer break, and we’re doing what we can to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible,” he said.

There are a few simple things everyone can do to help ensure a happy and safe summer.

  • Use water wisely to help avoid restrictions.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of water and shelter and avoid leaving them in vehicles.
  • Be aware of changing fire restrictions as the summer months heat up.
  • If you’re in Queenstown, consider leaving the car at home and taking the $2 bus or new $5 ferry service.
  • Keep water safety front of mind if spending time with family and friends at our lakes and rivers, especially with young children.
  • Be patient, look out for each other and enjoy the break.


Urgent issues can still be reported to the Council 24/7 by phoning 03 441 0499 (Queenstown) or 03 443 0024 (Wanaka) or logging a request for service at



For holiday hours and services, including recreation facilities, please visit