Rock stabilisation work winds down at Nevis Bluff, near Queenstown, more work after school holidays


An autumn safety programme will get underway in a few weeks’ time following extensive rock stabilisation work on the Nevis Bluff, near Queenstown, on SH6.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Aspiring Highways team has been working on the Yates Feature on the Bluff since early in 2022, following an increase in movement detected late in 2021, says Robert Choveaux, Senior Network Manager, Central Otago, for Waka Kotahi.

The cliff face had 14 weeks work early in 2022, then a further 15 weeks since November last year. Over the two periods, the team drilled just over 2000 metres to install 182 steel bolts to help secure around 13,000 tonnes of schist rock, comprising the Yates Feature.

Mr Choveaux says the team will take a short break from 31 March and will return after the public and school holidays on 26 April to complete the usual autumn checks. These will result in some short travel delays.

“The travel delays will run for about three weeks from the end of April to allow the team to complete scaling and inspection work on the Bluff as a whole ahead of winter.

“The autumn work will run between 8am and 5pm Wednesday, 26 April, to Friday, 12 May, and it is weather dependent.

“The Nevis Bluff is a site we regularly inspect, monitor and stabilise as part of our commitment to provide a safe, accessible highway network. The best time to do this work is the shoulder seasons in autumn and spring when traffic volumes are at their lowest,” Mr Choveaux adds.

“We appreciate everyone’s understanding for any delays that they may encounter and thank them for following the temporary, lowered speeds which are for their safety and the safety of our workers.”

The Nevis Bluff is about half-way between Cromwell and Queenstown – 25 minutes from Cromwell, 35 minutes from Queenstown, above the Kawarau River, on SH6.