Wednesday, 20th February, 2019

Wanaka residents will be given a glimpse of the future when town centre activation trials kick off in March.

The trials will test some of the possibilities being investigated through the Wanaka Town Centre Masterplan project, which started back in July last year.   

Queenstown Lakes District Deputy Mayor Calum Macleod is thrilled to see some action start to happen on the ground and is looking forward to hearing what people think.

“We’re listening to what the community is telling us and have designed a short programme of activities that will better link our stunning lakefront to the town centre, allow for active travel and bring our people together to talk about how things might be in the future,” he said.

“Over the course of three days, we’ll be closing part of Ardmore and Helwick Streets to test out how it feels to create more car-free, open space on the lakefront,” Mr Macleod said.

The trials are scheduled to run from 12.00pm on Friday 15 March until 3.00pm on Monday 18 March and will be located on Ardmore and Helwick Streets.

They will involve road closures on Ardmore Street (between Dungarvon Street and Lakeside Road, and Helwick Street (between Ardmore Street and Dunmore Street) from 3.00pm on Thursday 14 March until 6.00am on Tuesday 19 March to allow for set up and removal.

The trials will also include some changes to the way people move around town, including the removal of carparking on the foreshore, new one way streets (Dungarvon from Dunmore to Ardmore, and Ardmore from Dungarvon to McDougal), and a dual access bus entry/turning point near the log cabin.  The loss of foreshore parking will be compensated for with extra free parking provided on Wanaka Showgrounds. 

The temporary public open space will include pop up activities like team dodgeball, backyard cricket, artisan markets, community group workshops, acoustic performers, street art and interactive lighting, along with street furniture, oversized board games and family activities across the whole site.  

Alongside this will be a community information tent where people can head along and check out some of the proposed ideas being explored for the Town Centre Masterplan and transport infrastructure. 

“Short term road closures may seem inconvenient however this should be seen as a positive opportunity to look to change mindsets. If you build for cars you get cars! If you build for people you get people! I would invite everyone to immerse themselves in this trial, enjoy the activations and give us some feedback. These changes are an honest attempt to connect our lake with our town centre for the betterment of our whole community,” Mr Macleod said.

“I’m looking forward to it immensely. I hope everyone else is too.  See you all down there,” he said.


Local businesses in the area will be visited by members of the ‘Wanaka Town Centre Activation’ team in the coming days to discuss logistics.

Further updates will be provided over the coming weeks.

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