Work starts on Queenstown Airport Park and Ride

Queenstown Airport Chief Executive Colin Keel L with QLDC Chief Executive Mike Theelan R media

The first sods have been turned on an airport park and ride facility, which marks another milestone in the continuing drive to improve transport and congestion issues in the Wakatipu

Construction of the park and ride facility, located behind Mitre 10 Mega on Brookes Road near Glenda Drive, began last week. The service, which is a trial for 12 months, is expected to be up and running before winter and will see regular shuttles transporting users to and from the airport terminal.

Queenstown Lakes Chief Executive Mike Theelen is excited about the progress being made, both for the Queenstown Airport and the wider Queenstown transport network.

“It is fantastic to see work underway on the park and ride facility. This dovetails into a range of other major transport projects underway across the Wakatipu. The teamwork we’re seeing between QLDC, QAC, the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Otago Regional Council is great to be a part of and it’s beginning to manifest itself as real changes to our transport network which will have a very positive impact in the coming months.”

“We’ve got several projects underway or about to begin and these are going to mean a range of changes to motorists around Frankton, particularly with regards to parking both in the short and longer term.”

Queenstown Airport Chief Executive Colin Keel said the airport park and ride trial was “a big step forward in the airport’s parking and traffic flow improvement plans”.

“We’re looking forward to launching the park and ride offering in time for the busy winter season and in conjunction with the opening of Stage 1 of Hawthorne Drive. The park and ride product will be a safe, convenient and affordable long term airport car parking option.”

“This is just one of the solutions we’re implementing to help address congestion and parking issues at the airport and around the Frankton community. Working together with QLDC, NZTA and ORC has been hugely successful and demonstrates the positive impact of close collaboration to address the needs of the local community and visitors to the region.”

One NZ Transport Agency initiative that is timed to coincide with the opening of the park and ride facility is the removal of cars parked along Kawarau Road, which have become both a safety issue and an eyesore.  Alongside the removal of these cars, QLDC is developing a new parking strategy for the wider Frankton area, ensuring that travellers’ cars don’t simply end up parked outside residents’ houses for extended periods.

Mr Theelen said the community will see some changes over the coming months. “We need to shift non-resident parking out of the streets in the Frankton area, and while the details of the exact measures are ironed out it is clear that the changes will require further parking controls being put in place in Frankton.”

While this is underway, significant changes are scheduled to begin on Glenda Drive as construction teams work towards opening an initial link to Frankton around the back of the airport before winter, as phase one of the Hawthorne Drive project gains momentum.

On-street parking will be removed from Glenda Drive in late April or early May to clear the roadway for heavier traffic flows while the interim route is in use. Instead, space is being allocated for 150 cars in the airport park and ride carpark to cater for Glenda Drive businesses until Hawthorne Drive is completed at the end of the year.

Construction work is continuing on the new two lane bridge at Kawarau Falls and the Transport Agency aims to have this open to traffic this summer. Meanwhile, the Transport Agency is considering ways to improve the section of the current State Highway network between 5 Mile (Grant Rd) and the new Kawarau Bridge, including  the upgrade to the junction of SH6 and SH6A (the BP roundabout) which is well underway and should be completed in April, to help reduce congestion.

Alongside the work being done in Frankton, QLDC is partnering with the Otago Regional Council to provide a vastly improved public transport system, aiming for a flat $2 concession fare across the Wakatipu Basin. This is currently being consulted on as part of both councils’ annual plans.



  • QLDC Chief Executive Mike Theelen (R) with Queenstown Airport Chief Executive Colin Keel (L)
  • Queenstown Airport Park & Ride Location (courtesy of QAC)