Rock stabilisation and autumn rock scaling and inspection Nevis Bluff, Queenstown Lakes District, SH6


An autumn safety programme is about to get underway following rock stabilisation work on the Nevis Bluff, Queenstown.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Aspiring Highways team has been working on the Yates Feature on the Bluff since January following an increase in movement late last year.

During the 14 weeks on the cliff face the team has drilled approximately 1000 metres and installed 90 bolts to secure the schist rock.

Robert Choveaux, Senior Network Manager, Central Otago for Waka Kotahi, says the works will roll into the usual autumn checks, which would result in some travel delays.

“These will run for roughly three weeks and will allow the team to look at not only the Yates Feature, but the Bluff as a whole.

He stressed the importance of having the bolts in place ahead of the cold snap.

“The team has now installed 90 bolts, fixed the base plates and applied mortar. Last week we completed anchor tensioning and testing to ensure all are secure.”   

The autumn work will run between 8am and 5pm Monday, 2 May, to Friday, 20 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.

Nearly done - the crew secure some of the final bolts on the Yates Feature. Photo credit: Wayo Carson, Cliffcare

Dusty work - the abseiling drilling team spent 14 weeks on the Yates Feature. . Photo credit: Wayo Carson, Cliffcare