Report with gondola hint gets QLDC nod

Alexa Forbes
Alexa Forbes
A report associated with Queenstown's $385million town centre master plan that hints at the possibility of a gondola from the town centre to Queenstown Airport has been approved by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Councillors unanimously voted to approve the resort's town centre "spatial framework" at a full council meeting yesterday .

The framework provides background and context to the master plan.

There was little discussion among councillors before approving the framework, other than praise from councillor Alexa Forbes, who called it "a beautiful piece of work".

"It's very future-forward."

Also included in the report is a draft implementation strategy, which sets out potential timing of the work over the next 10 years.

As reported in the Otago Daily Times on Wednesday that contains investigations of "mass rapid transit options" as part of stage two, between 2022 and 2023.

The document says that is for "initial development/early works for ... terminal potential", while an accompanying map shows a gondola terminal, located between Gorge Rd and Memorial St, to provide an "airport connection" over Queenstown Hill.

The Otago Daily Times understands a gondola and light rail over Queenstown Hill are two options to provide another transit corridor to and from the CBD.

It is understood physical work is not contemplated until the 2030s, subject to investigation.

The draft spatial framework said Queenstown needed to "reconsider and reimagine itself not just as a town, but as `New Zealand's coolest small city"'.

The wider Wakatipu had about 28,000 residents but on a "typical day" the district's visitor population swelled to about 70,000 people, increasing to about 110,000 during peak seasons.

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