Summer Services 2022/2023
Here you will find summer related information for the likes of transport, camping, water safety, alcohol restrictions, fire bans and more.
While you’re enjoying summer, it’s important to remember how to be prepared and stay safe if you or someone close to you contracts COVID-19. If you do happen to test positive, please follow the latest health advice on the Unite Against COVID-19 website. (covid19.govt.nz)
Check it's alright before you light
The risk of wildfire in our district is high and there are several areas subject to a total fire ban all year round.
If you live or play in any of these areas, you may not light a fire or use fireworks at any time:
Queenstown Red Zone
Albert Town Recreation Reserve and Campground
In other areas, a restricted fire season is now in place. This means no fires without a permit. For full details, including info about the use of backyard fires and BBQs, head to checkitsalright.nz.
Alcohol restriction information
Please note that an alcohol ban is in place in parts of Queenstown, Frankton, Arrowtown, Wānaka and Lake Hāwea from 8.00pm - 8.00am every day all year round.
Getting around the district
We’re expecting lots of visitors over the summer period meaning the roads will be busier than usual. A bit of advanced planning can help make sure you don’t spend a gorgeous summer day stuck in traffic.
There’s a lot of investment going on in Queenstown at the moment and you can check out any disruption here: NZTA Traffic Updates & Delays (journeys.nzta.govt.nz)
Our tips for getting around this summer include:
Avoid peak travel times or even consider ditching the car for shorter journeys if you can.
Choosing different ways to get around can help ease congestion on our roads, and we’ve got plenty of great trails to get you from A to B too!
If you’re in Queenstown the $2 bus is the perfect way to travel all around Whakatipu, even out to Arrowtown. Just make sure you keep an eye on the Orbus Facebook page or website as there can be service disruptions due to driver shortages.
If you’re in Queenstown, take the alternative route via McDonnell Road. Follow the detour signage or check your navigation app.
Always allow extra time for your journey over this period and avoid getting ‘hangry’ or worse, dehydrated, by making sure you keep plenty of snacks and water in the car - just in case you get stuck for a while.
Where you can camp this summer
We welcome responsible campers in the Queenstown Lakes District. For info on where and how to camp responsibly head to our Responsible Camping page.
Heading out on the water?
If you’re planning to head out onto one of the beautiful lakes or rivers in our district, you must wear a lifejacket at all times when out on the water if your vessel is under six metres long, regardless of the conditions. This includes kayakers, canoers, and stand-up paddle boarders.
Life jackets must be worn by all children under 10 years old, and correctly sized lifejackets must be carried for every person on your vessel.
There are a few other simple things you can do to stay safe on the water this summer:
Know what to do in an emergency. If you have a phone, dial 111 and ask for Police. If you’re out on the water and have a VHF radio, call Channel 16 and issue a Mayday call by saying “mayday, mayday, mayday” three times and state your vessel name and location. Then repeat.
For non-emergency Coastguard matters such as a broken-down vessel, call *500.
You’re safer when sober. Boating and alcohol don’t mix, and a responsible skipper will never operate their vessel under the influence of alcohol, or allow an intoxicated person to operate their boat
Always check the weather forecast before heading out on the water
Carry two forms of waterproof communication while out on your boat. The Marinemate app has plenty of helpful suggestions, including a cell phone in a waterproof bag and a personal locator beacon
Keep an eye out for other boats, swimmers, dive boats, kayaks, canoers, stand up paddle boarders, hazards and obstacles
Tell someone where you are going
Reduce your speed in busy areas
If you’re moving between waterways, you must clean all your gear using the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ method. This will stop freshwater pests being spread around our waterways
Using a ski lane?
Please remember that swimming is not permitted within a ski lane. To use a ski lane safely:
You must travel anticlockwise when towing someone
You must have an observer over the age of 10 to report any mishaps to the driver
Ensure you are operating your vessel in a safe manner
Keep an eye on all other users of the ski lane.
For more information on boating in the Queenstown Lakes, head to our Lakes and Boating page.
Taking a dip?
Water quality is prone to change, and even sites with historically excellent water quality can see bacteria spike as a result of heavy rainfall washing contaminants from urban and rural land into waterways.
As a result, it’s recommended to avoid swimming for 48 hours after heavy rainfall and checking the ‘Can I Swim Here?’ data. This will help determine whether you’re safe to take a dip, or whether you should settle for a cold shower and shade instead.
As a general rule of thumb, if you can’t see your feet when standing knee deep, it’s not advisable to swim.
And always avoid any contact with algal scum. For more details on water quality at a spot near you, head to www.lawa.org.nz/swim
Get wai wise: Use water wisely this summer
Summer is a thirsty season when it comes to our water network. Maintaining green lawns is harder work in the dry weather, and people seek out water-based fun in the hot sun.
We’re some of the biggest water consumers in the country and it can put our water network under strain, elevating the potential need for temporary water restrictions.
We should always treat water as a precious resource, but over summer it’s especially important to consider the ways we use water and so we are encouraging people to become wai wise at home. Read up on some tips to start saving water at your place.
Sign-up for our Community Text Alerts to stay in the know about any changes to our water restrictions below.
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