Queenstown main road reopened


A main road into Queenstown reopened last night (Sunday) after workers cleared a large rock fall.

State Highway 6 between the Crown Range turnoff and Cromwell was closed on Saturday after the fall about 2km west of Roaring Meg in Kawarau Gorge.

New Zealand Transport Agency communications staff say motorists should expect delays of up to 10 minutes between 9am and 4pm today (Monday) while work continues to stabilise the rock face.

The Crown Range road is open but chains must be carried.

A significant amount of rain in the Wakatipu in the past few days is understood to have partially caused the rock fall. Workers also contributed to the pile by removing dangerous rocks from the face.

The weekend’s poor weather caused havoc on roads across the South Island, with several rock falls, washouts, snowy conditions and high winds at altitude.

The closure of the main road out of Queenstown led to chaos on the Crown Range on Saturday afternoon as drivers attempted to traverse the snowy pass. Dozens of motorists abandoned their vehicles on the treacherous road and got lifts back to Queenstown with strangers. Many struggled to fit snow chains, blocking the road.