Tourism hotspot ‘potential death-trap’


A former councillor reckons it’s almost inevitable someone will be killed at Bennett’s Bluff. 

At the Queenstown council’s 10-year plan hearing last month Ian Kirkland told councillors the popular tourist stop between Queenstown and Glenorchy was a death trap.

“All tour operators agree there are problems at Bennett’s Bluff.

“People jump over barriers to take pictures, they are double-parked - it is just so dangerous.”

Kirkland proposes funding for a turning area for buses and an upgrade to an existing layby, where people stop to take photos.

The Glenorchy Community Association wants council bosses to construct an off-road observation area there.

Residents say its dangerous and with blind corners from both directions it’s also “undersized”.

The association wants $120,000 to construct new barriers and a walking track.

Residents say it’s not uncommon to see between five and 10 cars parked in the area – sometimes double-parked or parked in the wrong direction.

A 4WD track already exists at the proposed site - but that’s on Department of Conservation land.

The residents association says it will approach DoC to gain access if funds are granted.

They are also proposing a plaque to Tommy Thomson and the original road committee.

Thomson, one of the wider district’s longest-serving and most influential councillors, died last year.

He was best known for championing the opening of the Glenorchy Road in 1962.