Published on : Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Queenstown in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island has everything that a traveller can dream of: clear blue skies, crystal mountain streams and breathtaking scenery.
Not so long ago, Queenstown was a winter town. The ski season was quite popular. But now that has changed. Queenstown now is a year-round town. Summer tourists are flying in for glorious bushwalks, or to throw themselves off tall bridges at the end of a bungee cord, jet boating on the river below or paragliding off nearby mountain peaks. New Zealand wines are also quite popular.
The airport at Queenstown is also witnessing a lot of traffic. In 2005, around 610,000 people travelled through Queenstown Airport. Last year, that figure reached 1.8 million, with Air New Zealand, Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin all jostling for space on the expanded runway.
Two out of every three visitors are from Australia, but the numbers from other countries are also increasing. Hence, the airlines have also been forced to introduce double shifts. However, this has given rise to various problems.
There are also other problems like cars choking the town centre and slowing down traffic. A new bridge over the Kawarau River, replacing the ancient one-lane structure, is taking a huge amount of time to be built. There’s limited cash in the kitty for road upgrades, so the council is working on a plan to provide a new bus service offering $2 tickets. But buses can go only so fast on already-congested roads.
Water quality is also a growing issue, with council working towards providing a permanently chlorinated drinking supply. Sewage treatment and infrastructural problems provide further challenges.