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ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch

Getting Around During The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix

Traffic Management

To ensure that the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch runs smoothly, a traffic management plan will be in place across the race weekend, Saturday 23 March and Sunday 24 March.

Traffic Management Plan (TMP)

The TMP for the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch is similar to last year with a one-way tunnel restriction limiting access into Lyttelton, between 12 – 6pm on race days. During this time, only emergency vehicles, official event vehicles (buses and shuttles), taxis and vehicles with a clearly-displayed pass will be able to access Lyttelton via Tunnel Road.

The TMP has been prepared by SailGP in consultation with Christchurch City Council, Waka Kotahi, ChristchurchNZ and the local community, with input from NZ Police and FENZ.

Traffic Managment Plan 2024

Road Closures & Restrictions

On both days of the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch, road closures and restrictions will be put in place around midday on Saturday and Sunday and lifted around 6pm each day. Road closures will restrict motor vehicle entry into Lyttelton, but vehicles can exit Lyttelton at any time. Entry to Lyttelton will be blocked from Sumner and Governors Bay. Access to Lyttelton will also be restricted via Bridle Path Road (Heathcote), Ferry Road, and via Bridle Path Road.

During this time, only emergency vehicles, official event vehicles (buses and shuttles), and vehicles with a clearly-displayed access pass will be able to access Lyttelton via Tunnel Road. Only Lyttelton residents, business owners and employees who need to work during race weekend are able to obtain a vehicle access pass. This includes residents between Dyers Pass Road and Lyttelton, as there will be a traffic control point at the bottom of Dyer Pass Road. Bridle Path Road will be used as an access point for permitted road users, where access passes will be checked by the traffic management staff. Regular bus services will also be maintained via Bridle Path Road and will have priority when they arrive at the control point.

The main change from last year will be the implementation of restrictions to create a one-way system where vehicles can access Summit Road only via Evans Pass Road. This will help mitigate congestion issues and facilitate better access for emergency services, vehicles and pedestrians.

Commercial port vehicles, along with event bus access will be maintained via Tunnel Road via Port Hills Road. At all times traffic will be able to leave Lyttelton via the roads listed above. Permitted access may be stopped temporarily if unacceptable congestion is building in Lyttelton. This is not anticipated due to the proposed traffic management measures and is only expected to last for short periods of time if required.

The Christchurch Gondola will remain accessible and unimpeded by the traffic management measures in place over the event weekend.

Inner Harbour Community Access

Bays residents between Dyers Pass Road and Lyttelton will be eligible for access passes and will need them to access the tunnel from Christchurch. Roads serving bay residents outside this area will not have traffic management restrictions but will be patrolled for parking or congestion issues.

Access Outside Of Restrictions

While there are no road closures or restrictions beyond Dyers Pass Road, there are measures in place to maintain traffic flow in the surrounding areas, including monitoring and enforcing parking restrictions and VMS sign boards for live updates on strategic access points.

Traffic Management Within Lyttelton

Once within Lyttelton, there will be a checkpoint on Godley Quay which will only allow permitted vehicles to the event site. Those walking to the event from the Lyttelton township can use a shared path from Lyttelton, down to Te Nukutai o Tapoa Naval Point.

Traffic Management Within Christchurch Central City

Traffic management will also be in place surrounding the city centre transport hub outside Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre in order to facilitate safe pick up and drop off for official event shuttles that will be transporting ticket holders to Naval Point. Measures will be in place on Armagh Street and Colombo Street, from 10am – 7pm on 23 – 24 March.

Information About Vehicle Access Passes

During the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch, Lyttelton residents are encouraged to stay home and enjoy the excitement unfolding on Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbour but if you need to leave and re-enter the restricted access area during this time, you can do so with a vehicle access pass. Businesses that require passes for employees and/or contractors and suppliers will also be able to do so.

It is important to note that only locals who require access into Lyttelton on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March between the hours of 12pm - 6pm will require an access pass. If you do not need to travel from the city to access your home or workplace in Lyttelton during this time, you do not require a pass. All vehicles can leave Lyttelton at all times - no pass is required for this.

Similar to last year, affected addresses will be issued one pass via mail in a letter drop in early March. Households and businesses who wish to discuss unique requirements can email them to

This vehicle access pass will allow access on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March. Please display the pass clearly on the windscreen of your vehicle to ensure traffic marshals can wave you through in a timely manner.

Please remember, traffic management measures are in place to mitigate unwanted impacts on the local community. As such, there will be no access passes issued for visiting friends and family, so we ask that you do not share your pass with those living outside the area if you plan to stay home. Parking in Lyttelton is extremely limited, so if you have friends coming over before the closures are in place at midday, please ensure you can accommodate their vehicles on your own property or they can access Lyttelton in a marked taxi or a local bus. 

Lyttelton Is Open For Business

For Season 4, SailGP will implement a shuttle running between the SailGP Race Stadium at Naval Point and Lyttelton township. This will enable SailGP ticket-holders to visit Lyttelton before or after racing if they wish, and can also be used by Lyttelton locals to get to and from the event site if they have a ticket.

Please note that at all times during the event weekend, non-residents will still be able to access Lyttelton via public buses (number 8) or clearly-marked taxis. Ubers (non-marked vehicles) will not be permitted through road closures. On-street parking during race weekend will be extremely limited, so if you have visitors coming to Lyttelton before midday, please ensure you can accommodate their vehicles on your property or encourage them to travel via bus or taxi.

Boat Ramp Closures

During the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch, Naval Point will be transformed into a vibrant event village, accompanied by a technical area for visiting teams and operations. As such, the Naval Point public boat ramp will be closed between 7 March – 30 March. This is to ensure health and safety and mitigate issues of congestion on a busy, working site.

Other closures to note are:

  • Windsurf ramps closed: 7 March – 30 March
  • Naval Point parking restrictions: from 19 February, and very limited between 4 – 30 March
  • Freedom Camping area closed: 4 March – 29 March

Ferry Timetable Changes

Regular passengers on the ferry should note that there will be some changes to the usual timetable around SailGP.

Friday, (March 22):

  • Last ferry departs Lyttelton at 1250, Diamond Harbour at 1302.
  • Ferry resumes at 1745.
  • Trips missed (departing Lyttelton): 1350, 1450, 1520, 1600, 1625, 1650, 1715.

Saturday & Sunday (March 23 & 24):

  • Last ferry departs Lyttelton at 1320, Diamond Harbour at 1332.
  • Ferry resumes at 1750.
  • Trips missed (departing Lyttelton): 1350, 1420, 1450, 1550, 1650.

Have An Additional Traffic Management Query?

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