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SailGP Back On Our Shores Soon – Public Transport And HMO Reminders

Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō is again set to host the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix (SailGP), on 23 and 24 March. Around 22,000 ticket holders are expected to attend the event this year, with a watch party set to take place on The Terrace in the city centre for those who missed out on tickets.

Lyttelton will have restricted access over the weekend and public transport in the area will also be affected. 

Access into Lyttelton on 23 and 24 March will be restricted from midday until around 6pm. During this time, official event vehicles (buses and shuttles), taxis and vehicles with a clearly displayed pass will be able to enter Lyttelton via the checkpoint on Bridle Path Road (Heathcote). Access for emergency vehicles will be maintained at all times. Private cars (including Uber services) will not be able to enter the area during this time. Vehicles can exit Lyttelton at any time from any route.

SailGP ticket holders will use free shuttle buses provided by SailGP which will travel between the city (from Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre) and Lyttelton. Making your way to the city via public transport? Your ticket includes free travel on Metro bus and ferry services for the day of your ticketed event — just show your ticket to the driver.

The race can also be watched for free by anyone at the SailGP Live Site at The Terrace in the city centre, which is outlined below.

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Bus stop information for those heading to the SailGP Live Site or to the SailGP shuttle bus pick-up and drop-off area at Te Pae.

More information on traffic management for the SailGP weekend can be foundon ChristchurchNZ's website. Public buses to Lyttelton will continue to operate over the event weekend but are expected to be busy on these days.

Ferry services between Diamond Harbour and Lyttelton are not permitted to run during the live racing, or during practice times on Friday 22 March. We will be running replacement bus services on these days - customers should plan ahead if they rely on the ferry service and allow extra time if they are taking our replacement bus services, as they will take around 35 minutes each way.

22 March 
Ferries will not operate following the 12:50pmdeparture from Lyttelton (return trip). Services from Lyttelton are expected to resume from 5:45pm.

23 & 24 March 
Ferries will not operate following the 1:20pmdeparture from Lyttelton (return trip). Services from Lyttelton are expected to resume from 5:50pm.

It is important to note that these times are subject to change on the day due to event conditions. Any updates to the times above will be posted to our Metro news page.

The Harbourmaster’s Office (HMO) is responsible for navigation safety during SailGP. As SailGP has been declared a Major Maritime Event, the Harbourmaster's Office has increased enforcement powers from 18-25 March, allowing us to delegate powers to other agencies and organisations, including SailGP. This provides approximately 21 SailGP marshals the authority to maintain a clear racing area, with exclusive entry to the on-water event area and ensure safe operation among the boats that will be in the harbour to watch the races.

During preparations and on race days, the Harbourmaster’s Office will have five boats in the water, including two Harbourmaster patrol vessels on loan from Otago and Marlborough Harbourmaster Offices. We will support the SailGP marshals in doing their job, provide education about the rules for recreational boaties during SailGP (PDF File 571 KB) and to support in the event of any incidents. Lyttelton Port Company, the NZ Police, and Maritime NZ will also be in the harbour to help ensure the success of the event.

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