Expect Traffic Delays with Cuba St Carnival and Hog Rally

19 February 2009

Wellington is getting ready for a busy Saturday with two major events taking place - the Cuba St Carnival and the National Harley Davidson Hog Rally.

While this means there'll be plenty of fantastic free entertainment, it also means widespread road closures and parking restrictions in the central city.

Celebrating its 10th birthday, the Cuba St Carnival will be an explosion of colours, sound and performances. The carnival will run from 11.00am on Saturday till 1.00am Sunday and will sprawl from Cuba Street to Courtenay Place.

"The carnival will feature a wealth of great food, street performers, film screenings and market stalls," says Wellington City Council Events Manager, John Dawson. "There'll also be a stellar line-up of musicians playing across 10 stages including the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, Jonathan Crayford with his band The Revolution is Live and Vital Sounds HiFi - New Zealand's first hand-built dub soundsystem."

The most eye-catching event at the carnival is sure to be the Meridian Illuminated Night Parade starting at 9.00pm on Saturday. A diverse array of floats, dancers and performers will make their way up Courtenay Place and Taranaki Street finishing at Victoria Street.

To accommodate the parade, the left-hand lane of Cambridge Terrace, Alpha and Tennyson streets and the east side slip lanes of Victoria Street will be closed from 10.00am until midnight. Taranaki Street will be closed from 6.00pm on Saturday until 3.00am Sunday morning.

There will also be staggered road closures to accommodate the other carnival events:

  • Swan Lane will be closed from 1.00am Friday morning till 6.00am Sunday morning.
  • Cuba Street (from Vivian Street to Dixon Street), Garrett Street and Bute Streets will be closed from 6.00pm Friday evening till 6.00am Sunday morning.
  • The rest of Cuba, Ghuznee, Dixon, Manners, Marion, Leeds, Eva, Egmont, Tory, Blair and Allen streets; Inglewood Place, Lukes and Furness lanes and Courtenay Place will be closed from 9.00pm on Friday evening till 6.00am Sunday morning.

John says anyone heading to the city centre over the weekend should avoid bringing their car in and use public transport if they can. "We also urge anyone who needs to drive across the city over the weekend to avoid the central city and use the motorway and bypass route instead. Anyone coming in from the north and intending to go to the airport via Jervois Quay, for example, could face delays."

Wellington is also hosting one of New Zealand's largest motorcycle events this weekend - the National Harley Davidson Hog Rally.

Taking place on the waterfront from Friday till Sunday, the event will be open to the public on Saturday from 10.00am till 5.00pm. People can experience the action with a bike show, live music and the Thunder Ride parade - which will see around 1,000 bikes set off from Jervois Quay at 11.30am, rumbling down State Highway 1 to Paremata before returning to Frank Kitts Park where there will be bike shows and live entertainment until 5.00pm. Jervois Quay will also be used as the grounds for timed sprints and stunt riders.  

To accommodate this procession all southbound, seaward side lanes of Customhouse and Jervois quays, between Whitmore Street and Harris Street, will be closed to traffic from 12 noon till 5.30pm. Traffic going south will be diverted through Whitmore and Featherston streets to Harris and Wakefield streets. Northbound traffic will be as normal.

The Aotea Quay off-ramp will also be closed from 12 noon to 5.30pm, but access off State Highway 1 will still be available at Murphy Street, Hawkestone Street and The Terrace off-ramps.

If you have questions about anything to do with Cuba St Carnival in the run-up to the day, check out the Cuba St Carnival website or give the Cuba St Carnival office a call on (04) 801 9390. Call the City Council on (04) 499 4444 if you need any information on the day.