Workshop & Field Study

We decided to make your way to Dunedin a memorable experience!

Join us in Queenstown before the Symposium, for a workshop followed by a field study that will take you through the Cromwell Gorge landslides and the spectacular Taieri River Gorge.

Planning your participation

The workshop and field study are booked together during registration. Space in the workshop and field study is limited and available on a first-in, first-served basis.  

When planning your travel, you will need to make your own arrangements to Queenstown with your return from Dunedin. The field study transport will be provided as part of the workshop & field study registration fee. This will take participants and their luggage between the two cities.

While the night is Queenstown is also your responsibility, conference organisers have held rooms at the workshop venue for you to book (see more here). 

Price: $280.00 NZD excl GST - sign up through the symposium registration form (opening in February 2020)


Part 1. Queenstown Workshop 14th October 2020

"Engineering value from the monitoring of slopes – current practice and the future"

Globally, landslides and cut slope failures cause hundreds of billions of dollars in damages and thousands of deaths and injuries each year.  Understanding and managing slope hazards and risks is a major part of the life of engineering geologists and geotechnical engineers.

None of us wants to inadvertently monitor a slope to an unplanned failure!  This workshop is designed to address the following slope-related questions:

  • What do we know about recognising and interpreting unstable slopes?
  • What is appropriate monitoring practice?
  • What does monitoring provide and how do we manage achieve safe performance?
  • What does the future of monitoring look like?

Location: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown (Corner Frankton Rd &, Adelaide Street, Queenstown 9300)

Workshop Speakers

We are happy to announce our four confirmed workshop speakers Peter Amos, Chris Massey, Steve Parry, and Robert Sharon. Peter has more than 34 years of experience in several countries, specialising in the engineering and operational safety of dams and heavy civil engineering. Chris is an engineering geologist with more than 23 years of consultancy and research experience in the investigation and analysis of complex geological and geotechnical data for landslide and slope stability. Steve’s expertise is in natural slope and landslide hazards. Robert is an open pit and underground mining specialist and an expert in slope monitoring techniques.


Peter Amos


Chris Massey

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Steve Parry

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Robert Sharon


Workshop & Field Study supported by:

Part 2. Field Study through Cromwell Gorge to Clyde Dam or Macraes Mine 15 October 2020

*Concludes at the Welcome Reception (Toitū Otago Settlers Museum)

Start: Copthorne Queenstown Lakefront Hotel & Resort on Thursday 15 October 2020 at 8:30am
Finish: Dunedin Railway Station/Symposium Welcome Reception at Toitū Otago Settlers Museum at ~7.30pm

Choose between two options for the field trip during registration:
Option 1: Clyde Dam
Option 2: Macraes Mine

Both field studies will depart from Queenstown on Thursday 15 October 2020, at 8:30 am and will initially travel by bus through Kawarau and Cromwell Gorges to either Clyde Dam or Macraes Mine. On the completion of the visits, both groups will travel to Middlemarch to catch the Taieri Gorge Railway, from Pukerangi to Dunedin.

The selection of field study option is on a first-in, first-served basis.

This group will visit Clyde dam, owned and operated by Contact Energy, to observe landslide issues that have affected hydropower development in the area. Stops at several locations are planned on the way to the dam, to view and discuss the landslides in the Kawarau and Cromwell Gorges. At Clyde dam, Contact Energy staff will guide a look around dam, powerhouse and slip joint, and will also provide the opportunity to separately inspect a drainage drive and landslide buttress close to the dam. Packed lunch and drink of water will be provided as part of registration, while there will be a lunch stop at a local café (at participants’ own cost). After lunch, the group will travel by bus to Middlemarch (approximately 2 hours) to catch the Taieri Gorge train from Pukerangi to Dunedin

The other group will travel to Oceania Gold’s operation at Macraes Flat in the Maniototo. On route to Macraes the group will pass through the Kawarau and Cromwell Gorges; one brief stop in Kawarau gorge is possible, to observe one of the landslides, depending on time. At the mine site the group will get to travel into several different operating pits, including sighting the entrance to the working underground mine at the Frasers pit. Participants will hear about how the mine manages slope failure risks and see examples of slope failures and slope monitoring practices, including the use of slope radar. There will be a lunch stop near the mine. Packed lunch and drink of water will be provided as part of registration, while there will possibly be a café break at a local historic hotel (at participant’s own cost). After the mine excursion, the group will travel by bus via Middlemarch (approximately 50 mins) to catch the Taieri Gorge train from Pukerangi to Dunedin.

Both field groups will meet at Pukerangi, where they will board the famous Taieri Gorge Railway. The Taieri Gorge Limited is New Zealand's longest tourist railway along part of the former Otago Central Railway. Combining a wealth of history with railway charm the line travels through spectacular scenery along the banks of the Taieri River, passing through short tunnels and crossings viaducts, including the southern hemisphere's largest wrought iron structure.

As we descend the 46 km from Pukerangi towards Dunedin the valley becomes deeper and the steep slopes formed in textural zone IV schist exhibit numerous examples of slope instability typical of schist terrane. Participants will be able to be informed about the geology and landslides of the gorge by local experts while relaxing and enjoying excellent scenery plus refreshments (included with registration).

After exiting the gorge and traveling the last 15 km across flat terrain arrival in Dunedin is around 7:30 pm, in time for the conference welcome reception which will take place in the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, next to Dunedin iconic Railway Station building.