3rd July 2020 Update

We were pleased to see your positive responses and anticipation of our Pre-Symposium event. We want to confirm that this event is still on as originally planned. There will be some slight modifications to the workshop programme due to international travel limitations and the train segment will need to be replaced by bus. Please stay tuned for the updated detailed workshop programme to follow.

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.

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 (afternoon)

"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 an 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)

Time: arrive at 12.30pm, ~1pm start & ~5.30pm finish *Check detailed programme when available for more details*

Workshop Speakers

We are happy to announce three of four confirmed workshop speakers Peter Amos and Chris Massey. 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.


Peter Amos


Chris Massey


Workshop & Field Study supported by:

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

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

Start: Copthorne Queenstown Lakefront Hotel & Resort on Thursday 15 October 2020 at ~8:30am
Finish: 6.30pm at Toitū Otago Settlers Museum (if arriving into Dunedin earlier then bus will drop in CBD)

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 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 the remaining way by bus to Dunedin with stops along the way.

Snacks and water included. Stops, where lunch can be purchased, will be built into the trips.

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


This field trip will depart Queenstown at 8.30am to visit Clyde dam, owned and operated by Contact Energy, and observe landslide issues that have affected hydropower development in the Kawarau and Cromwell Gorges. After lunch (Clyde-Alexandra area, own cost) we will continue on to Dunedin via Roxburgh dam and Lawrence, arriving at approximately 1730.

The focus of the field trip will be the different landslide risk assessments and monitoring strategies adopted for landslides affecting hydro development within the Clutha River catchment, specifically along the Kawarau, Cromwell and Roxburgh Gorges. As a bonus, the trip will include a guided tour of Clyde dam by Contact Energy staff.

Please bring suitable footwear, hi-viz vests and a water bottle. Hard hats (only required at Clyde dam) will be provided by Contact Energy.

Trip Leaders: Don Macfarlane & Stuart Read


OPTION 2: MACRAES MINE (Updated 14 Aug)

The other group will travel to Oceana Gold’s operation at Macraes Flat an ‘atmospheric’ settlement just over an hours drive inland from Dunedin. On route from Queenstown to Macraes the group will pass through the Kawarau and Cromwell Gorges; with a few brief stops to view some of the landslides.

Macraes Mine is NZ’s largest gold mine, operating since 1990, with pit walls up to 200m high in schist bedrock, with significant slope failure challenges. Participants will hear about the mine operations and management of slope failure risks and see the pits from good viewing points, including examples of slope failures and slope monitoring practices, including the use of slope radar.

The group will split into two: a smaller group (limit 16) going to see the mining operations in the Coronation pit(s) - where much of the current mine activity is, with very interesting geology and slope challenges. The other group will focus on the older Frasers pit, including sighting the entrance to the working underground mine and will also include an office-based detailed virtual tour of the mine slope monitoring and operations. Final details of the tour may be adjusted to fit in with mining activities as the mine. However regardless, this trip will be fascinating!

There will be a lunch stop near the mine at the local historic hotel (at participant’s own cost). Packed snacks and water will be provided as part of registration. Bring PPE if possible - as mine will only have about 15 sets for visitors. From the mine, the group will continue by bus to Dunedin via Palmerston, with commentary on some landslide sites of interest on the way.

Tour Lead: David Stewart