18 March 2021 Update

The train is back on & the final workshop programme is live! 

We are pleased to advise that the train is back in the mix! Those participating in the workshop & field studies (now full) will be riding the train from Hindon Station to Dunedin Station as part of the trip between Queenstown and Dunedin on 24 March.

For those of you not taking part, or who missed out as it is now full, a new option is now on offer!

You can board the train from Dunedin Station and complete the return journey out to Hindon Station and back. Sign up here.

To view the workshop programme please scroll down and click "detailed programme".

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 information on the accommodation page under "Planning your trip"). 

Price: $280.00 NZD excl GST - sign up through the symposium registration form



Workshop & Field Study supported by:

Part 1. Queenstown Workshop - 23 March 2021 (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 the following confirmed workshop speakers. Click on each person to read more about them! Please note that due to COVID circumstances overseas presenters will be involved virtually.


Joseph Wartman


Michael J. Olsen

Vessely, Mark2

Mark Vessely


Peter Amos


Chris Massey

Part 2. Field Study through Cromwell Gorge to Clyde Dam or Macraes Mine - 24 March 2021 (all day)

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

Start: Copthorne Queenstown Lakefront Hotel & Resort on Wednesday 24 March 2021 8.00am bus departs to Macraes Mine (Boards at 7.45am)

8..15am bus departs to Clyde Dam (boards at 8.00am)

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 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.

Please bring suitable footwear and a water bottle.

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 Hindon Siding, arriving in Dunedin by train at approximately 1830.

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 and Cromwell Gorges. As a bonus, the trip will include a guided tour of Clyde dam and a drainage tunnel by Contact Energy staff.  We will split into two groups for this. In the afternoon there will be commentary relating to the geomorphology and tectonics of Central Otago as we drive to connect with the train.

Snacks and water included. A lunch stop is scheduled at The Orchard Garden Café (Clyde). They will provide a buffet lunch for $32/person. We will confirm the numbers wishing to partake during the workshop.

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 & David Barrell


OPTION 2: MACRAES MINE (Updated 9 March)

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.

We will start with a briefing at the mine office including a virtual tour of the mine slope monitoring and operations.  The group will then split into two, with each group having turns to travel down into the large Frasers pit in ‘troop carriers’, past active working areas, while the other group views the pit and areas of instability from a lookout -  including sighting the entrance to the working underground mine. Final details of the tour may be adjusted to fit in with mining activities as the mine.

There will be an opportunity to pick up lunch en route (at participant’s own cost) with a lunch/toilet break at the mine office. A few packed snacks and water will be provided as part of registration. Please bring PPE (steel caps and hardhat) if at all possible - as mine will only have a few sets for visitors. From the mine, the bus will take us past the tailings dams (if time permits) then  through Middlemarch to Hindon to link up with the Clyde bus and jump on the Taieri Gorge railway back to Dunedin.

Tour Lead: David Stewart