Parking in Palmerston City Centre

As of 1 July 2019, you can park for FREE in 1 hour, 2 hour and 4 hour time restricted parking areas across the City Centre, subject to displaying a valid ticket. The ticket is FREE and can be obtained from a parking meter for the corresponding zone.

Council has also reduced the hours for regulated parking to between 8.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday. This means you can park in designated parking spaces across in the City Centre without a ticket and without a time limit after 4.00pm, and on weekends and public holidays. 

Council has made this change to make parking more effective and to support local business by encouraging turn over. These tickets will help Council ensure that when you park in these areas, you are complying with the signed time limits. These time limits are in place to help achieve turn over and support local businesses. 

For those parking in all-day parking spaces (Zone E), a fee of up to $4.00 still applies. To make parking more convenient, you are able to purchase a parking permit for Zone E for either 3 months, 6 months or 12 months.

How do I get my free ticket?

If you are parking in a 1 hour (Zone B), 2 hour (Zone C) or 4 hour (Zone D) parking area, you can get your FREE ticket, by entering your vehicle’s registration number at the nearby parking meter for that zone. 

This will allow your vehicle to park in the time-restricted area up until you have reached the time limit. After you have reached the time limit for that parking area, a new ticket will not be issued for your vehicle’s registration number. This is to prevent meter-feeding and ensure turn over is being achieved in our parking areas.

Drivers should check parking meters carefully to ensure they have obtained a valid FREE parking ticket for their parking area. Council’s parking areas are shown on this map.

How did we get here?

Council recognises the importance of building Palmerston as ‘A Place for People’. 

One practical way for Council to deliver this is to ensure parking across the City Centre is well managed and suited to the needs to the City Centre. Effective parking promotes movement, creates a sense of place encourages economic growth and meets the needs of the community and business owners.

Council undertook a study between October 2018 and Aril 2019 to understand how parking in the City Centre currently functions.

The study involved parking surveys observing occupancy and turn-over, reviewing the policy framework and investigating parking principles and best practice. 

The results of this study provided the following significant findings:

  • Public parking behaviour in the City Centre is not measurably altered by pricing when charged at marginal rates.
  • The greatest demand is generally in locations where all-day parking is available.
  • There was an opportunity to consolidate and amend parking zones to improve utilisation and better meet actual, observed demand.

You can access a copy of the Palmerston City Centre Parking Study: Background Report, Strategy and Implementation Plan from the Downloads section at the bottom of this webpage.


What are the parking zones? 

Council has 5 different zones to help manage parking and these align with the different time limits. These are: 

  • Zone A – 15 and 30 minute parking areas. No ticket is required in these areas, which is why you won’t see Council identifying the zone on the parking signs for these spaces. 
  • Zone B – 1 hour parking area
  • Zone C – 2 hour parking area
  • Zone D – 4 hour parking area
  • Zone E – all day parking area.
Where can I park?

You can view the Council parking areas and time limits on this map.

How do I pay for parking?

You only need to pay for parking in all-day parking areas (Zone E). 

To park in Zone E, it will cost $1.00 per hour to a maximum charge of $4.00 for a stay of four hours of more. This can be paid for using coins or credit card. 

Alternatively, you can purchase a three (3) month, six (6) month or yearly parking permit to display in Zone E parking areas. 

Do I have to display a ticket if I have a disabled permit?

No. If you display a disabled parking permit, you are not required to obtain a ticket from the parking meter. If you display a disabled parking permit, you area also entitled to park for twice the sign posted period.

Do I have to display a ticket if I ride a motorbike? 

Bikes are encouraged to park in designated motorbike parking areas. Parking in these areas is free for motorbikes and scooters.

Can I pay after I have reached the time limit?

You will not be able to pay to extend your parking session.

The purpose of the time limit is to promote turn-over of key parking areas across the City Centre. To achieve this, you will only be able park in designated areas for UP TO the designated time limit. If you expect that you will need to park longer for your visit to the City Centre, you should consider parking in an area with a longer time limit. 

Why won’t the machine give me another ticket? 

When you get your free ticket, you will need to enter your registration number. This will be recorded by the parking meter. Once you have reached the time limit, the parking meter will not issue a new ticket.

If I have reached my parking time limit, when can I get a new ticket? 

You will not be able to obtain a new ticket for the vehicle’s registration plate until 1 hour has passed since the expiry of your last parking session. 

Are annual passes still available? 

Yes, you can still obtain a 12 month parking permit (which will also continue to be available pro-rata for the financial year), along with having the option to purchase a three (3) month permit, or six (6) month permit. The fees for these can be found in Council’s Fees and Charges. 

Will Council be getting a parking app? 

Council will be investigating options for parking apps to make ticketing more convenient for visitors to the city centre. 


Palmerston City Centre Parking Study: Background Report
Palmerston City Centre Parking Study: Strategy
Palmerston City Centre Parking Study: Implementation Plan
City Centre Parking Study: Consultation Report 
Car Parking Contribution Plan
City Centre Parking Map