The circuit is currently 2.82 kilometres (1.8 mi) long, having been shortened from its original combined 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) length when combined with the now defunct club circuit. Its visibility is low because the corridor of armco barriers is only inches from the track on both sides. It is seen as one of the fastest of all southern hemisphere circuits with the lap record at around 55 seconds and a very long back straight leading into a 50 km/h (31 mph) hairpin. In order to win on this track, the driver needs a good entry onto the back straight. Furthermore, the driver also needs to drive the car right to its full potential.
The 2012 NZ$6.6 million upgrade will include improving driver safety with revised barriers, run-off areas, tyre walls, transition kerbs and gravel traps. A new first and second line of protection (impact absorbing concrete barrier and debris fence) will be built. Some resurfacing of the raceway will occur while keeping character of the track. Plans include chicane before the hairpin on the back straight, increasing the track length from 2.84 km to 2.91 km. V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane said the terminal speed of V8 Supercars on the back straight was too great. The work will improve the FIA safety from FIA Grade 3 to Grade 2