Expect snow and ice over the South Island today, check highways before you set off


With snow falling overnight and into this morning in many southern and central parts of the South Island, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises all drivers to avoid unnecessary journeys and check highways before setting off.

“Please check our traffic maps before you head out and be well prepared for cold conditions and slippery roads with poor visibility. Several routes in Southland, Otago and North Canterbury/ Tasman are currently closed,” says Graeme Hall, System Manager Waka Kotahi for Southland and Otago.

“Crews are out and keeping an eye on key places, but we still need people to drive to the conditions and if you can delay your trips until the sun is out and ice is melting, that will help. Bridges and shaded areas there will be black ice, so take it slowly. Any areas that are gritted, slow down.”

Most of these routes (below) will be updated at 10 or 11am so check the traffic and travel map for changes then.

Traffic map(external link)

Queenstown Lakes local road traffic updates: Check the Facebook page. The Crown Range between Wanaka and Queenstown opened earlier around 7.30 am.

Queenstown Lakes District Council Facebook page(external link) 

Southland closures

SH94 Te Anau to Milford Sound

SH93 Clinton to Mataura

SH96 Ohai to Wrey’s Bush

SH6 Lowther to Parawa

SH6 Wye Creek to Lumsden and Kingston – chains essential

Otago closures/ advice

SH87 Middlemarch to Outram, inland from Dunedin

SH87 Closed to towing vehicles from Kyeburn to Middlemarch

SH8 Rae's Junction to Milton and SH 90 McNab to Rae's Junction – four wheel drive vehicles only at this stage on these routes

Central Otago highways: Snow is continuing to fall south of Alexandra but crews are patrolling and clearing as much as possible.  Moderate to heavy snow on SH8 and SH85 south of Alexandra and Kingston area but highways open.

Canterbury/Tasman/Nelson/ West Coast closures

SH7 Lewis Pass route, Hanmer Springs turnoff to Springs Junction

SH7 Springs Junction to Reefton (the Rahu saddle) on the West Coast

SH65 O’Sullivans bridge to Springs Junction is closed (the Shenandoah route)

SH6 Hope Saddle, south of Nelson road is now open

Arthur’s Pass route open with conditions

SH73 the Arthur’s Pass route between Canterbury and the West Coast is open but between Otira and Arthur’s Pass, chains are essential and no towing vehicles.

Area warnings(external link) 

Overall traffic updates for all of New Zealand(external link)  

Regional updates

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: