Ice and snow driving warning — carry chains alpine passes, Queenstown Lakes District roads black ice warning


The NZ Transport Agency closed State Highway 73 during the night between Arthur's Pass and Otira due to heavy falls of snow, however it has since reopened with chains essential and snow easing this morning so far.

All drivers taking the Lewis Pass, (SH7) as well as the Lindis Pass, South Canterbury, and the Haast Pass, need to carry chains today, as snow has been falling overnight and continues to fall this morning to about 40cm deep. No towing vehicles through the Lewis Pass.

State Highway 7 between Springs Junction and Hanmer requires chains with no towing vehicles. The Rahu Saddle (Springs Junction to Reefton) has had about 30-40cm of snow and still snowing. The road is open with chains essential.

Snow on the Fox Hills, between the Franz and Fox Glaciers, South Westland, has cleared.

There is ice on the Lindis Pass, State Highway 8, Omarama to Tarras.

“Please keep safe following distances and drive prepared for the cold and slippery winter conditions,” said Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright.

In Dunedin, State Highway 1 Leith Saddle, Waitati to Dunedin/ Pine Hill is open with another update expected around 9 am. Check the Leith Saddle traffic web camera(external link).
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(external link)Southland and Otago drivers should plan their journeys after checking weather forecasts. Check the Transport Agency’s traffic map and the MetService’s snow forecast(external link) pages.

The Milford Rd (State Highway 94 to Te Anau) remains closed due to snow and avalanche risk with an update this afternoon. The Transport Agency’s traffic and travel map shows the status of this road and other state highway closures or known delays.

See the NZ Transport Agency's travel and traffic page.

MetService snow warnings(external link).

6.15 am emailed update from Queenstown Lakes District

Queenstown Lakes District Road Conditions

As at 6.15am Friday, 29 July 2016

Disclaimer: Road conditions during winter are subject to change at any time. Always drive to the conditions. For updates, go to:

There is a high risk of ice /black ice forming across the district throughout the morning as roads are wet and temperatures trending down – already near zero in most places. It’s been snowing for hours on the Crown Range – road is open but all vehicles must carry chains. High risk of encountering snow and ice on the Cardrona Valley Road as well. Overall winter driving conditions apply – please take it slow and don’t tailgate or overtake grit trucks.

Go to Driving in Winter(external link) for information on driving in our district. If conditions change during the day, we will post updates on the QLDC Facebook page: and on our Twitter feed: @QueenstownLakes.