Key alpine highways reopen, ice advice this week


The Porters Pass/Arthur’s Pass SH73 route linking Canterbury and the West Coast and the Lewis Pass route, SH7, linking Canterbury to Nelson and the West Coast have reopened.

SH7, south of Hanmer springs turnoff, earlier today

“Thanks to everyone for their patience while we got these key roads safely reopened after the snow storm yesterday,” says Tresca Forrester, Journey Manager for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

“Our crews have been working hard to remove trapped vehicles and get the roads graded back to two lanes.”

There will be ice on highways in coming days, says Ms Forrester so people need to drive prepared for it in shaded places and bridge decks. (See advice below).

Also open

SH8 between Lake Pukaki past Lake Tekapo to Burkes Pass reopened earlier today.

State highway updates today(external link) (travel prepared with chains, warm clothing, food and water)

Winter driving advice

Ice advice

What should I do on the road?

  • Drive slower than you normally would – it only takes a split second to lose control in wet or icy conditions.
  • Avoid sudden braking or turning movements that could cause you to skid. 
  • Accelerate smoothly and brake gently.
  • Use your highest gear when travelling uphill and your lowest downhill.
  • For vehicles without anti-skid braking systems, to avoid skidding or sliding pump the brake pedal in short rapid bursts rather than pressing long and hard.
  • Drive at a safe travelling distance because it takes longer to stop on slippery roads. In winter, especially in poor weather, double the two-second rule and leave a safe distance between you and the car you’re following.
  • When travelling in fog, rain or snow, drive with your lights dipped for increased safety.

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