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Lewis Pass, Lindis Pass and Haast highway reopens, Dunedin Northern Motorway moving again – South Island highway update

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NZ Transport Agency crews reopened the Lewis Pass (SH7) between the Hanmer Springs turnoff and Springs Junction at 11 am today also Otago’s Lindis Pass (SH8) Omarama to Tarras and the Haast highway, which was closed on the Otago side (SH6) to Hawea.

Please note, chains are still essential on the Lindis Pass.

All South Island road travellers should check their Traffic and Travel website(external link) and the map(external link) showing area warnings and highway closures for highway updates before heading out today.

Dunedin reopening to the north

State Highway 1 into Dunedin, the Northern Motorway, Waitati to Pine Hill, will soon be fully open. Traffic is moving but due to a few vehicles striking difficulties, drivers can expect a slow journey in or out of Dunedin to the north for a short time.

Kaikoura – inland road closed due to ice and snow

The inland road into Kaikoura via Waiau was closed earlier today due to snow and ice and is likely to stay closed all day. People can get to Kaikoura via State Highway 1 until 6 pm, via Cheviot and the Hundalees today. (Normally this route is closed Tuesday to Thursday for road works.)

Arthur's Pass
Photo from the web cam at SH73 Arthur’s Pass today, for other West Coast web cam shots see this link: http://www.p2c.nz/westcoast(external link)

The map has the most updated closures and advice for drivers

For a full picture of closures across the South Island, please check the map(external link) on the Transport Agency’s web site. It is being regularly updated. Orange cross hatching notes an areas caution and restriction (for example, chains essential, no towing vehicles) and black notes a complete closure.

How to stay up to date:

Simple rules for safe winter travelling:

  • allow extra time
  • ensure your vehicle is safe for winter driving
  • drive to the road and weather conditions
  • slow down and be prepared for unexpected hazards
  • allow greater following distance between you and the vehicle ahead
  • make sure your cell phone is well charged, check car charger also
  • have blankets, snacks, bottles of water ready in case of emergency or a breakdown.

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