Nippy end to school holidays Te Waipounamu


With Matariki weekend looming and the school holidays winding up, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency reminds drivers to check their routes and weather warnings ahead of the trip home. Take your time and enjoy the journey.

Chains were required on the Lindis Pass between Tarras and Omarama earlier today with some drivers being convoyed through. North of Dunedin, care was required on the Leith Saddle, SH1.

What is ahead today and overnight?

Road snowfall warnings are in place overnight Wednesday (12 July) into Thursday on the Lewis Pass (SH7), Arthur’s Pass and Porters Pass (SH73) in Canterbury.

In Otago, MetService road snowfall warnings are in place on the Lindis Pass (SH8) between Tarras and Omarama, the Crown Range Road between Wanaka and Queenstown, and SH1 south of Waitati into Dunedin over the Leith Saddle.

In coming days ice may well be a factor mornings and evenings in shaded spots on these routes so please take care, avoid sudden braking. Crews will be gritting and applying de-icing compound ahead of ice forming.

In Southland, the Milford Sound/Piopiotahi Road (SH94) requires chains to be carried tonight after 6 pm, from Hollyford to The Chasm. Snow is forecast Wednesday and into the evening, turning to rain by midnight. People should expect snow clearing equipment to be operating. 

Metservice severe weather warning map of South Island

The Metserve severe warning map this afternoon (12 July).

Wind watch in places top and bottom

There is also a strong wind watch in place for coastal areas of Southland, Clutha and Dunedin and at the top of the island around Golden Bay.

Winter driving tips

  • 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.
  • Use your highest gear when travelling uphill and your lowest downhill.
  • For vehicles without anti-skid braking systems, to avoid skidding or sliding, smoothly pump the brake pedal in short 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.
  • Makes sure everyone is wearing their seat belt throughout the full journey.