The NZ Transport Agency is advising all South Island road travellers to check their Traffic and Travel website and the map showing area warnings and highway closures for highway updates before heading off this morning.
Traffic and travel information page(external link)
Traffic information map (external link)
“If you are able to, postpone your journey,” says Lee Wright, Transport Agency Journey Manager. “In many places snow is lying on top of ice making driving extremely dangerous.”
State Highway 1 into Dunedin, the Northern Motorway, Waitati to Pine Hill, is closed with a layer of snow over ice.
Highways are being reassessed throughout the day and will be updated around 11 am.
The alpine passes to the West Coast were both closed near midnight last night at Porters Pass (SH73) and through the Lewis Pass (SH7), Hanmer Springs turnoff to Springs Junction.
The Haast Pass (SH6) was closed after 6 pm last night and remains closed this morning.
The Lindis Pass (SH8) Omarama to Tarras is closed.
Burkes Pass, Fairlie to Tekapo (SH8) is open but chains are essential and no towing vehicles.
The Transport Agency’s Maintenance Contract Manager in Southland Josh Webb says the highway crews snow-ploughed through the night on SH6 Jollies Hill (Five Rivers to Garston highway) and SH94 Gorge Hill (between Mossburn and Te Anau), where it has not stopped snowing since yesterday as Southland whited out overnight.
“Crews have concentrated on keeping State Highway 1 connecting Invercargill north open and we closed SH93 Mataura to Clinton around midnight with a manned checkpoint.”
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. People can get to Kaikoura via State Highway 1, via Cheviot and the Hundalees thismorning. (Normally this route is closed Tuesday to Thursday for road works.)
MetService(external link) - Road Snowfall Warnings
State Highways: Closures/ recent area warnings
- SH85 Palmerston to Kyeburn - Snow and Ice – Road Closed
- SH8 Clarksville To Raes Junction - Ice – Road closed to towing vehicles.
- SH93 Mataura to Clinton – Snow – Road closed
- SH85 Becks to Kyeburn/ Wedderburn – Road closed
- SH6 Garston to Lumsden – Snow – Area warning caution advised
- SH1 Dunedin Northern Motorway Waitati to Pine Hill – Snow - Road Closed
- SH6 Haast to Hawea – Snow - Road closed
- SH73 Springfield to Arthurs Pass – Snow – Road closed
- SH7 Hanmer Springs Turnoff to Springs Junction (Lewis Pass) – Snow – Road closed
- SH73 Arthurs Pass to Otira – Snow – Chains required and towing restrictions apply
- SH8 Burkes Pass, Fairlie to Tekapo – Snow – Caution advised
- SH82 Kurow to Waimate - Ice – Caution winter driving conditions advised
- SH80 Aoraki Mount Cook National Park to Ben Ohau - Snow and Ice - Caution advised
- SH6 Ross to Haast Pass (Ross to Mount Aspiring National Park)- Ice
- SH8 Omarama to Tarras (Lindis Pass) - Snow and Ice – Road Closed
- SH90 Raes Junction to Mcnab - Ice - Caution advised
- SH1 Palmerston to Balclutha - Ice - Caution winter driving conditions advised
- SH6 Frankton to Kingston – Ice – Caution advised
- SH6 Kawerau Gorge – Ice – Caution advised
- SH87 Kyeburn to Mosgiel – Ice – Caution advised.
- Crown Range - Snow - Chains MUST be fitted by all vehicles
- SH94 Hollyford to Chasm (Fiordland National Park) – The road is open a towing restriction applies.
How to stay up to date:
Simple guidelines for safe winter travelling
- do you need to travel today? If you do, think about the best route to take and build in 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.