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Snow and ice over the South Island this evening: highway summary


The NZ Transport Agency advises all South Island road travellers to check the Traffic and Travel website and the map showing area warnings and closures for highway updates before heading out tonight and tomorrow morning.

Traffic and travel information page(external link)

Traffic information map(external link)

With more snow forecast this evening and into tomorrow (Thursday) morning, there may be overnight road closures due to ice, snow and black ice road conditions.

Please drive with extreme care, and patience, and think about whether you need to travel this evening.

  • State Highway 85 in Otago, Becks/ Palmerston to Kyeburn, has just reopened, also SH87 Kyeburn to Outram. 


As at 3 pm, Porters Pass (Springfield to Arthur’s Pass) remains closed however, it may open to chains and no towing vehicles before 4 pm. Please check the Canterbury web(external link) map for updates after 3 pm.

Lewis Pass (SH7), the Lindis Pass (SH8) and Burkes Pass are open, but please read our earlier warning re snowfall forecast for Burkes and Lindis later today.

Kaikoura: the inland Waiau/ Mt Lyford road remains closed due to ice and snow - update at 7am Thursday. SH1 is open till 6 pm tonight to the south of Kaikoura.

State Highways: Closures

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.