Snow, flooding closes key South Island routes – 10.30am update


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises travellers in the South Island/Te Waipounamu to check their route before they set off today.

Snow has closed inland passes (Burkes and Lindis, and the road into Aoraki/Mt Cook) in South Canterbury/Otago and flooding has closed SH1 to Blenheim and Picton at Seddon in Marlborough.

SH1 is likely to be closed all day at Seddon due to flooding.

It is possible that more highways may be closed due to flooding as the day progresses, says Waka Kotahi Journey Manager Tresca Forrester. 

“Please slow down and drive to the conditions if there is surface flooding to avoid making waves. People should expect roads that are open to be slower than usual with damage from last week’s storm creating some slower patches in many places across our network.”

South Island/Te Waipounamu closed routes

SH1 Seddon, just south of the Awatere River

Flooding has closed SH1 at this point and no detour is available. This highway is likely to be closed all day but will be updated on the Waka Kotahi traffic page around 3 pm.

How do I get to Picton/Blenheim?

People who need to get to or from Picton or Blenheim today should take the Lewis Pass route north of Christchurch, SH7, Waipara turnoff from SH1, then SH65, the Shenandoah Highway via Maruia, SH6 to Murchison then SH63 via St Arnaud to Blenheim. (Reverse for southern trip).

  • People need to be aware there is Stop/Go management and temporary traffic lights in place west of Murchison at Dellows Bluff due to rockfall last week.
  • There is also a short local detour on SH63 in Renwick near Blenheim: Anglesea Street is closed with traffic diverted through Renwick. This will be updated at 3 pm.
  • There is surface flooding through SH63, the St Arnaud route, which is being closely monitored with further rain forecast.

Updates for SH1 at Seddon(external link)

Marlborough District Council local roads updates(external link)

Arthur’s Pass/Porters Pass SH73 is closed to towing vehicles

The Arthur’s Pass/ Porters Pass route, SH73 between Canterbury and the West Coast both opened after 8.30 am today after closing last night due to snow. Both passes are closed to towing vehicles.

South Canterbury into Otago – three closures

Snow has closed these three South Canterbury/ Otago roads:

Ploughing is underway – next update 10 am. 

Closed to towing vehicles around Omarama

SH8 Twizel to Omarama is closed to towing vehicles, open with extreme caution for other vehicles.

Omarama to Pukeuri, SH83, closed to towing vehicles, open with extreme caution for all other vehicles.

Town/city flooding news


There is flooding around Christchurch city with Fitzgerald Ave reduced to a single lane south, near the Kilmore St bridge. People can check which roads are closed on the council’s facebook page.


Waka Kotahi crews cleared debris from last week’s storm from around the piers of the Ashburton River/ Hakatere road and rail bridges at the weekend in preparation for today’s expected river level rises.


Environment Canterbury flood warnings

Queenstown updates for the Crown Range Road