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Snow over Te Waipounamu/the South Island this week – expect changeable highway conditions – 9.45 am update


South Island drivers need to check the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency traffic map before heading through alpine areas and inland Dunedin/ Otago this week.

8 August 2022, 11am update

See the 11am traffic bulletin

Snow closed SH1 south of Kaikōura earlier today but it has since reopened with road patrols active.

“Expect driving conditions to be challenging and road conditions to change quickly through the week. People should check the Waka Kotahi map and MetService snow forecasts,” says Tresca Forrester, Journey Manager for Waka Kotahi.

Journey Planner(external link)

Closed currently due to snow – Otago/Canterbury

SH8 Fairlie to Twizel, Burkes Pass

SH8 Tarras to Omarama, the Lindis Pass

SH85 Palmerston to Kyeburn

SH87 Outram, west of Mosgiel, to Kyeburn

Canterbury: Not closed but snowing and chains needed some routes

SH73, Porters Pass, Springfield to Castle Hill and Arthur’s Pass to Otira: Chains essential, no towing vehicles.

SH7, the Lewis Pass north and west of Waipara: Snowing down to Shale Peak, snow Weka Pass to Hurunui, strong winds – care needed, especially high-sided vehicles.

SH77, Windwhistle to Methven: Road patrol active, closed to towing vehicles and chains essential.

vehicles being towed on the road full of snow

Porters Pass Sunday evening, 7 August, SH73: Vehicles had to be towed before the route could be reopened around 8.30 pm after closing at 5 pm.

Drop-out Kingston, Queenstown Lakes District, single lane

SH6 at Kingston, south of the Devil’s Staircase, key route to Queenstown: A significant drop out Friday night has reduced this highway to single lane. (See photo below). Drivers need to build in extra time and take care along this route to Queenstown. 

cordoned off slip on main road

A drop-out at Kingston, now reduced to a single lane.

Crown Range

Chains are needed this morning on the Crown Range Road between Wanaka and Queenstown. Updates at link)

Mossburn to Te Anau, SH94 Southland

Care is needed on this route due to snow and ice.

Dunedin to Waitati, SH1

Ice along this route, drivers need to take care.

heavily snowed roads

Jollies Hill, SH6, Southland, Sunday morning.

People heading over alpine passes or driving inland of Dunedin, or through Central Otago, should check the Waka Kotahi traffic map and also MetService forecasts and updates:

Journey Planner(external link)

MetService road snowfall warnings(external link)

Simple rules for safe winter travelling

  • allow extra time and stay up to date with both road updates and weather forecasts
  • ensure your vehicle is safe for winter driving (warranted, windwipers/lights working, spare tyre, chains if in snowy areas)
  • 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.