Snow settling in the south of the South Island/Te Wai Pounamu


About 10cm of snow has settled in Southland this afternoon, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. The area catching the snow showers currently is SH94 Gorge Hill, between Mossburn and Te Anau.

Waka Kotahi’s Highways South maintenance team says the highway remains passable but people unfamiliar with driving in snow should avoid travel. Some drivers with little experience of driving in snow have got stuck already today and needed help.

Keep your lights on where there is poor visibility

“Please keep your headlights on where there is minimal visibility,” says Graeme Hall, System Manager for Waka Kotahi in the Lower South Island. “Freight drivers are reporting that they are seeing many vehicles travelling without lights on during early morning when visibility is poor.”

Mossburn to Te Anau, SH94, updates(external link)

Milford Sound/Pioiotahi

Further along SH94 closer to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi, drivers need to carry chains between the Hollyford turnoff and The Chasm.

Updates here for Milford Sound travellers, SH94(external link)

Keep your headlights on in conditions like this, says Waka Kotahi – Gorge Hill, SH94, Southland earlier this afternoon.

Lakes District/ Central Otago

Elsewhere in the south, snow is forecast to affect parts of Queenstown Lakes District, Central Otago and into tomorrow, the alpine passes in Canterbury.

  • Snow is forecast to 500 metres affecting the Crown Range, between Wanaka and Queenstown, and Central Otago, overnight and into Thursday.
  • For both districts, fine spells increasing on Thursday should improve road conditions and temperature.

Four sections of highway have a moderate risk of snow and crews are ready to apply grit for better traction where it is needed early tomorrow. People need to be ready for snow-clearing operations on these highways:

  • SH6 Frankton to Kingston
  • SH8 Lindis Pass to Tarras
  • SH85 Kyeburn to Ranfurly
  • SH85 Ranfurly to Hills Creek

Canterbury alpine passes

Arthur’s, Porters and Lewis Passes (SH 73 and 7) tonight and Thursday morning

Snow showers are possible above 700 metres on these alpine passes from Wednesday afternoon into the evening with snow falling at the summits.