South Island road advice: southerly storm, sea swells, high winds


Drivers are advised to take care today as high winds and the southerly storm continues to move up the country, says the NZ Transport Agency. 'Conditions are changing quite quickly,' says the Transport Agency’s Southern Region Journey Manager Tresca Forrester. 'Please check the map for updates on closures.'

Two highways are closed in the South Island as at 9.30 am – SH94 Te Anau to Milford Sound and SH73 Arthur’s Pass to Otira due to snow and ice. SH7 the Lewis Pass Hanmer Springs turnoff to Springs Junction was closed briefly earlier today but is now open with restrictions – chains essential and no towing vehicles.

  • In the North Island, SH1 is closed through the Desert Road, Waiouru to Turangi, and SH2 Rimutaka Hill between Upper Hutt and Featherston because of snow.

Coastal swells Kaikoura
Drivers along SH1, the Kaikoura Coast, should be aware the high tide is approaching (around 10 am today) and there will be some debris on the highway due to coastal swells. Contractors are keeping a close eye on the conditions.

Lindis Pass, SH8, chains warning extended, strong wind warning
The chains warning for the Lindis Pass is extended on SH8 between Cromwell and Omarama. There is also a strong wind warning for the Lindis.

The following warnings & road closures are in place

SH73 Arthurs Pass to Otira (Arthurs Pass) -Ice- Road closed due to ice - next update 10am.

SH73 Springfield to Arthurs Pass (Porters Pass) - Snow - Chains essential and closed to towing vehicles.

SH7 Hanmer Turnoff to Springs Junction (Lewis Pass) - Snow - Chains essential -and closed to towing vehicles.

SH8 Cromwell to Omarama (Lindis Pass) - Snow - Chains essential - closed to towing vehicles.

SH87 Kyeburn to Outram - Snow - Vehicle Restrictions and closed to towing vehicles.

SH85 Ranfurly to Palmerston - Snow - Vehicle Restrictions and closed to towing vehicles.

SH94 Milford Sound to Te Anau (Milford Rd)- Road closed due to snow and avalanche risk.

SH6 Queenstown to Lumsden - SH6 is partly flooded at Diggers Creek Bridge covering both lanes. Road users are advised to take extra care.

Strong wind warnings: high-sided vehicle drivers and motorcyclists need to take special care and slow down on these highways

  • SH1 Oamaru to Gore
  • SH1 Timaru to Glenavy
  • SH80 - Twizel to Mt Cook (Mt Cook Highway)
  • SH8 Timaru to Omarama
  • SH8 Cromwell to Omarama (Lindis Pass)
  • SH87 Kyeburn to Outram

Queenstown Lakes

Crown Range - Chains are no longer essential on the Crown Range. Queenstown Lakes District road conditions here.(external link)

See the NZ Transport Agency's travel and traffic page here.(external link)

MetService snow warnings here.(external link)

MetService severe weather warnings here.(external link)

Canterbury West Coast Transport Agency Twitter updates link)

Otago Southland Transport Agency Twitter updates

Transport Agency Facebook South Island link)

Call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS 0800 44 44 49