Southland, Otago, West Coast, wider South Island weather and highway update – 11.30 am


With snow falling heavily over parts of the southern and central South Island, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s highway teams ask everyone to stay off the highways and roads unless they are well prepared for the conditions and poor visibility.

Conditions are changing very quickly,” says Waka Kotahi’s Maintenance Contract Manager for Southland Justin Reid.

“Please check our traffic maps before you head out and be well prepared for cold conditions and slippery roads with poor visibility. Some routes are currently closed or have just reopened mid-morning, but snow is continuing.”

Journey planner(external link)

There are a few cars that have slid off the road around Otago and Southland and roads may be temporarily closed to clear cars or trucks from the sides of roads.

Areas to be aware of Southland and Otago

  • SH94 has now reopened Mossburn to the Key – but it is still snowing heavily. Roads are being snow ploughed especially around Gorge Hill this morning. Road closure information(external link) 
  • Te Anau to Milford Sound Piopiotahi  SH94 closed over the weekend due to avalanche risk and today through to Tuesday, snow coming in. Road closure information(external link) 
  • SH96 – Ohai to Nightcaps snow is settling and is getting heavier as of 11 am today, drive with caution. Traffic information(external link) 
  • SH6 please avoid or delay your travel between Kingston and Queenstown – snowing heavily especially on Jollies Hill area, ploughs active. Traffic area warnings(external link) 
  • Further afield Cromwell to Queenstown, Central Otago, SH6. Traffic area warnings(external link) 
  • The Lindis Pass, Cromwell to Omarama SH 8 is also catching snow today and drivers need to take care.
  • Snow also on SH93 (Mataura to Clinton).

Central Otago highways open but caution required

“All Central Otago state highways are currently open as at 11 am Monday with caution advised.  Crews are patrolling and clearing as required across the network,” says Waka Kotahi Central Otago Maintenance Contract Manager Mark Stewart.

Canterbury-West Coast – Lewis Pass open again

The Lewis Pass, SH7, linking Canterbury to Nelson and the West Coast has now reopened after closing early this morning due to snow.

Traffic information(external link)

Chains are essential on the Arthur’s Pass route between Canterbury and the West Coast, SH73 and the highway is closed to towing vehicles:

Area warnings(external link)

SH6 between Franz Josef and Fox Glacier towns closed as at 10 am today due to snow and need to remove a truck. Next update midday.

Road closure information(external link)

Journey planner(external link)

Regional updates

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: