Te Waipounamu/South Island road closures: Access re-established to Omarama


Omarama has two state highway connections again with SH8 to Twizel reopening after 10 am today and SH83, Otematata to Omarama opening before 11 am.

People will have a slower than usual journey on many Otago and Canterbury roads with damage caused by the recent few days’ torrential rain, slips and snow, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. 

Rivers have dropped since last night’s peaks and rain is abating.

“People should expect surface flooding in places and drive to the conditions especially around our road crews and Stop/Go people,” says Graeme Hall, System Manager for Waka Kotahi.

The third, key route to Omarama via the Lindis Pass/ Tarras, SH8, remains closed today with a number of slips and damage to clear.

Waka Kotahi Journey Planner(external link)

The Aoraki/ Mt Cook highway, SH80, is due to reopen this afternoon, possibly after 2pm, given a fresh slip has come through this morning. The highway will be closed overnight 6 pm to 7 am.

Omarama, SH8 this morning – drivers will need to slow through the town

Omarama SH8 map

Alternative route into Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes District

“People are best to delay travel today if they can and check their routes first,” says Mr Hall.

“The alternative route into Central Otago is via SH85 - Palmerston, Kyeburn and Alexandra. The coastal end of this route is damaged from the recent snow and floods so please factor that into your journey. There are also potholes and damage on SH87, Mosgiel to Kyeburn.

“We ask all drivers to take care around our crews and expect a much slower journey.”

Aoraki/Mt Cook, SH80 – aiming to open after 2pm, closed overnight

Crews have been working hard to clear several slips on the Aoraki/ Mt Cook Road, SH80. (See photo below). They are aiming to get the highway reopened after 2pm, with Stop/Go traffic management around the slip sites, including a new one this morning. The highway will close again overnight, 6 pm to 7 am Thursday.  

SH 80 Ben Ohau to Mount Cook(external link)

The Aoraki/ Mt Cook Road, SH80 this morning – several slips cleared and a new one today

The Aoraki/ Mt Cook Road, SH80 this morning – several slips cleared and a new one today

SH6 Lake Hawea, Otago, north to Haast on the West Coast: Closed with a major slip near Pleasant Flat. Update 2 pm this afternoon. 

SH 6 Haast to Lake Hawea(external link)

Rakaia Gorge, SH77, Mid Canterbury – closure with a detour: A washout has closed the highway just south of Blackford Road, however a local detour is in place.  

SH 77 Mount Hutt, between Blackford Road and Mt Hutt Station Road(external link)

Access to Nelson from Canterbury – via Kaikōura today

Tasman District, SH6, west of Murchison – road closed due to rockfall: People travelling between Nelson and Canterbury will need to take SH1 via Kaikōura today.  The highway is closed between the Shenandoah highway, SH65/ SH6 intersection and Murchison on SH6 at Dellows Bluff due to rockfall.

State Highway 6 closed due to slip near Murchison (Media release, 20 July 2022)

SH 6 Murchison, west of Hinehaka Road(external link)

Waitaki District Council advice on bridge/road closures eg Lake Ohau Road and boil water notices:

Waitaki District Council Facebook(external link)(external link)

Waitaki District Council Flooding, Slips, Washouts, Boil Water Notices(external link)

People are encouraged to check the Waka Kotahi traffic map before heading off.

Waka Kotahi Journey Planner(external link)