Icy highways South Island – slow down for ice and on gritted roads


South Island drivers need to slow down and watch following distances on both icy roads and gritted roads this morning, says NZ Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright.

All highways are open but there are area-wide winter driving warnings in place around Christchurch/ Banks Peninsula and North Canterbury, also north of Dunedin, Palmerston to Gore and the inland area Mosgiel to Kyeburn.

Transport Agency and council crews have gritted highways and electronic signs are warning drivers of ice also. Snow is now cleared from most highways and bridges and shaded area have been gritted.

Chains are essential with no towing vehicles from Springfield to Arthur’s Pass, on SH73, route to the West Coast, currently.

Otago and Southland

  • State Highways 87 Middlemarch to Outram, and SH85 Palmerston to Kyeburn, require extreme care with an area-wide warning from Mosgiel to Kyeburn (inland routes) and Palmerston to Gore (SH1).
  • Kawarau Falls to Lumsden care is needed.
  • Te Anau to Milford care is needed.
  • Expect ice through the Lindis Pass, SH8, Omarama to Tarras.


  • SH73 – ice on the Plains. Snow from Darfield and chains required, no towing vehicles from Springfield with -11 degrees in places overnight.
  • SH7, Canterbury side of the Lewis Pass, Hanmer – icy but open.
  • SH75 – light snow over Hill Top/ Banks Peninsula, last night, now icy.
  • SH77 – the Rakaia Gorge between Ashburton and Darfield, also Methven and the Mt Hutt Skifield route - care is needed, road is gritted.

For latest road conditions, road restrictions, delays or road closures:

Or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).