Last link in Haast highway route south of Hokitika reopens 9 am


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will reopen State Highway 6 between Harihari and Whataroa at 9am today, (Friday, 20 December).

This section of highway is the last part of the Haast highway south of Hokitika to reopen after the 7 December storm which closed several sections of the road between Ross and Paringa. 

“We are really pleased to get this highway fully reconnected in time for Christmas. It is a testament to the hard-working crews and their willingness to go the extra mile at this important time of the year for us all.

“We remind people we will lock the gates at each end of Mt Hercules at 9pm each night and reopen them at 7am each morning, for everyone’s safety. This will be reviewed after 6 January,” says Transport Agency Senior Network Manager Colin Hey.

  • Once open, the SH6 route will have traffic lights and single lane through several areas including Mt Hercules, between Harihari and Whataroa, and further south in the Haast Valley. 
  • People should allow an extra hour to their journey, Westland to Otago, and give themselves plenty of time to enjoy the coast route.

Mt Hercules and the locked night section

The road over Mt Hercules between Harihari and Whataroa will be open daily from 7am to 9pm.  The road may also close during the day if significant rain creates fresh slips or the need for more clean-ups. This will be monitored daily by road crews.

“It is our intention that these arrangements through Mt Hercules will stay in place over the Christmas period and will be reviewed after 6 January, 2020,” says Mr Hey.

State Highway 73 between Christchurch and the West Coast has reopened

10am update

Heavy rain overnight had brought down a number of slips on SH73 between Arthur’s Pass and Jacksons on the Otira gorge. This road reopened around 10am after slips were cleared.

Thanks to everyone

“Thanks to all residents, particularly those who live between Harihari and Whataroa, for their patience while crews have worked hard to reopen SH6,” says Mr Hey.

“We do not underestimate the effects of this two-week closure on the many hospitality, adventure and recreational businesses in South Westland. We ask everyone to take care on the newly opened highway and build in plenty of time for the journey south of Hokitika over Haast Pass into Otago.”

Before and after

SH6 section of Mt Hercules after a 'drop-out' two weeks ago:

SH6 section of Mt Hercules as of 19 December 2019

SH6 section of Mt Hercules now fully reformed as of 19 December 2019:

SH6 section of Mt Hercules as of 19 December 2019

SH6 section of Mt Hercules as of 19 December 2019

SH6 section of Mt Hercules as of 19 December 2019

Video footage and more photos of the work underway on SH6 since 7 December on this project page:
SH6 South Westland repairs(external link)

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