Lewis Pass reopens between Canterbury and the West Coast, storm abating South Island


Ice is thawing out on the Canterbury/ West Coast alpine passes.

The Lewis Pass, SH7, was reopened before 9am today, with no weather-related restrictions, ie no need for drivers to carry chains and towing vehicles are allowed, says the NZ Transport Agency.

Arthur’s Pass, SH73, is open but chains are still required this morning and no towing vehicles are allowed. It is hoped these restrictions can be lifted later today so keep an eye on the map(external link) for changes.

“It may be icy in many places this morning and Saturday morning, particularly shaded areas and bridges,” says Tresca Forrester, Transport Agency Journey Manager Southern Region.

Drivers through the Lindis Pass, SH8, Cromwell to Omarama, should continue to be aware of high winds and slow down for safety, particularly drivers of high-sided vehicles and motorcyclists.

• Thanks to all media and social media people for publicising and sharing the closures and road conditions the past few days.

Queenstown Lakes

Queenstown Lakes District road conditions here.(external link) 

Further information

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(external link)

(external link)Otago Southland Transport Agency Twitter updates(external link)

Transport Agency Facebook South Island(external link) 

Call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS 0800 44 44 49