With King’s Birthday Weekend ahead, people using the Arthur’s Pass route (SH73) linking the West Coast and Canterbury or the Lewis Pass route (SH7) linking Tasman/ Nelson and Canterbury should check the weather forecasts and the highways update before heading out.
“In particular, with snow forecast from Sunday afternoon onwards, alpine sections of SH73 and SH7 could close at short notice,” says Tresca Forrester, Journey Manager for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
“Don’t be caught out just because it has been a relatively mild start to winter to date, check the weather before you go and be prepared for possible disruption to your journey.
“The first heavy snowfall of winter is forecast to occur during this long weekend although Saturday is looking fine at this stage in many places. We want everyone to stay safe and have a great long weekend so please monitor the forecasts and plan your journeys.”
Waka Kotahi road crews are on standby over the weekend. They will work to clear any snow that arrives and reopen the highways when it is safe to do so.
SH73, the Porters Pass/Arthur’s Pass route between the West Coast and Canterbury could catch snow on Sunday and Monday at high points.
As we’re heading into winter, with fewer daylight hours, drivers need to take extra care, especially on unfamiliar roads and highways.