Motorists advised to delay travel through central North Island


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists to delay travel through the central North Island due to several key road closures.

State Highway 1 Desert Road and State Highway 49 from Tohunga Junction (Ōhākune ) to Waiōuru are both closed due to snow. State Highway 4 is also closed between Raetihi and Whanganui as a truck has rolled and is blocking the road.

The Taihape – Napier Road is also closed due to snowfall.

Waikato System Manager Cara Lauder says motorists are advised to delay their travel.

“The alternative routes, via State Highway 3 New Plymouth or State Highway 5 Napier will add considerable time to people’s journeys. We are also advising caution on SH5 between Taupō and Napier. Be prepared for winter driving conditions, including snow and ice.

“Plan ahead and allow extra time for your journeys and drive to the road and weather conditions. Maintain a greater following distance between your vehicle and the one in front, and to slow down and be prepared for unexpected hazards.”

Visit  Journey Planner website(external link) for up to date information on road closures, traffic, detours and delays.

Waka Kotahi thanks motorists for their patience.

Winter driving tips

  • Check link) for weather and travel conditions on highways before you start your trip and on breaks throughout your journey or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).
  • Ensure your car is safe and well-equipped: spare tyre, warrant of fitness is up-to-date, lights, brakes and wind-wipers all working, clean windscreen inside and out, check tyre treads to ensure good grip.
  • If you are travelling long distances, share the driving and have regular breaks.
  • Wear your seat belt throughout the journey and check your passengers have theirs clicked in too.
  • Driving on roads that are exposed to snow and ice can be treacherous, so slow down and drive to the conditions, not the allowable/legal speed limit. Increase the following distance between you and the vehicle ahead.
  • Be prepared when travelling in case of delays on the road, particularly in alpine conditions. Make sure you have warm clothes/food/water/charged mobile phone. In an emergency, phone 111. Bear in mind some parts of the highway have no mobile phone coverage.
  • Learn about winter driving, including how to get your vehicle ready and if you are driving in an area where chains may be needed, practise putting them on before you go so you are not caught out.

More winter driving tips and advice

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: