Plan ahead if you are travelling across the South Island from the early hours of Thursday morning, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. MetService is forecasting snow across central and southern parts of the South Island that may make driving conditions hazardous.
Heavy rain is also forecast across the Kaikōura coast and strong winds across the West Coast and Marlborough, says Waka Kotahi Journey Manager Tresca Forrester.
“We’re asking road users to plan before they set off and be prepared for cold conditions. People should check the MetService and Waka Kotahi journey planner before setting off.”
Lewis Pass (SH7)
Snow is expected during Thursday and Friday, from 7am Thursday to 6am Friday. Between 8 and 12cm of snow may settle near the summit, with lesser amounts to 600 metres.
Arthur's Pass (SH73)
Snow is expected on the road on Thursday. From 2am to 11pm Thursday, 8 to 12cm may accumulate above 700 metres, with lesser amounts to 500 metres.
Porters Pass (SH73)
Snow is expected on the road on Thursday. From 1am to 11pm Thursday 10 to 20cm may accumulate above 700 metres and more near the summit, with lesser amounts to 500 metres.
Lindis Pass, between Omarama and Wanaka (SH8)
Snow is expected on the road from late this afternoon to evening. From 5pm to 10pm Wednesday, 4 to 8cm of snow may settle near the summit, with lesser amounts to 700 metres.
Crown Range Road between Wanaka and Queenstown (managed by Queenstown Lakes District Council)
Snow is expected during this afternoon and evening. From 3pm to 8pm Wednesday, 1 to 2cm of snow may settle near the summit, with lesser amounts to 700 metres.
Milford Road (SH94)
Snow is expected during this afternoon and early evening. From 2pm to 6pm Wednesday Between 2 and 4cm of snow may settle near the tunnel, with lesser amounts to 700 metres.
Winter Driving Tips
If the weather is bad and your travel can’t be put off, allow extra time for your journey. Plan to drive in the middle of the day or in daylight hours, when visibility is better and ice and snow are less likely to be on the road.
“Avoid driving at night, when hazards rapidly multiply,” says Ms Forrester.
If you’re travelling through alpine and higher altitude highways, dress for the conditions, carry warm clothes and keep a survival kit in your vehicle in case you get stuck. Ensure your car is roadworthy and safe to drive.
Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: