SH1 Desert Road remains closed – snowy conditions - 4:50pm update



State Highway 1 through the Desert Road is OPEN. SH46 and SH47 have also reopened this afternoon.

Road users should be aware the highways may need to close again if expected low temperatures overnight make conditions unsafe.

Our crews are continuing to monitor the network and will be working to keep things open.

Take care when driving and expect winter conditions.

Keep an eye on the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner:

This updates the bulletin below.

3 August 2023 2:09 pm

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises that the north-south route through the Central Plateau is compromised due to heavy snow and ice today and some vehicle crashes.

SH1 Desert Road is currently closed and is likely to remain closed for the rest of the day and possibly overnight if snow and icy conditions remain.

SH47 and SH46 are also closed.

Waka Kotahi contractors are under the pump, working hard to remove a truck which crashed on SH47 as well as clear earlier crashes in the area and keep the route around the western side of the Tongariro National Park open, while also clearing snow and ice from the Desert Road.

The detour route for SH1 between Waiouru and Tūrangi northbound, is to use SH49, SH4 and SH41 and the same route in reverse for southbound traffic.

Road users should avoid non-essential travel through this area, or consider using alternative routes. If you must travel, be aware that winter driving conditions exist on the detour route and be ready for icy and windy conditions.

It is important to check the journey planner before you leave as the situation may change: link)