Snow and ice impact upon South Island highways - 9.40 am update


Drivers should be ready for snow and ice on many South Island state highways this morning advises the NZ Transport Agency. The wider Dunedin area from Palmerston to Gore, is very icy and road users need to take care. “No towing vehicle” restrictions are in place on several highways.

Snow is also starting to fall on SH1 north of Christchurch between Waipara and South Bay, Kaikoura and from Ashburton south to Rangitata.

NB: Italics show changes since 8 am Transport Agency update.

  • State Highway 1 north of Dunedin, Pine Hill to Waitati, closed before 7 am today, this includes the Leith Saddle on the northern approach to Dunedin. Check conditions on this web camera.(external link)
  • SH1 Palmerston to Waitati, is open but closed to towing vehicles and care required.
  • SH 8 between Tekapo and Fairlie is now open but chains are essential and no towing vehicles.
  • A slip on SH8 near Milton in South Otago, Hillend to Manuka Creek, has now been cleared.
  • SH87 Middlemarch to Outram - closed except to four wheel drive vehicles.
  • SH80 Twizel to Aoraki/ Mt Cook chains essential, no towing vehicles.
  • SH6 Makarora to Hawea has Stop/Go with rockfall warnings in place. Please travel during daylight hours through this route and build in time.
  • SH6 Ross to Haast, South Westland –a strong wind warning is in place so high-sided vehicle drivers and motorcyclists need to take care.
  • Chains are essential on Porters Pass west of Springfield, central Canterbury. Check the Traffic Table(external link) or map(external link) for updates. The other alpine highways are clear on the West Coast side of the divide with some minor ice issues on the Haast Pass, SH6.
  • Snow is also now falling from Waipara, north Canterbury, to Kaikoura/ South Bay and drivers need to take care.
  • North of the South Island - SH63 St Arnaud to Rainbow Skifield, SH60 Upper Takaka to Riwaka, SH6 Hope Saddle - snow and ice, care needed.
  • SH93 Mataura to Clinton, Southland, take extra care, snow and ice.
The Leith Saddle, northern entrance to Dunedin, just after 8.30 am today - from

The Leith Saddle, northern entrance to Dunedin, just after 8.30 am today - from the MetService traffic camera.

The northern highway, SH1, into Dunedin earlier today.

The northern highway, SH1, into Dunedin earlier today.

In Queenstown Lakes District the Crown Range is open and gritted on top of packed snow so care is needed with more snow expected. Other roads in the district are open and gritted. See link(external link) for details.

Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright says drivers need to drive prepared today, ready for changes in conditions and if the journey is not necessary, think about deferring it.

The MetService has a heavy snow warning(external link) for Canterbury, the Mackenzie Basin and Kaikoura hills.

See the NZ Transport Agency's travel and traffic page here.(external link)

Call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS 0800 44 44 49

Twitter link) (Otago Southland twitter page(external link)) link) (Canterbury/ West Coast(external link))

Facebook NZ Transport Agency South Island(external link)