Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is encouraging motorists to expect winter driving conditions on the Desert Road tomorrow.
Waikato System Manager Cara Lauder says the Metservice is forecasting significant amounts of snow for the Desert Road between 2pm and 10pm tomorrow (Wednesday 8 July) and with additional traffic on the roads due to the school holidays and the opening of the Whakapapa ski field (the Tūroa ski field is scheduled to open Saturday 11 July) on Mt Ruapehu, motorists are asked to take care.
“We encourage drivers to be prepared for icy conditions and snow. Road closures are likely.
“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 slow down and be prepared for unexpected hazards.”
State Highways 4, 46, 47 and 49, as well as State Highway 5 between Napier and Taupō, and the Napier-Taihape Road may also be affected by snow and ice.
Ms Lauder says motorists can prepare by ensuring their vehicles are safe, roadworthy and well-equipped for winter driving.
“Make sure you have a safe spare tyre, your lights, brakes and windscreen-wipers are all working, and you have a clean windscreen inside and out. Ensure your mobile phone is well charged and carry a car phone charger or power bank. Blankets, snacks and bottles of water are also a good idea, in case of an emergency or breakdown.”
Visit the Journey Planner website(external link) for up to date information on road closures, detours, road works, traffic and delays.
Winter driving tips
Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: