State Highway 1 south of Kaikōura closed due to rockfall risk, Arthur’s Pass to Springfield route reopens – 2pm update


The NZ Transport Agency has closed State Highway 1 south of Kaikōura after 1pm today due to rockfall risk, triggered by the rain and winter weather hitting the coastline. The closure is between Peketa and Oaro.

People coming south from Picton will have a soft road closure at Blenheim,” says Transport Agency Journey Manager Tresca Forrester. “People may want to delay their journeys in Picton or Blenheim to find out if the Lewis Pass route between Springs Junction and the Hanmer Springs turnoff reopens later this afternoon. This is being updated at 3pm.

“If they continue to Kaikōura on SH1, there is currently no way south or west as the inland road (Route 70) to Waiau was earlier closed due to snow.”

  • The closure south of Kaikōura and the inland road to Waiau (Route 70) will be reassessed Sunday morning 9 am. link)
  • One alpine route (State Highway 7, Hanmer Springs turnoff to Springs Junction) between the West Coast and Canterbury remains closed.
  • SH73, Springfield to Arthur’s Pass has now reopened.

Update on South Island closures/ major warnings as at 2pm today

With lower temperatures overnight, snow/ice has started to have an impact as well, which has led to closures, restrictions and warnings the following areas:

  • SH7 Hanmer Turnoff to Springs Junction (Lewis Pass) – Closed at 10am, 1 June
  • SH79 Geraldine to Fairlie – Chains essential and closed to heavy/towing vehicles
  • SH8 Tekapo to Fairlie (Burkes Pass) – Chains essential and closed to heavy/towing vehicles
  • SH8 Omarama to Tarras (Lindis Pass) – Chains must be carried.

Other parts of Canterbury

  • SH75 (Akaroa highway) heavy rain with snow flurries expected around Hill Top this afternoon.
  • SH1 Saltwater Creek north of Christchurch. Flooding with traffic management and speed restrictions in place.

Canterbury highway updates here: link)

MetService's severe weather outlook link)

Winter driving tips

  • Check weather and travel conditions on highways before you start your trip and on breaks throughout your journey - use link) or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).
  • Ensure your car is safe and equipped: spare tyre, warrant of fitness up-to-date, lights, brakes and wind-wipers all working, clean windscreen inside and out.
  • If you are travelling long distances, share the driving and have regular breaks.
  • Everyone should be protected by wearing a seat belt throughout the journey.
  • 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.
  • Learn about winter driving, including how to get your vehicle ready and how to put on snow chains at
  • If extreme weather or treacherous road conditions are forecast, consider whether you really need to travel.

More helpful advice:

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