NZTA South Island Highway Summary
South Island highway summary with snow and ice 10.30 am Thursday – Lindis Pass has reopened
The NZ Transport Agency advises all South Island road travellers to check theTraffic and Travel website and the map showing area warnings and highway closures for highway updates before heading out today.
Ice remains a risk in many places so people need to drive to the conditions, slowly, and be prepared for delays.
Southland highways are all open currently but people are advised to take care in many places due to icy conditions. In Otago, Palmerston to Kyeburn, SH85, remains closed. See chart below for wider picture.
The Lindis Pass (SH8, Omarama to Tarras) has just reopened, but chains are essential.
The Lewis Pass will be reassessed at noon. Road crews say it is still snowing and ice remains a significant issue. More than 30 trucks are waiting at each side to get south from Springs Junction and north from the Hanmer Springs turnoff.
Trucks parked up at the Hanmer Springs turnoff for the Lewis Pass today:
Porters Pass/ SH73, Springfield to Arthur’s Pass, (Canterbury side) will remain closed until 2 pm at this stage. Arthur’s Pass to Otira (SH73 West Coast side) is also closed with an update at 11 am.
SH1 south of Kaikoura is open until 6 pm tonight and is weather dependent. Route 70 via Waiau and Mt Lyford remains closed with crews working hard through the inland road in the snow to try to get it open.
How to stay up to date:
• Important information is also shared via the Transport Agency’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts listed here https://www.nzta.govt.nz/contact-us/connect-with-us/
• Find safe winter driving tips at www.nzta.govt.nz/winterjourneys
• If you live in Queenstown Lakes District, or travel to and from Queenstown, sign up for QLDC’s winter road reports here.
• Drivers can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team who can provide them with traffic and travel information either before they’re travelling or when they’re on the road, safely parked off the highway.
• MetService road snowfall warnings here.
• extended weather forecast for all areas of New Zealand this week here.
• MetService severe weather warnings here.
Simple rules for safe winter travelling
•allow extra time
•ensure your vehicle is safe for winter driving
•drive to the road and weather conditions
•slow down and be prepared for unexpected hazards
•allow greater following distance between you and the vehicle ahead
•make sure your cell phone is well charged, check car charger also
•have blankets, snacks, bottles of water ready in case of emergency or a breakdown.