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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

The cold snap moving up the South Island today and tomorrow is creating winter driving conditions over much of South Canterbury and the alpine passes.

  • The Arthur’s Pass to Otira section of SH73 was closed earlier today but has since reopened, with chains required for the Canterbury side of the route, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
  • The Lindis Pass, SH8 between Omarama and Tarras reopened after 10 am after also closing earlier today.

Fairlie has snow

South Canterbury, around Tekapo and the highways leading into Fairlie, SH8 to Timaru and SH79 from Rangitata, all have winter driving conditions warnings over them, says Tresca Forrester, Journey Manager for Waka Kotahi. Extra care is needed.

“As many people are on holiday, we’re asking people to stay up to date with the forecasts in the regions they are travelling in,” she says.

“Cold sleety weather can make driving conditions hazardous, so slow down, allow extra time and watch following distances. If you are travelling across the island please pack warm clothes and food, in case of disruptions on the road.”

Key areas

The Lindis Pass, SH8, Omarama to Tarras has now reopened as of 10 am Wednesday but extra care is needed by all drivers.

The Arthur’s Pass route from Springfield to Castle Hill, SH73, is open but requires chains and no towing vehicles.

View on map(external link)

The Milford Sound/ Piopiotahi route, SH94, is open with chains not required but people would be wise to keep an eye on the Waka Kotahi traffic and travel page as things may change quite quickly.

Waka Kotahi traffic and travel(external link)

SH93 Clinton to Mataura in Southland had snow earlier today and winter driving conditions continue.

Fairlie, South Canterbury, the Mackenzie District Council’s offices earlier today: