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Blanketing of snow causes transport disruption in parts of South Island

Snow has blanketed the deep south, falling down to sea level in Dunedin and Invercargill and forcing the closure of Queenstown Airport.

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One woman said it was the “best snowfall” of this year’s season. Source: 1 NEWS

The heavy snow disrupted flights into the resort town on the first Monday of the school holidays, with Queenstown having three to four centimetres of snow this morning, a MetService spokesperson told 1 NEWS.

State Highway 94 to Te Anau has reopened, with the cars who were trapped having been freed.

The wind chill felt like -20 in some places with freezing temperatures and strong winds, a NIWA forecaster told RNZ.

State Highway 94 has now reopened. Source: 1 NEWS

Cars have been freed on State Highway 94. Source: 1 NEWS

Send your pictures or video of today's snow to news@tvnz.co.nz

Queenstown airport wrote on Twitter that: "Runway clearing is currently in progress and flights have been cancelled until further notice. The snow is expected all day and is continuing to fall heavily."

There was snowfall down to sea level in Dunedin, Invercargill and Stewart Island today while on the West Coast, snow fell to 200m, the Metservice spokesperson said.

The view across the Queenstown Rec Grounds . Source: QLDC

The snow eased through the morning bit is forecast to continue this afternoon. Source: 1 NEWS

Streets across the region were blanketed in snow. Source: QLDC.

NZTA have asked motorists to stay off snowy roads around the country unless they are prepared for the conditions.

Restrictions are in place as follows for roads in the South Island.

  • SH6 Franz Josef to Fox Glacier is closed
  • Between Kingston and Queenstown drivers are advised to avoid or delay travel
  • SH73 Arthur's Pass - chains essential
  • SH7 Lewis Pass has reopened, but wintry conditions

There was also a strong wind warning for the Auckland Harbour Bridge while a similar warning for SH2 Remutaka Hill, north of Wellington, has been lifted.