Winter Journeys and Alpine Passes

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 13, 2017

Latest updates received 

  • Alternate State Highway 1 Chch to Picton Route Closed at Lewis Pass SH7 snow/ice
  • Arthurs and Porters Pass on State Highway 73 closed
  • Lindis Pass State Highway 8 Omamara to Tarras  closed
  • SH1 Turangi to Waiouru – closed
  • SH5 Taupo to Napier – closed
  • SH2 Rimutaka – warning

When Lewis Pass on SH7, the alternate route is closed for a weather event it will be closed to all traffic. (No chains). Closure times will be kept to a minimum with closures in previous years usually 5 to 6 closures average per winter of usually under 4 hours before reopening. NZTA do hope that with extra resources provided 24/7 due to the current demand on the route these numbers will be reduced in 2017.

One of the reasons for full closure is that as the only route available between Picton and Christchurch they will be dealing with inexperienced winter drivers and any accident will in all probability lead to longer delays than clearing the road of snow and ice.

To assist with planning your journey messaging boards will warn of any closures from Picton in the north and from Culverden in the south. It is however recommended that you check road conditions before beginning your trip at or if a regular on the route email info@nctir.comand register to receive text notification of closures on the route.

For industry we also suggest visiting which provides current traffic volumes and webcam coverage of key points along the route.

Extra cell phone coverage is being installed with an emergency cell phone site installed at Boyle Lodge on SH7 near the Boyle River.

Other alpine pass management remains as in previous years.

To get further information on the status of any State Highway in NZ go to


We recommend you check before you go!!!