4 Jul 2009

Motorists urged to avoid some South Island roads

10:28 pm on 4 July 2009

Motorists were being urged to stay away from some South Island state highways on Saturday because of bad weather conditions.

The New Zealand Transport Agency is warning motorists that all roads in the central South Island are still dangerous and advises carrying chains and watching out for black ice.

Metservice is predicting more snow showers for the Lindis Pass overnight, with snow falling to about 600 metres.

Snow is also expected to fall in Porters and Arthur's Passes overnight and on Sunday morning. Several mountain passes require cars to use chains.

On Friday, snow brought parts of Central Otago to a standstill, causing widespread disruption as several main highways were closed until mid-afternoon.

About 50 vehicles had to be towed out from snow-covered roads in the Alexandra and Cromwell areas.

All schools in Alexandra, Cromwell and Omakau closed early for the July holidays.

Meanwhile, six Australian tourists stranded in the Kawarau Gorge after their car slid off the road were rescued at 3am.