12 Jul 2011

More snow forecast for Queenstown

10:22 pm on 12 July 2011

More snow is forecast for the Queenstown area following two major snowstorms in as many days.

As much as 50 centimetres had fallen in some areas, closing roads, schools and ski fields on Tuesday.

As roads were cleared in the morning, police say "idiots" took to the streets, causing traffic accidents which further blocked the resort town's main arterial routes.

State Highway 8 was closed at Lindis Pass and between Roxburgh and Alexandra.

The Crown Range Road between State Highway 6 and Cardrona Valley Road was also closed.

The main ski fields at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Cardrona were shut, as were Queenstown schools.

Some flights in and out of Queenstown Airport continued, although two Air New Zealand planes had to be diverted to Dunedin.

Further snow is likely to keep the Milford Road - State Highway 94 from Te Anau to Milford Sound - closed until at least Saturday.

An extreme avalanche warning is in place, and people are being told to stay out of the back country for foreseeable future.