During the winter months Queenstown Lakes District roads experience alpine conditions. Ice and frost are widespread and a number of areas including the Crown Range regularly get snow. We need to be careful we don't become complacent. In winter, weather conditions can change at any time so always be prepared.
The QLDC's service levels lay out what you can expect to see take place in terms of gritting, anti-icing and snow clearance on our roads this winter. You can check out what this involves by clicking on the link in the box on the right hand side of this page. You can also have a look at the maps which detail which roads are priority roads for clearance during snow events. Some roads in the district are private roads and as such are not cleared by Council. Residents should make their own arrangements for snow clearing and gritting if they feel it's necessary.
You can now get the road reports from the QLDC. Our Twitter feed (@QueenstownLakes) is the first to be updated with a short report that gives you an overview of what the morning's conditions are like. You can either subscribe to us on Twitter or read it on our feed on the home page of this website. It will also be posted on our Facebook page. For those who want the full report, it will be uploaded onto Twitter and Facebook and can also be accessed on the main page.
These reports are a general overview of the conditions at one particular moment in time and may not be sent out if there is an extended period of fine weather. We're not able to list every patch of ice and as conditions can change rapidly, drivers will need to exercise common sense and drive cautiously on a daily basis. Those who use the Crown Range and other alpine passes are reminded that chains should always be carried at this time of year.
Road reports will in most cases be available by 7am at the latest. Please note that those who have signed up to get Twitter updates via their mobile may not necessarily receive the messages by 7am. This happens occasionally due to overloading on Twitter and is beyond QLDC's control.
For updates throughout the day on State Highway conditions go to www.nzta.govt.nz or phone 0800 44 44 49.
Updates on local road conditions are broadcast on local radio stations.
Q92-More FM 92.0
Classic Hits 90.4
Radio Wanaka 92.2
Q92-More FM 99.4
Classic Hits 96.2
Visit the NZTA website for State Highway Conditions
or telephone: 0800 44 44 49
Winter driving tips
- Accelerate smoothly and brake gently.
- Plan extra travel time and slow down.
- Four wheel drive vehicles are no safer than other vehicles, especially downhill.
- make sure all car windows are free of snow and ice - you can receive an instant fine if you don't.
- Check the road conditions before you leave.
- Carry chains, know how to fit them and check they fit - you can be fined for ignoring chain fitting signs.
- Shaded areas may be icy all day.
- Ice or a thaw freeze can occur at any time of the day.
- Bridges require extra care.
- Double your following distance.
- Never overtake a grit truck when it is applying grit.
- The Crown Range is an alpine pass and chains must be carried.
Roads in Winter
In the event of a big dump of snow, certain procedures have been put in place around the clearing of roads. First to be cleared are the main transport links. You can check out the priority roads here. (N.B The state highway,which includes Frankton Road, Stanley Street and Shotover Street, is administered by the NZTA hence does not feature on the maps.)
You can get the daily road reports (and all our other tweets) sent to your phone via Twitter without signing up to the website.