Winter Driving

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.

Latest Updates

Please note that this feed is from our Facebook page and also contains other Council news unrelated to road conditions. Check the timestamp at the top of posts to see when updates were made.

Information on Road Condition Updates

During the colder months QLDC provides information on the status of roads in our district through our Twitter and Facebook accounts. You do not need a Twitter or Facebook account to view these updates. Updates on local road conditions are also broadcast on local radio stations. 

For updates on South Island State Highway conditions visit the NZTA Highway Info Map or phone 0800 44 44 49. The NZTA does not provide information on the Crown Range Road as it is not a state highway.

Please note: 

  • 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 during the winter.

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.

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 during winter.

Maps can viewed by clicking the links on the right 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.

>> List of contractors available for winter road maintenance in 2014

Winter Road Reports

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.

Check out the priority roads here. Please note: The state highway, which includes Frankton Road, Stanley Street and Shotover Street, is administered by the NZTA hence does not feature on the maps.

Map of priority roads (Part 1)     

Map of priority roads (Part 2)  

View Winter Maintenance Service Levels

Stay Informed


Q92-More FM 92.0

Classic Hits 90.4


Radio Wanaka 92.2

Q92-More FM 99.4

Classic Hits 96.2

Highway conditions

Visit the NZTA website for State Highway conditions or telephone 0800 44 44 49