Driving in Winter

During the winter months roads in the Queenstown Lakes District experience alpine conditions. Ice and frost is widespread and a number of areas including the Crown Range experience snowfalls regularly.

Winter Driving Tips

NZTA has published advice on safer winter driving.

  • 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 can remain icy for longer and 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.

Stay Informed

QLDC issue daily reports on road conditions throughout the winter. Click here to sign up.

QLDC provide text alerts on issues such as emergencies and road conditions, tailored to your community. Click here to sign up.

QLDC Twitter

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State Highway conditions

View Milford Road status

Weather Forecast (MetService) 




Road Clearance / Gritting

Following snowfall or in icy conditions, QLDC prioritise the clearance and gritting of roads, with the main transport links first. Check out the priority roads below.

Please note: State Highways (including Frankton Road, Stanley Street and Shotover Street) are maintained by the NZTA hence do not feature on the maps.

View Winter Maintenance Service Levels