Snow dump causes havoc down south

(3 News)
(3 News)

Police are warning motorists to stay off southern alpine roads tonight and are warning of further snowfalls and icy conditions.

They don't want a repeat of last night, when motorists had to be rescued on a mountainous part of State Highway 73 heading to the West Coast in a storm described as Antarctic-like. 

Today, the snow had stopped but Dunedin's northern motorway was covered in black ice and traffic struggled to stay on the road.

Some roads were closed and sports grounds deserted.

But one jogger, Lori Maxwell, was determined to get out there, once she'd put on her shoe chains.

"I was kind of kicking myself 'cause I wish I'd brought my camera with me. I love seeing the winter wonderland," she said.

It was a similar story in the Mid-Canterbury town of Methven, a 10-centimetre dump overnight clogging up roads and driveways.

As road clearing continued, farmers loaded their winter feed of silage and headed out to the paddocks.

Late winter snowfalls are common in mid-Canterbury, but this was a bit bigger than expected according to dairy farmer David Molloy.

"We've had 10 centimetres of snow covering the grass, so we need to feed them some extra supplements to help get them through the day."

Further north, the Nelson Lakes area had its heaviest snow dump of the winter, making driving conditions difficult.

But there were some beautiful views to be had, and those who'd endured the drive found the mountains behind Lake Rotoiti were the perfect backdrop for a day in the snow. 

3 News