Weather: Residents calling snowfall biggest in 20 years

Snowfall some residents are calling the biggest in 20 years caused havoc in parts of Otago and Southland on Monday.

The storm forced the closure of a number of roads, and 73 schools and early childhood centres were also shut.

Many drivers opted to take it quietly as blizzard-like conditions struck the region

"There's no point in going any further because the roads blocked towards Clutha," truck driver Rob Jeffery told Newshub. "It sounds like you can't go any further south of Clutha anyway - they've shut the road."

Gore was also a white-out, while Dunedin woke to a light blanketing of snow - disrupting flights in and out of the city's airport.

The icy start provided some fun for those opting to stay home.

Balclutha farmer Graeme Moffat was up early checking on his stock.

"It's a good dumping," he said.

It's been more than a decade since the district saw snow like this.

"I think it would be about 20 years at least since we've had a snow that's fallen and laid as long as this," Moffatt told Newshub. 

That was a sentiment the local postman agreed with.

A drone shot of Gore on Sunday.
A drone shot of Gore on Sunday. Photo credit: Wild Frontier Photo + Video

"It's very treacherous today - it's the worst I've seen it in a long time."

Grit trucks plied State Highway 1 on Monday, getting the road open at Balclutha.

Several other roads remain closed on Monday night - the remnants wintry blast holding on for one last bite.