Snow dump and icy temperatures wreak havoc on North Island travellers

A heavy dump of snow and icy temperatures closed the Desert Road on Thursday with several surrounding state highways also shut off.

But while the snowy weather was a disruption for travellers and truckies, it was cause for delight for others.

The icy weather played havoc with travel-plans as the snow-covered Desert Road closed State Highway One from Waiouru up to Turangi.

It also blocked State Highways 46, 47 and 49 leaving little option for those hoping to head north or south. 

Tyson Burrows who owns the Rustic Eating House in Waiouru arrived at work on Thursday morning to find several truck drivers who were trapped by the weather.

"This morning there were a fair few trucks that spent the night in their truck so we got the fire going for them," Burrows says.

But while it was bleak at times, for others stuck in the snow the challenge was fun. 

Travellers at Chateau Tongariro made a special stop to get out of their cars and take a closer look at the snow.

Even with snow ploughs put straight to work it still took until 2pm to reopen the Desert Road on State Highway Two. 

Metservice says they had to clear 10 to 20 centimetres of snow off the road.

With temperatures not far from zero and flurries of snow persisting everyone is being warned to take care. 

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