Snow good for skiers, bad for drivers

02:38, Jul 03 2014
Desert Rd snow
WHITE MORNING: An NZTA webcam shot of a snowy Waiouru this morning.

The Desert Road has now reopened after snow closed the central North Island Route for much of the morning.
Motorists are still being advised to drive carefully, New Zealand Transport Agency Spokesman Anthony Frith said.

A dumping of snow in the central North Island has great news for skiers but not motorists, with the Desert Rd closed for much of the morning.

The Desert Rd in the central North Island got at least 5cm of snow overnight, MetService meteorologist Richard Finnie said.

The road was closed for much of the morning, and motorists asked to detour through Turangi.

According to the Mt Ruapehu ski field website, at least 15cm of snow had fallen in 24 hours in the base areas of Turoa and Whakapapa.

For both fields this meant they had a 60cm base. Staff were this morning going higher on the fields to see how much more snow had fallen on higher slopes.

Both fields were expected to open this week.Meanwhile, further south, the State Highway 2 Rimutaka Hill Rd, between Upper Hutt and Wairarapa, got a light dusting but little settled on the road overnight, MetService said.

There was a minor crash on the Rimutaka Hill Rd earlier this morning but it was not clear if this was snow-related.


The Dominion Post