Snow closes Desert Rd

Snow has closed the Desert Rd tonight, adding 90 minutes to motorists' journeys.

State Highway 1 was closed at 5.15pm tonight.

A detour would take drivers through National Park on State Highways 46 and 47, and onto State Highway 49 to Waiouru. The route will add an hour and a half to journey times, the NZ Transport Agency estimated.

Meanwhile motorists were advised to exercise caution on the Rimutaka Hill, but that road remained open.

The front which brought strong cold south-westerlies to much of the country today, and snow to low levels in some places, was gradually moving east.

The strong wind warning for Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay and coastal Otago had been lifted.

However, wintry showers will persist in coastal Canterbury, Marlborough, Wellington and Wairarapa tonight, with snow showers to 200 metres.

Heavy snow showers could accumulate to 10 centimetres in six hours at Banks Peninsula tonight, above 300 metres, MetService has warned.

The Dominion Post