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Driving in August on the south island

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Driving in August on the south island

Hello fellow travelers. My partner and I were planning to go to New Zealand next year. I want to go mid august (around 15th) however my partners concerned about driving in the snow can any one shed some light on what snow fall, if any happens around this time of year, and also share their tips and tricks on how to safely drive in the snow. I apologise to anyone who lives in or who has experienced living in the snow but I live on the gold coast and the closest we ever get to snow is the occasional hail stone. Thanks again guys.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Driving in August on the south island

It is unlikely that there will be any snow on main roads in August.

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2. Re: Driving in August on the south island

Thanks for the reply

New Zealand
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for South Island
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3. Re: Driving in August on the south island

Ice is a far greater concern than snow.

It is likely to freeze every night (depending on where you are - less frost on the coast - and roads can be icy.

If frosty, don't drive before 10am or after dark. Take care on shady sections of road and bridges which can remain icy all day. Keep speed down.

Read the winter driving tips top right of this page.

Nova Scotia
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4. Re: Driving in August on the south island

We found no snow last August. We did not see frost either, but did not make early morning starts. If there is snow, I would not advise you to drive if you have no experience.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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5. Re: Driving in August on the south island

In spite of the above, conditions can change from one year to the next. You haven't said where you are going. There MIGHT be snow on some of the alpine passes and you should hire snow chains, but may never need them. Snow is more likely to occur at night and some passes are closed overnight (rarely) for safety if heavy snow is forecast .

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6. Re: Driving in August on the south island

A road trip around the south island i know alot of places wont be a problem but for the places where there is snow and ice I just want to be safe. Going off what everyone is saying its sounds like as long as we have snow chains available and drive during the day and slowly we should be okay

Nova Scotia
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7. Re: Driving in August on the south island

Again, if there is snow, with your lack of experience I would not drive. Chains are only good for short distances such as getting through a mountain pass. Last year (late August) we skied two days and if we had driven our rental car we would have needed chains to get to the ski hills. We went with a friend who had a four wheel drive.

There was no snow at lower altitudes but if there had been, we would not have set out on the road (and we have lived with snow and winters for 60+ years!)

8. Re: Driving in August on the south island

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