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arthurs pass in July

melbourne
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arthurs pass in July

we intend travelling via Arthurs Pass at the end of July en route to Christchurch Airport. is there any issue at that time of the year with road closures? we wont be carrying chains, so i am concerned that if a delay occurs, we will miss our flight home. Can anyone advise if the main highway thorugh the pass is ever closed to car traffic?

Christchurch, New...
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1. Re: arthurs pass in July

Yes both Arthurs Pass and Porters Pass can be closed due to snow and/or ice. Do not plan to drive over early in the morning or on the same day as your flight as although this is a rare event July & August are the coldest months and no-one can predict the weather this far ahead.

Auckland, New...
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2. Re: arthurs pass in July

Good advice. Travelling in that direction is th ee steepest side also. Definitely do not fly same day

Christchurch, New...
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3. Re: arthurs pass in July

Arthurs Pass is disrupted a few days a year and usually only for a few hours. There are a few more days a year when snow on the summit of Porters Pass etc may slow you right down, or you might have to wait for them to grade the road. All in all, probably 10 days in a bad year there could be some distruption. (or it could be disrupted by a traffic accident.

The problem is this could be any time between May and October. The forcast is usually reliable and you should get a day or so's notice but not always. So there is a risk!

I always carry chains from June ~ August but havn't used them in 8 years.

melbourne
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4. Re: arthurs pass in July

thanks, i was starting to panic as i have booked/paid for the last night at Bealey Hotel, which is only 150km from the airport. would you recomned we have a 4WD rather than 2WD?

Auckland, New...
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5. Re: arthurs pass in July

The Bealely should be fine as you are over the worst part of Arthurs Pass. Often seen it love to stay there sometime.

Edited: 12 April 2011, 04:13
Greymouth, New...
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6. Re: arthurs pass in July

Travelling without chains during July is foolhardy to say the least. 2wd is fine, but you must carry chains and know how to fit them to the car.

Snow is only part of the problem.

After it has snowed, if there has not been any sun on the road before nightfall, ice will form and for the unwary, is lethal.

I drive this road on a daily basis, and use chains usualy about 20 to 25 times for the winter.

If you do not have chains, and refuse to carry them, then do not expect roading contractors to assit you when you have slid off the road, and secondly do not attempt to drive our alpine passes.

4wd vehicles without chains also suffer the same fate as any other vehicle without chains.

you could take a coach, which would arrive at the airport about 11.30 to midday, but remember to allow at least an additional 30 min to an hour reporting time at the airport.

you have two hard climbs, Craigie burn cutting and Porters pass, that is after you have negotiated Arthur's pass.

No chain, no travel is the best advice for winter travel

Christchurch, New...
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7. Re: arthurs pass in July

I dissagree with Travel2NZ. If the weather is "interesting" the most challenging bit will be Porters Pass which is between the Bealey and Christchurch. It will be frost or ice that challenges you on this part which is more comon than snow. A 4wd is no advantage. Just hire a set of chains. Murphy's law usually applies and if you have them, you will not need them. Coaster is correct, the chances of help if you do not have your own are very slim. If you at least have some, someone will help you fit them. It might sound tough, but thats just the way it is.

One day last winter I came down Porters Pass with a clear blue sky and -2 degrees, so possible ice. I don't think I breathed all the way down! The coffee and pie at Sheffield tasted magic!!

Edited: 12 April 2011, 09:26
Greymouth, New...
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8. Re: arthurs pass in July

another comment i didnt include. going down hill is equaly hazardous if not more hazardous that going up hill. if going down a steep gradient such as porters pass heading to Christchurch, if you begin to slide, there is no way you can stop, there are no barriers for the top 1/2 kilometre. I have on several occasions arrived at the top without chains, and fit them a the top for the decent.

melbourne
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9. Re: arthurs pass in July

you all have me worried! i am travelling with 3 youngish boys (and my husband) so on the basis that i do carry chains, will it be safe travelling or should i abandon the pass and travel an alternative route? with chains, is a 4WD safer?

Greymouth, New...
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10. Re: arthurs pass in July

two wheel drive with chains is perfectly ok.

chances are they may not be needed, however too many people rely on murphy's laww that if they have them, then they wont be needed, which is very poor advice in my opinion. july is mid winter.

do not depart before 10am even then the morning thaw may not have melted all the ice by then. it ia another two hours to the airport without delays due to conditions

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