Dodging snowballs on the Crown Range yesterday are Rachel
Shirley (left) and her son Ethan Shirley (3), of Lake
Hawea, and Justine Weatherall, of Dunedin, with her son
Thomas Weatherall (3). Photo by Linda Robertson.
Snow stopped tourists in their tracks on the Crown Range
between Wanaka and Queenstown yesterday morning.
There was no problem with the road itself, but hundreds of
tourists abandoned their cars and camper vans briefly, to
make snowmen and take part in snowball fights.
The car park at the top of the road was almost full at times.
Among those most enthusiastic about the snow were members of
the Crisp family, from Perth, Western Australia, where
temperatures have been around 45degC recently.
Snow also blanketed hills surrounding Queenstown. Most of it
melted before midday, but not before tourists rushed to take
summer snow pictures.
The midsummer snowfall was regarded as a welcome change after
days of rain in the district.
Police reported no major problems with roads. Detective
Warren Duncan, in charge of the Waitaki Lakes area for
police, told the Otago Daily Times yesterday eight camper
vans stopped short of the summit of the Lindis Pass on
Wednesday night because of concerns about the snowy road.
Det Duncan said the van drivers' decisions to stop were wise
and although police were advised, no action was required.
The code amber alert for the Young Valley in the Mt Aspiring
National Park was lifted yesterday morning.
There had been concerns heavy rain could causea breach in the
slip that created a lake in the valleysix years ago,
endangering trampers in the valley.
Visitor information ranger at Wanaka Simon Mazzotti said
trampers should continue to be aware rivers and streams in
the national park could still be swollen.