Fog stops travel from city

Much of Dunedin and the Taieri were covered in a thick blanket of fog yesterday. Photos: Gerard O...
Much of Dunedin and the Taieri were covered in a thick blanket of fog yesterday. Photos: Gerard O'Brien.
Pupils cross Highgate on their way to school yesterday morning.
Pupils cross Highgate on their way to school yesterday morning.
The Balclutha bridge, reflected in the Clutha River, is  shrouded in mist yesterday morning....
The Balclutha bridge, reflected in the Clutha River, is shrouded in mist yesterday morning. Photo: Samuel White.

Thick fog along the Otago and Southland coastline caused problems for air travellers and cruise ship passengers yesterday.

Several flights between Dunedin Airport and Christchurch were cancelled, and many others, to and from other airports around the country, were delayed by up to three hours because of the fog.

The Queen Victoria cruise ship’s arrival was also affected. It was expected to be docked at Port Chalmers at 8.30am.

It spent most of the day anchored off the coast of Dunedin, waiting for the fog to clear, but at 3pm a decision was made by the crew to carry on to its next destination — Akaroa.

Dunedin i-Site visitor centre manager Louise van de Vlierd was disappointed the vessel could not visit.

"After waiting off Taiaroa Head all morning, the Queen Victoria has now made the call to sail on to Akaroa, cancelling her Dunedin visit.‘‘Unfortunately, the fog just never lifted, preventing her from entering the harbour. If only we could control the weather," she said.

Police said there were no fog-related traffic issues reported.

A MetService spokeswoman said the fog was caused by cool seawater off the coast mixing with warmer air.

A gentle northeasterly breeze was blowing the resulting fog on to Dunedin and the Taieri.

The phenomenon affected coastal areas from Dunedin to Invercargill, she said.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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