Queenstown’s day of disruption

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The big snow dump today (Sunday) has caused chaos throughout Queenstown and the Wakatipu.
 
It’s been a day of disruption at Queenstown Airport, with only the very occasional flight able to land or take off during short breaks in the weather. 

Air New Zealand local operations boss Dave Whitaker says airport snow ploughs are at the ready to clear the runway but the resumption of landings and takeoffs all depends on whether or not the snow continues to fall. 

“Nothing very much happened at all this morning,” Whitaker says. “A lot of flights have been cancelled. 

“Provided the runway is clear of snow, there’s no reason why flights can’t [resume] this afternoon, provided visibility and weather remain favourable.” 

A total of 29 domestic and trans-Tasman arrivals and departures have been affected – most flights are listed as cancelled but a few are optimistically shown as delayed.

Queenstown police report the usual mishaps on the roads. 

“We’ve had a few vehicles go off the road today,” a spokesperson says. 

Accidents recorded so far have occurred at Ladies Mile, Lake Hayes, Arrow Junction and McEntyres Hill between Lake Hayes and Arrowtown. 

No injury accidents have been reported, a Queenstown Volunteer Fire Brigade spokesperson says. 

When the weather clears, the big dump will prove good news for skiers and snowboarders – but conditions weren’t very pleasant on Coronet Peak or The Remarkables today (Sunday). 

Both skifields were open, despite temperatures of a bitter minus eight and minus 10 respectively.