New Zealand Travel Alerts and Warnings

Check this page regularly for alerts and warnings that affect travel to New Zealand.

Photo © GettyImages/georgeclerk

West Coast Wild Weather - March 2019

state of emergency has been declared for the west coast of New Zealand's South Island due to a severe storm system which has battered the coast since last Sunday night, resulting in heavy rain, flooding and landslides. One person has died and hundreds of people are displaced as the system moves north along the coast. There are power distruptions in several locations.

Many roads and highways have been completely cut off or significantly damaged due to extreme flooding. State Highway 73, between Arthurs Pass and Jacksons, is currently impacted due to two landslides and the Franz Josef-Fox Glacier Highway has been cut off due to the raging Wahio River taking out the Wahio Bridge, leaving people stranded in Franz Josef unable to travel south towards Fox Glacier and Wanaka. There have also been numerous landslides on the highway between Fox Glacier and Franz Josef. Currently, the only route north along the west coast is via the Lewis Pass. For more information, check out the New Zealand Transport Agency website.

Goverment authorities have indicated it will take days or weeks to assess and repair roads depending on the severity of damage in affected locations.

Travelers are strongly advised to obey all official signage and warnings from emergency personnel. Do not attempt to drive or walk through flood waters or closed areas for your own safety. Motorists are also advised to take caution while driving due to road conditions, debris and work crews cleaning up.

If you are traveling in the affected region, check with authorities for more information and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities will result in a lack of travel insurance cover.

Older Alerts

Nelson-Tasman Bushfire - February 2019

An out of control bushfire is currently burning in the Nelson-Tasman region of New Zealand's South Island. The fast-moving fire started in Pigeon Valley (18.6 mi/30km south of Nelson) on February 5th and has doubled in size overnight, burning 7.22 sq. mi (18.7 sq.km) with a perimeter of 12.4 miles (20km). Over 170 homes have been evacuated as ground crews and water bombing aircraft fight to get the blaze under control. There are road closures in place.

A state of emergency has been declared by the Tasman and Nelson district mayors. Authorities have ordered people to evacuate if they feel unsafe and if located in the immediate fire zone to make sure they have access to radio and other media for further updates.

If you are traveling in the affected region, check with authorities for more information, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities will result in you not being covered by travel insurance.

Christchurch Earthquake - November 2016

Just a week after a severe earthquake struck near Christchurch another strong tremor has been detected off the lower part of the North Island.

The quake measured at magnitude 6.3 hit off the coast of Palmerston North.

Check local media for updates on the quake and reports of the extent of damage.

NZ Earthquake - November 2016

The north-east of New Zealand’s South island has been struck by a series of earthquakes, the largest measuring magnitude 7.5. At this time 2 people are confirmed dead.

The major quake struck just after midnight local time on November 14th, and has been followed by dozens of smaller tremors measuring up to 6.3 magnitude.

Travelers are warned that many roads in the area north of Christchurch are impassable due to upheaval or landslide. Local authorities are warning people to avoid all but essential travel to the area at this time. Ferry services to the South Island out of Wellington have been cancelled until further notice. Check with ferry operators and local media for updates.

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