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Will I need to hire snow chains?

Brisbane, Australia
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for Brisbane, Noosa
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Will I need to hire snow chains?

Hi

We are touring the southern part of the south island commencing and ending our trip in Queenstown. I have driven over the Crown Range before and I know that I need to carry snow chains if we drive this route in winter. Will I need snow chains for other major roads in early August?

As well as visiting Wanaka for two nights, we plan on driving the Southern Scenic Route and having a night or two on Sewart Island.

Regarding Bluff, where do I find these legendary oysters that you guys rave on about?

Are there oyster leases / farms selling direct to the public?

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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11. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

This must be a law that has slipped through the cracks as it is news to me. We have some strange laws in our country but compulsory carrying of road chains aint one of them. One cannot legislate for such things on a localised basis on the premise that one may encounter snow or ice. Whilst cars may need chains in some circumstances 4WD and trucks may not. I think someone is pulling your leg to get you to hire chains. The central plateau of the North Island is also prone to snow and ice and would certainly be included in such legislation. Coaster crosses between the West and East Coast of the South Island twice a day and if chains were compulsory he would have told us.

Edited: 20 May 2011, 01:38
Brisbane, Australia
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for Brisbane, Noosa
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12. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

Hey Bean

Just out of interest, how much are they to purchase and are they readily available from your local car accessory store?

New Zealand
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for South Island
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13. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

There are times at the beginning of a section of alpine road where it may say 'chains compulsory'. It isn't the law and you won't be thrown in jail if you don't comply. It just means that if you don't use chains and you have an accident then your insurance becomes invalid and you could face a huge fine (on the Milford Road the fine is $750) as well as the cost of your rescue and your repair and any hospitalisation.

I have lived in Wanaka for 5 years and have never needed to use chains. Though I am able to select when I drive over the passes and aren't having to make flights out and so on.

Surfoz, the cost varies with make of car, style of chains and so on, but most garages advertise them for about $150 to $200 a set.

Christchurch, New...
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14. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

Queenstown Lakes District Council does have a bylaw regarding chains that has been in place for about 3 years, it reads as such,

16.3 At the direction of an enforcement officer or an authorised officer the driver of any vehicle may be required to fit snow chains to such vehicle on any road,and no person shall drive,or direct or allow such vehicle to be driven without snow chains fitted.

The infringement fee for operating the vehicle without snowchains when directed to do so is $NZ 150.00

Wellington, New...
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15. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

Thanks quin for that info. I wonder if it is enforced and how many people have challenged the "authorised officer" in court. If one was able to drive safely it could be argued that the "authorised officer" exceeded their authority. Imagine if it was insisted upon in downtown Queenstown in January. This is definitely bureaucracy gone wrong.

Not withstanding that chains sholud be carried in winter.

Surfoz I wouldnt bother considering buying a set if you can get them from your car rental company.

We had to buy our set becuase the ski hire places enroute from CHCH to Queenstown hadnt opened up shop for the winter then. Had they been availabkle we would have hired a set and dropped them off on the way back.

It is interesting to note that the petrol station in Omarama sold lots and lots of chains the night we were bogged in. They had two shipments brought over from the East Coast. They just love the snow and ice

Queenstown, New...
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16. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

The law in Queenstown is more about protecting pepole, so it's a silly thing to try and challenge. Those who are unfamiliar with icy and snow conditions may be inclined to try and drive when they shouldn't - and I have seen it lots of times.

Given the transient nature of our population here in Queenstown we get an influx of thousands of people every ski season who don't necessarily know how to drive to our conditions. Any protection we can afford them and ourselves is a good thing.

17. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

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