A family of 17 are trapped in their South Island lodge overnight, after an avalanche blocked the only route out.

Nick Carter is with 16 members of his extended family at a Lake Ohau lodge, near Twizel.

But they woke up this morning to find an impassable pile of snow 4m high and 15m deep across the only road.

"A couple of guys started going down the road and found it. It looked like it hadn't been there for terribly long," Carter told Stuff.

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The group is hoping a digger crew will free them tomorrow morning by clearing a path.

Until then, the power was still on.

Carter told Stuff that they planned to light the log fire and watch the All Blacks vs Argentina game.

"We've got plenty of wine, a wee bit of food and a good sense of humour.

"It is a bit of fun for everyone."

Carter said the family got together yearly, and had also experienced an avalanche eight years ago which took out the power, and left them stranded for five days.

He believed this year was markedly colder than when they all met up last year, with snow falling throughout most of their visit.