Severe weather warnings have now been cancelled as a cold snap battering the country begins to ease.

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is advising all road users to drive to the conditions and check information before travelling after a fresh dump of snow layered parts of both islands, and thunderstorms lash sections of the upper North Island.

MetService has also issued a snowfall warning for roads in both islands.

In the Canterbury region State Highway 7 through Lewis Pass remains closed, while SH73 through Arthurs Pass and through Porters Pass and SH1 from Goose Bay to Peketa are now open.

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The West Coast is also battling the cold snap with SH6 through Haast Pass and SH7 from Springs Junction to Reefton both deemed too dangerous to drive.



Roads in Otago and Southland haven't missed out on the icy cold weather either, with vehicle restrictions in place on SH8 through the Lindis Pass and SH6 from Kingston to Jacks Point. Road users must carry chains and are advised to take extra care.

Southland's SH94 from Knobs Flat to Chasm Stream Bridge is also closed.

Severe weather warnings issued for Fiordland and the Westland district have now been lifted.

The warnings came after a snow dump at Mt Ruapehu where about 80cm had fallen in the last three days.

Snow fell as low as Chateau Tongariro in Whakapapa Village and large snowdrifts have buried ski racks next to the Knoll Ridge cafe at the Whakapapa Ski Area.

Hail falling down over Raglan. Photo / Supplied
Hail falling down over Raglan. Photo / Supplied

The Turoa and Whakapapa operations teams had been working hard in blizzard conditions over the last few days, clearing snow and de-icing lift facilities.

"We've had heavy snowfall to increase our snow bases which should make for epic skiing and snowboarding this spring season, which for us goes right until late October," Mt Ruapehu marketing manager Matt McIvor said.

"While our new snowmaking machines are doing a superb job, a helping hand by Mother Nature is always welcomed."

Yesterday, more than 1000 people headed up to Whakapapa to experience the mid-winter conditions, with more snow in the forecast today.

Grasslands in Raglan covered in layers of frost. Photo / Supplied
Grasslands in Raglan covered in layers of frost. Photo / Supplied

"There will be a lot of stoked skiers and riders up here once the weather clears and with our season running until October 23, there's still plenty of time to enjoy the mountain."

Meanwhile, other parts of New Zealand have been hit hard by thunderstorms with 2200 lightning strikes recorded around the country - including nine in Auckland, 20 in Bay of Plenty and a whopping 163 in Westland - in a 24-hour period.

The stormy weather would likely continue in Auckland today, with showers, hail and possible thunderstorms on the cards.