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Snow trapped several motorists driving through the South Island this afternoon.

Firefighters were sent to free cars stuck in the snow on State Highway 8 at Burke's Pass, near Lake Tekapo, about 200km south of Christchurch.

Fire Service southern communications shift manager Andrew Norris said police called for help to free the stuck motorists about midday.

"There's quite a few motorists stuck in the snow. There's no indication as to how many are there but we've sent some of the brigade from Tekapo to help," Mr Norris said.


"The combination of cold rain and snow is likely to put stress on livestock and making driving conditions hazardous on some higher roads," MetService said.

NZTA Otago-Southland operations manager Roger Bailey warned drivers to keep a close eye out while making their way around the lower South Island.

"There has been a lot of rainfall, we can expect a bit of surface water still perhaps on parts of the road, and there'll be some slip debris that will have spilled onto the edge of the road in places," he said.

"It's a matter of taking caution."

In addition to the surface flooding, the area has also buffeted by heavy winds which have caused vehicles and camper vans to tip over.