The country's chilly temperatures edged towards record lows this morning but were still a way off beating the record.

Weather Watch head analyst Philip Duncan said it was a bit colder this morning in many pockets of New Zealand but the country is "a way off" reaching record low temperature.

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Ice was still making driving throughout the South Island treacherous and drivers have been warned to take extreme caution.

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The Owaka Valley was treated to a frosty morning yesterday. Photo / Hamish Maclean
The Owaka Valley was treated to a frosty morning yesterday. Photo / Hamish Maclean

Omarama was sitting at -20 degrees while Tara Hills near Twizel was -18.9 degrees about 6.30am.

The all time record low is - 25.6 degrees, recorded in Ranfurly in 1903.

Mr Duncan said, while it was cold, the southerly wasn't large enough to make temperatures plummet too much.

"It's certainly cold but quite a long way off where it was, even yesterday, for many places. Northern areas, including Auckland, look like they're a little bit colder today.

"It's always going to get a bit colder as we go into winter," Mr Duncan said.

Lauren Moses, from Dunedin, feeds her horses. Photo / Peter McIntosh
Lauren Moses, from Dunedin, feeds her horses. Photo / Peter McIntosh

Auckland saw widespread frosts this morning but the weather in general was a lot more stable across the country with light winds compared to yesterday, he said.

The cold snap started with the snow in the South Island on Friday and a large high pressure system has locked in the cold air, he said.

Southern Police spokesman Jed Oskam said there were a handful of calls in the early hours about the icy roads.

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Motorists have been urged to show extreme caution on icy roads in the South Island. Photo / Otago Daily Times
Motorists have been urged to show extreme caution on icy roads in the South Island. Photo / Otago Daily Times

There had been no serious crashes so far but drivers should take extreme caution, he said.

"It was a real doozy yesterday. At midnight last night we were still getting calls about the ice on the roads in Dunedin and Canterbury.

"That might get even worse this morning. Certainly we would be encouraging motorists to take extreme caution when driving on the roads, particularly in shady areas," he said.

One person has died on the roads in Canterbury this morning, with about 25 crashes occurring since 6am. Freezing overnight temperatures and black ice have led to treacherous conditions on the roads. Emergency services were attending a fatal crash in Gebbies Valley which closed part of State Highway 75 between Christchurch and Akaroa about 8am.

Black ice caused a fatal crash on the roads in Canterbury yesterday, with more than 25 crashes occurring in the region throughout the morning.

The NZTA has issued warnings for ice on State Highway 1 near Christchurch, State Highway 94 from Mossburn to Te Anau, State Highway 80 on the Mount Cook Highway, State Highway 8 from Twizel to Fairlie and State Highway 79 from Geraldine to Fairlie.

Snow and ice were also recorded on State Highway 94 from Te Anau to Milford Sound and State Highway 8 near Lindis Pass, NZTA said.

Brrr: Temperature round-up

South Island (as of 6am)

• Invercargill: -2.5C (feels like -7C)

• Gore: -3.7C (feels like -7C)

• Dunedin: -0.3C (feels like -3C)

• Queenstown: -5.8C (feels like -11!)

• Alexandra: -7.6C (feels like -10)

• Christchurch: -3C (feels like -7C)

• Ashburton: -5.8C (feels like -9C)

• Blenheim: 2.1C (feels like -1C)

• Nelson: -0.8C (feels like -2C)

• Lake Pukaki: -13C

North Island
• Taumarunui: -4.5C (feels like -7C)
• Hamilton: -0.6C (feels like -4C)
• Whakatane: 3.1C (feels like -1C)
• Rotorua: 4C (feels like -1C)
• Taupo: -1.7C (feels like -4C)
• Palmerston North: 4.2C (feels like 0C)
• Auckland: 0C