Hundreds of tourists are stranded on the West Coast, and on the other side of the South Island a flood-damaged bridge has closed State Highway 1, after a weekend of torrential rain.

The heavy rain battered much of the West Coast causing major slips on a 350 kilometre stretch of State Highway 6 between Hokitika and Haast, and most of the 970 tourists trapped in Franz Josef might have to remain there until Friday.

Major roads are closed on both sides of the South Island. Timaru District remains in a state of emergency with road access north to Christchurch blocked with the two bridges crossing the Rangitata River closed. Hundred of tourists were left scrambling to find accommodation in the region.

Speedboat used to get through flooding in Wanaka. Video / Reddit