Snow has fallen on the central plateau of the North Island as many regions across the country wake to a picture postcard but bitterly cold day.
Widespread frosts are sending temperatures plummeting below freezing in the snow-covered south and central New Zealand, while a dusting of overnight snow has sparked a warning to drivers using the Desert Rd.
This morning all MetService severe weather warnings and watches have been lifted across New Zealand, with snow and strong winds easing after two days of a wintry bomb cyclone.
But heavy snow and ice is still affecting southern highways, with a number of roads closed across Otago and Fiordland after two days of a wintry blast that saw snow fall to sea level.
In the North Island motorists using the Desert Rd are this morning being warned about treacherous conditions.
While the road remains open, people using the State Highway 1 route were being urged to plan ahead, watch following distances and drive to the wintry and potentially dangerous conditions.
Yesterday, MetService said the snowy weather was now winding down and winds easing.
A chilly day was still in store for much of the South Island and central North Island regions but warm weather was on its way, especially over the weekend where temperatures are expected to soar to summery mid-20s.
Many parts of the far south, lashed by blizzard-like conditions over the past two days, were now waking to frosts.
At 7am, the entire South Island was not registering a temperature higher than 5C.
Christchurch was waking to a bitterly cold -3C and Twizel was an even colder -3.8C.
Meanwhile in the North Island, Masterton was -2C, with all except Auckland and Kaitaia recording single-digit temperatures.
For those in the deep south, the going should be easier today after plummeting temperatures and snowstorms brought chaos to work and travel plans yesterday.
Snow was heavy at times in Dunedin, even settling on some of the city's beaches. Slippery roads posed problems for motorists, particularly in the hill suburbs.
About 50 cars and trucks stranded on State Highway 1 north of Balclutha in near-blizzard conditions sparked a massive rescue operation, with police and council contractors moving the vehicles as swirling snow showers caused intermittent white-outs and impassable road conditions.
The storm has also provide a headache for farmers and orchardists, concerned the heavy spring snowfall has taken a dire toll.
Milton sheep and beef farmer Nigel Woodhead told RNZ the snow depth on his farm had doubled overnight on Monday.
"For us, that's a big snowfall any time of the year, so to have it [now] is not good.
"It'll cause some problems ... There would've been a few lambs fallen overnight and unless they were in good shelter ... I daresay they were [killed] unfortunately."
River Rock Estate vineyard in Cromwell experienced sub-zero conditions throughout the day.
Estate owner Graeme McDowell said the temperature dropped to -2.8C at 7am yesterday, leaving vines icicle-bound until about 4pm.
But the late-season snowfall also means an unexpected bonus for skiers, after Coronet Peak announced a special single-morning reopening today.
NZSki communications and media relations manager Libby Baron said season pass holders only could head up to the fields between 9am and 11am for a final session.
The Remarkables Ski Area will close on October 11, and Cardrona Alpine Resort in Wanaka will be the last Otago skifield to close, a week later.
- additional reporting ODT