Temperatures have dropped across the country this morning as snow falls in Christchurch this morning.
A wintry blast is moving up the country and multiple highways are closed.
Residents in Christchurch are waking to snow showers and cars and backyards coated.
Much of the country woke to wintry temperature this morning, in the North Island the coldest area was Taupō on 0C and in the South Island Twizel was down to -5C.
Multiple roads across the country are closed due to snow.
State Highway 5 between Taupō and Napier and the Desert Rd are closed.
State Highway 87 between Middlemarch and Outram and State Highway 85 between Kyeburn and Dunback are also closed.
Snow closed State Highway 1 between Dunedin and Waitati but has now since opened.
Some MetService weather watches are still in force.
There is a strong wind watch for eastern parts of Bay of Plenty, Gisborne north of Ruatoria and southeastern parts of Taupō until 8am today.
MetService's next update will be at 10am.
Overnight snow has coated Hanmer Springs, the Port Hills and as far down as New Brighton Beach.
Snow also dusted many hill areas in inland Otago , and fallen in Dunedin's hill suburbs, with flurries in the central city.
Niwa reported that the chilly weather was coming up from Antarctica and high elevation areas may even drop to below -10C.
Dunedin motorists have also been told to avoid travel in the city's hill suburbs unless absolutely necessary, with icy conditions making driving treacherous.
A MetService spokesman said a cold wintry blast was spreading up the South Island and the next few days would feel like a return to winter, even though it was technically spring.
"I'm hoping people haven't put their winter woollies away yet."
Being able to make snow-angels in the Octagon was never really going to be a possibility, but for a brief moment, Dunedin CBD workers left their offices with hope yesterday afternoon when snow started falling to sea level.
Sadly for some, as forecasted, it failed to settle, what did settle later in the evening was hail. A heavy hailstorm hit Dunedin leaving a white coating.
Minor crashes and traffic incidents were reported around the city, cars became stuck in Stuart St and SH 1 between Leith Valley and Waitai, north of Dunedin, was closed about 8.45pm.
Drivers reported backed up traffic on the Southern Motorway about 9pm.
The Otago Regional Council suspended all Dunedin bus services due to dangerous driving conditions also about 9pm.
MetService meteorologist John Law said a front sent cold air northwards over the South Island, turning scattered showers to snow and hail, which brought a "distinctly wintry feel" to Southland and Otago.
While the worst of the weather would sharply clear away to the east today, temperatures this week would remain cooler than the region had experienced recently, he said.
Federated Farmers Southland president and Riversdale farmer Chris Dillon said he had started lambing and the snow caused quite a few lambs to die yesterday.
"We had passing snow showers reasonably frequently — the snow didn't settle but it did cause quite a few casualties during the night.
"I haven't worked out the percentage loss yet but it's been quite noticeable.
"It happens from time to time. Hopefully it's only a short blast and it doesn't last too long."
Federated Farmers Otago president and Lawrence farmer Mark Patterson said most farmers in his area would not start lambing for another couple of weeks, so yesterday's light dusting of snow and bitter temperatures had not caused any casualties that he knew of.
He said the cold weather had been forecast well in advance and farmers had prepared for it by putting stock in more sheltered areas.
Aside from the occasional shower, the rest of the week is expected to be mainly clear as a ridge of high pressure builds across southern and central New Zealand.
But the longer-range forecast shows more snow may be on the way early next week.
- Addtional reporting John Lewis ODT