Snow flurries, rough seas and strong winds have battered New Zealand - closing roads, cancelling ferry services and sparking avalanche warnings.
A spate of weather warnings was in place until this afternoon with the wild weather due to ease off by tomorrow.
It will be a cold start tomorrow for some - with frosts likely across the board - especially in Hamilton and in the south.
Snow has fallen for the second time this winter, Niwa said, with flakes reaching sea level in the capital.
Snow and ice had closed State Highway 1 between Rangipo and Waiouru (Desert Rd) and SH48/Bruce Rd in Ruapehu.
The NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) issued high avalanche warnings yesterday after the "largest snowfall event" of the winter was set to produce significant amounts of new snow for many eastern South Island alpine regions.
Avalanche danger ratings had increased to "high" for Aoraki/Mt Cook, Two Thumbs, the Craigieburn Range, Nelson Lakes and Tongariro, and to "considerable" for Arthur's Pass, Mt Hutt, Taranaki and Ohau.
A spate of Cook Strait ferry services was cancelled yesterday and today. Interislander will resume services for pre-booked passengers tomorrow as the heavy weather looked set to ease.
Online bookings for Interislander sailings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were suspended while the company rescheduled freight and passenger bookings disrupted by the weather.
Bluebridge cancelled six services earlier today. It's 7.15pm Picton to Wellington sailing and 8.30pm Wellington to Picton sailing could also be canned if sea conditions don't improve.
Wellingtonians have been told to brace for gale southerlies gusting to 120km/h in exposed places as well as thunderstorms, hail and snow to 300m.
Heavy rainfall over the past 24 hours had also caused flooding on the Takarau Gorge Rd.
Heavy snowfall warnings were in force for Hawke's Bay and Gisborne until 6pm and Remutaka Hill Rd (until 9pm).