NZ drought spreads to South IslandBy New Zealand correspondent Dominique Schwartz, Friday March 22, 2013 - 18:11 EDT
New Zealand's worst drought in decades has officially expanded to the South Island.
The usually rain-soaked north-west of the South Island was included in the drought listing today.
Last week the government declared the entire North Island drought stricken.
The area's 380 dairy farmers have dried off their milking herds up to two months early.
Farmer Katie Milne says the loss of income combined with soaring feed costs could set some farmers back $180,000.
The government says the drought is likely to cost the economy close to $1.6 billion.
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
Icy and windy weather affecting parts of the NSW central-west and Blue Mountains will continue into tomorrow, although strong coastal winds are easing, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) says.
After a slow start to the snow season and a week of small to no surf, an intense cold front has brought some happiness to snowboarders and surfers in Victoria and New South Wales.
Parts of WA have been receiving persistent showers in recent days, propelling some locations well past their monthly average.