A Look Back Over April 2016

Autumn is my favourite time of the year with all the beautiful colours as the trees start to shed their leaves. The sunrises at this time of the year are stunning and well worth getting up early to witness.

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Sunrise on ANZAC Day

We had such beautiful days both weather & sea conditions wise, really were very spoilt. This made for many happy guests both while whale watching with us and also while visiting our amazing wee town.

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The semi-resident sperm whales that we were able to view throughout April included Saddleback, Manu and Tiaki. Saddleback being given his name due to a patch found on his back that looks much like that of a saddle. We have been seeing Saddleback for over 20+ years now off the Kaikoura coast well and truly a local.

There were quite a few visitors during April which is always such a treat: 

2 April – Orca x4

4 April – Orca x4

5 April – Humpback x1

11 April – Humpback x2

13 April – Humpback x1

15 April – Humpback x1

16 April – Orca x3

26 April – Blue x2

29 April – Blue x2

 

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Young blue whale

It is this time of the year that we start to see humpback whales pass by on their annual migration from the colder Antarctic waters to the warmer waters for the winter period. Always a blessing to see these beautiful whales as they stop by Kaikoura.

 humpback

As with all out tours when time allows we take time to view other species of marine life that live off the Kaikoura coast such dusky dolphins, NZ fur seals and the many marine bird species we can view here.

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Hector's dolphin

Bird species sighted during April included: Wandering albatross, Royal albatross, Bullers mollymawks, Shy mollymawks, Cape petrels, Giant Northern Petrels, Westland Petrels to name a few.

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Buller's Mollymawk

With the winter months creeping closer we are hoping for some snow to appear on the mountains, they are beautiful without snow on them but when they do they are spectacular.

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Looking forward to snow on the Kaikoura ranges sometime soon...

Have a great month all,

Keep warm 

Lisa

We had it all over the weekend – sunshine, wild wind, sleet, warmth, cold and beautiful new snow on the Kaikoura ranges. Despite the conditions over the weekend in the days leading up we had some great tours with sightings of semi-resident sperm whales Manu and Tiaki and hen time allowed we also saw dusky dolphins, Hector’s dolphins, NZ fur seals and marine birds.

The most recent update on State Highway 1 South from Kaikoura is that it is expected to remain closed till the end of May to allow the construction of a temporary road and rail alignment around the base of the large landslide that came down during April’s heavy rain at Easter. Please allow extra time as you travel through Inland Route 70 which remains open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

As we enter into the cooler winter months it is a good reminder to take extra care on the roads and to check the NZTA website for road updates before traveling.

Progress is being made on the repair of the Kaikōura Marina and we continue to switch between using a berth and our modified trailer unit for launching our vessel Tohorā, when and where possible we are also making use of the public jetty that we have modified, this is due to tidal restrictions and repair work as a result of the coastline lifting by +1.0m. It is anticipated that the Kaikōura Marina will be fully restored by October 2017.

Dredging of the outer channel of the Kaikōura marina is well advanced.

Currently our available tour times are based around the tide times on the day and may differ from the tour times originally advertised, please bear with us as we continue to work toward being fully operational again. For an update on the tour times available please contact our Customer Service team directly either by email on res@whalewatch.co.nz or phone +64 3 319 6767 or free phone 0800 655 121 (within NZ) and they will be able to help you with your inquiry.  Please note we are operating at a reduced capacity in the interim with up to 3 tours available per day, please contact our team prior to arriving in Kaikōura to secure a space on one of our tours and to save disappointment.

Kaikōura Business Update:

Kaikōura is open for business. For latest updates on accommodation / restaurant and retail information please contact the team at the Kaikōura i-Site who will be able to help you find what suits your needs during your stay in Kaikōura.

Transport Update:

All subject to weather conditions, slips, repair work and seismic activity. Updates available from the NZTA WEBSITE.

Intercity, Hasslefree Tours & Canterbury Leisure Tours have daily services from Christchurch to Kaikōura with a return service from Christchurch, as well as Kiwi Experience now having the option of a day tour out of Christchurch for their travellers.

Progress on the work being done on roads (along with harbour repairs) can be found on this dedicated KAIKOURA EARTHQUAKE RESPONSE page provided by the team at NZTA, this page is updated weekly on Friday. Work is also starting to take place on the railway network, please be aware and take care when using rail crossings.

Please consider taking the time to visit Kaikōura, your support is most welcome.

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura.