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

Kaikōura truly is a marine mecca. This week we’ve had some successful days out on the water, sighting Beaked Whales, Humpback Whales as well as the Mighty Sperm Whale! It’s so great to see the Humpback Whales still stopping in to say hello as they migrate past Kaikōura. This week we found them right off the Kaikōura Peninsula, making for a very short trip out to see them! When time allowed we also saw Dusky Dolphins, Hectors Dolphins and NZ Fur Seals on our tours, taking passengers to Barney’s Rock where a number of them reside.

Term 3 School Holidays are fast approaching, we advise you get a head start planning some fun activates for your kids now and utilise our School Holiday Special! From the 30th of September to the 15th of October 2017 (inclusive), kids travel with us for free with every full fare paying adult! Consider taking the time to visit Kaikōura and showing your tamariki the spectacular marine life on offer. Reserve your seats here before spaces fill up.

REGULAR, SCHEDULED CLOSURES OF STATE HIGHWAY 1 SOUTH OF KAIKOURA

There is a possibility of short delays and it will be 30km/hour through parts of the route. Check the NZTA website for road updates before traveling. Inland Route 70 remains open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

From Tuesday, 22nd August, drivers will need to watch for 28 metre truck loads moving bridge beams to Kaikōura, via the Lewis Pass and the inland road via Waiau/Mt Lyford. The beams are for a new bridge build as well as smaller bridge sites north of Kaikōura. Some minor delays can be expected due to the length of the load and the slow and winding nature of parts of the route. These truckloads are scheduled to follow this inland route until September.

Progress is continuing to be made on the repair of the Kaikōura Marina, with the modified trailer and public jetty now being used for launching our vessel Tohora. This is due to tidal restrictions and repair work as a result of the coastline lifting by +1.0m. All our berths have now been removed. This is an end of an era but we are excited to see our new and improved marina once it is completed! The use of the modified trailer and public jetty will continue until further notice. It is anticipated that our facilities will be restored in October 2017. Below is a graphic (indicative only) of what is being restored at the marina.

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, 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.

KAIKOURA 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

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.

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura.