A Look Back Over October 2015

October was an interesting month, it is around this time of the year that we beginning to notice the sperm whales feeding further offshore as the changeover period from winter whales to summer whales take’s place. This can at times make our trips a bit harder than normal but when working with nature you never really know what is going to happen from one day to the next – it is a part of what makes whale watching so exciting.

IMG 20150303 074725

We were very fortunate to have a transient pod of sperm whales feeding around the canyon during October, with the distances we were travelling it at times meant our patience were being put to the test put the reward at the end of seeing a mighty sperm whale was worth the wait.

Whalewatch 1 3

It was a busy month for other species of whales visiting Kaikōura which is always an added bonus on our tours for both passengers and crew alike.

7th Oct – x2 Humpback Whales

9th Oct – x2 Humpback Whales

10th Oct – x1 Blue Whale

11th Oct – x1 Blue Whale

15th Oct – x1 Humpback Whale

17th Oct – x1 Humpback Whale

20th Oct – x1 Humpback Whale

Blue Whale

Baby Blue Whale

As you can see it was rather busy for visitors, really is such a treat to see them passing through especially the largest creature in the world – the Blue Whale…

Did you know their heart is the same size as a small car? Or that for the largest creature in the world they eat one of the smallest creatures in the ocean – krill? Amazing.

On the days when the sperm whales are feeding beyond our operating limits and sea conditions allow we offer our guests an Inshore Nature Tour which is a 2 hour tour travelling along the coastline viewing dolphins, seals, marine birds and any other species of marine life that we come across as well as providing both European and Maori history of the area. All those who take part in this alternative have such a wonderful time.

Inshore sighitngs

With the summer fast approaching we have new staff joining the team gearing up for an anticipated busy season, if you are planning to join us over summer it does pay to book in advance so as not to be disappointed.

Have a great month all – not long now until Christmas.

If you are looking for that perfect gift for the marine lover in your family why not consider a Kaikoura Marine Combo voucher…

 

Lisa

 

 

There have been some beautiful sunrises in Kaikōura over the past week, with more sunshine forecasted for the upcoming days too!

Out on our tours we saw semi-residential Sperm Whales Aoraki, Tutu and Tiaki feeding in the Hikurangi Trench as well as Sperm Whales new to our region. When time allowed, we were able to view NZ Fur Seals on Barney’s Rock, a rock thought to be used as a lookout point by early whalers.

This week we had only one juvenile Humpback Whale passing through our waters. It’s coming to the end of their annual migration which only means one thing, the Summer Orca season is approaching us!

We currently have an end of winter sale on at our Retail Store at the moment, a whopping 25% off all hoodies, jackets and merino items! We need to make room for new summer stock, so head over to our online store to get your hands on some winter goodies.

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. 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.

During 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 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 the Kaikōura Marina will be fully 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.