Weekly Update - 10th July
Last week we had some amazing days out on the water viewing our semi-resident sperm whales Aoraki, Tutu and Tiaki as well as other sperm whales visiting the area. Humpback whales have continued to be sighted on our tours most days, with their annual migration heading north to warmer waters bringing them through the Hikurangi Trench just off the coast of Kaikōura. When time allowed, our tours have also seen pods of Dusky and Hector’s dolphins, New Zealand fur seals and various marine birds including the Giant Northern Petrel and the Fairy Prion.
It’s always a special trip when we get to view dolphins, and even more extraordinary when we get to see the Hector’s dolphin. These dolphins are among the smallest in the world, and only found in New Zealand waters. Though the Hector’s are considered endangered with a population of less than 8,000, more so are their sub-species the Maui dolphin with fewer than 50 left in the world! Visit the NZ Whale & Dolphin website to see how you can take action to protect these critically endangered species and keep them in New Zealand waters for years to come.
American astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, who just had his ‘A Cosmic Perspective’ show last night at Spark Arena in Auckland, stopped in to Kaikōura on his tour through New Zealand to see some sperm whales with us! Congratulations on your amazing presentation last night!
Three days into the July school holidays and you’re still not sure how you are going to entertain your children? Winter is a great time to visit us here at Whale Watch and when children travel for free, there’s no reason not to! We are offering a July School Holiday Special, so please consider taking the time to visit Kaikōura and seeing our spectacular marine life.
The amount of rugby chat we have had on our boats along with the high number of Lions fans has been overwhelming! Thank you to all the Lions fans who have toured with us and well done on the draw last weekend! It has been our pleasure to host you here in Kaikōura and to provide you with some up-close encounters with Giant Sperm Whales.
REGULAR, SCHEDULED CLOSURES OF STATE HIGHWAY 1 SOUTH OF KAIKOURA
- The highway will be open during daylight hours on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays (perfect for a long weekend getaway).
- The highway will be closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for repairs to take place.
- The closure schedule is expected to remain in place until the end of September.
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.
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 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 from this Monday 10th July onwards. This is due to tidal restrictions and repair work as a result of the coastline lifting by +1.0m. Contractors are currently removing the final berth to assist the restoration of the harbour. 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 public jetty will continue until further notice. It is anticipated that the Kaikōura Marina will be fully restored in October 2017.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
- Our Customer Service team are available from 7am – 5.30pm daily.
- Our Gift Shop’s opening hours are in line with our daily tour times. There are many fantastic marine & local based products available both in store and online BUY ONLINE TODAY.
- Flukes Café’s opening hours are in line with our daily tour times, with fresh baking, great coffee, friendly service and stunning views on offer.
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.
- SH1 SOUTH Christchurch – Cheviot - Kaikōura is open 7.00am to 6.00pm Friday – Monday (scheduled closures on Tues/Wed/Thurs for repair work)
- INLAND ROUTE 70 Christchurch - Hanmer Springs - Kaikōura is open 24/7
- SH1 NORTH from Kaikōura - Picton is closed until December 2017
- 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.
The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura.