Weekly Update - 12th December 2016

Kia Ora Friends

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura are continually humbled by the ongoing support we are receiving from our friends near and far. We can’t thank you all enough for your continued patience as we work towards being able to operate our whale watching tours again.

It is now one month on, it may seem slow but we can assure you that progress is being made daily, however we are still unable to provide you with a definite date but we are working hard on this.

New legislation has been past through government to help speed up the repair work on the Kaikōura Marina and plant is currently being mobilised from Christchurch, we are hopeful that work will begin soon.

Huge progress is being made in regards to road access to Kaikōura with the Inland Road route under supervised convoy Mon – Fri and State Highway 1 set to open also under supervised convoy mid-December. (All subject to weather conditions and seismic activity).

The good news is that our land operations are open with our Customer Service team ready to take your calls or answer your emails. They will be available between the hours of 9am – 3pm daily.

Our gift shop is also open 9am – 1pm. There are many fantastic marine & local based products available both in store and online BUY ONLINE TODAY

Fluke Café is also open from 9am – 1pm with fresh baking, great coffee, friendly service and stunning views on offer.

It is also well worth noting that whales, dolphins, seals and an abundance of marine birds are being sighted off the Kaikōura coastline which is so encouraging.


Kaikōura Business Update:

47 - Accommodation Providers (61%) are currently open for business.

82 - Retail, Hospitality and General Service Providers (82%) are currently open for business.

27 – Activity Providers (57%) are currently open for business.

Please also take a look at http://visitkaikoura.nz/ for more information.

If you have any questions in regards to your booking or a refund please contact our Customer Service team directly 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 refer to our TERMS & CONDITIONS in regards to our refund policy.

Again our team appreciate your continued support,


The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura



Over the last week we had fantastic tours with great sightings of semi-resident sperm whales Tutu, Tiaki and Manu who were feeding reasonably close inshore. When time allowed we also viewed dusky & Hector’s dolphins, NZ fur seals and marine birds.

Winter has been making itself well and truly known over the last few days which reminds us to be taking care on the roads especially earlier in the day when ice can be an issue. For those of you who enjoy time on the slopes, local family owned ski field Mt Lyford is due to open on the 29th June (just in time for the school holidays!).


• 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 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 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 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.

IntercityHasslefree 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.

Not long until the July School Holidays - why not bring your family to Kaikōura & join us for a whale watch tour? There is also plenty to see & do before or after you join with us. Please consider taking the time to visit Kaikōura, your support is most welcome. July School Holiday Special

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura.