Weekly Update - 23rd January 2017

Kia Ora Friends

***WHALE WATCH KAIKOURA UPDATE***

Over the last week we have been able to sight not only our regular sperm whales but also had a pod of beaked whales pass by the coastline – there is not much known about this species of whale due to their rare and infrequent sightings worldwide. There was also a blue whale sighted last Monday which was incredible for all to see. And of course we had our regular sightings such as dolphins, seals and marine birds. Kaikōura truly is a marine mecca.

marine life

Marine life sighted over the last week

Progress is being made with the work on the Kaikōura Marina however we are currently switching between using a berth and our modified trailer unit for launching our vessel Tohorā in the Kaikōura Marina, this is due to tidal restrictions and repair work that is taking place post-earthquake following the uplift of the coastline by +1.0m. Launching from the trailer is how we loaded our passengers in the old days of whale watching.

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Please note that post-earthquake, available tour times are now based around the tide times on the day and may differ from the tour times originally advertised. 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. We are operating at a reduced capacity in the interim with up to 3 tours operating 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 ready to take your calls or answer your emails. They are available from 7am daily.

Our gift shop is also open 9am – 3pm. There are many fantastic marine & local based products available both in store and online BUY ONLINE TODAY

Flukes Café is also open from 9am – 3pm with fresh baking, great coffee, friendly service and stunning views on offer.

Please refer to our social media channels for regular updates throughout the week, posted where and when they are available.

Kaikōura Business Update:

Transport Update:

Please note there are speed restrictions in place for both road accesses. (All subject to weather conditions, slips, repair work and seismic activity). Updates available from the NZTA WEBSITE.

Intercity has also re-introduced daily services from Christchurch to Kaikōura with a return service from Christchurch, timings as follows:

8728      Departs Christchurch           07:00          Arrives Kaikōura  09:40
8727      Departs Kaikōura             15:50          Arrives Christchurch 18:25

Please visit their website for more details and trip bookings INTERCITY BUS SERVICE

We appreciate all your support over the last 9 weeks,

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura

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.