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

We had some stunning weather over the weekend along with some great sightings on our tours. Not only were we able to see sperm whales but also the rare opportunity of seeing a pod of beaked whales pass by the Kaikōura coastline. Not a common sight at all and one that is very treasured by all when we do.

Over the weekend we also had a visit from a couple of the crew from Emirates Team New Zealand with the America’s Cup. It was great to have the opportunity to see the cup up close. Check out this video to see how the afternoon went.

The Huttons Shearwater (Tītī) are special to us in Kaikōura. Their habitat sustained considerable loss during the Nov 2016 earthquake. Please take the time to vote for them as Bird of the Year and this status will help secure the much needed funding for more research so we can plan for their future.

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) from 7AM to 7PM.

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 December 2017.

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.

Please be aware that this week is a full closure week - Monday 16 to Friday 20 October. The road will reopen to the public midday on Friday 20 October for Labour weekend travellers. Another full week closure is scheduled for Monday 6 to Friday 10 November. 

Something worth celebrating...

Restoration work on the Kaikoura marina begun 10 months ago, and over the weekend we celebrated being able to now use berth 3 & 4. We have been using our trailer unit & the public jetty for some time now so to be able to pull up into our berths is quite an exciting feat. We still have a wee way to go but this is a HUGE step closer to being fully operational. We are very thankful for the amazing work the harbour repair crew are doing in what are at times trying conditions. We are excited to see our new and improved marina once it is completed! We cannot thank the tireless effort that the workers have put in to get us to this stage especially in what has been trying conditions at times.

More great news…

We thank you all for your patience over the last 11 months with the changing tour times with having work in line with the tides but with being able to now use berth 3 & 4 it means that we are now back running on our original fixed tour timetable. 0715, 1000, 1245 & 1530 (Nov-Mar)

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 ToursCanterbury Leisure Tours & Kaikoura Express 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.

11 months on and we are starting to see some real progress – the teams out on the road, rail and the marina are all doing such an amazing job for which we are so thankful. And, we cannot thank you all enough for your continual support.

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura