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

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!).

REMINDER - 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 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.