Weekly Update - 28th August 2017
This week’s weather has been absolutely spectacular! We’ve had some amazing calm days out on the ocean and clear blue skies to match it.
Our tours were able to sight semi-residential Sperm Whale Aoraki feeding in the Hikurangi Trench this week, as well as multiple other transient Sperm Whales passing through our region.
On Thursday we had four Orca pay us a visit early! We tend to see these mammals in the Summer months of November to March so sighting them in Winter was a very welcome surprise for our passengers and Sea Crew!
When time allowed, tours also sighted Dusky Dolphins, Hector’s Dolphins and NZ Fur Seals as well as a variety of seabirds including the Giant Northern Petrel and the White Fronted Tern.
On Friday we hosted the Alpine Pacific Touring Route team from Christchurch, Hurunui and Kaikōura where they got to see four Sperm Whales on their tour! This route takes you on a 450KM journey that runs between Christchurch and the beautiful hubs of Kaikōura, Hanmer Springs and the Waipara Valley – designed for you to explore the best wine, activities and stunning scenery that this region has to offer.
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.
The annual Kaikoura Whale Run kicks off next Saturday, so don’t forget to get your entry forms in! Whether you’re committing to the ½ marathon or wanting to take in the scenes on the 10km track, or you have your kids entered in the 2km Marafun, it’s going to a great day full of spot prizes and family fun. Even if you don’t plan on entering, come down and support the contestants!
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 Dec 2017
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.
UPCOMING CLOSURE TO STABILISE ROCKFACE ON STATE HIGHWAY 1 SOUTH OF KAIKOURA
- There will be a five-day closure between Peketa and Goose Bay from Monday 4TH September - Friday 8TH September 2017.
- This five-day closure will enable crews to dislodge further materials from a number of sites to make this area more resilient.
- The highway will be reopened to traffic on Saturday, 9TH September, 7am to 6pm, the usual hours, through to Monday night.
- These dates are subject to weather and tides which could delay the work, or require further work at a later date.
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 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.
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.