Weekly Update - 3rd July 2017
Winter has been treating us well here in Kaikōura as we head into the second month of the cooler season. This week out on the water we were able to view semi-resident sperm whales Aoraki, Tutu, Matimati and Aotearoa as well as a new pod of four sperm whales visiting the area. When time allowed, our tours have also seen pods of Dusky and Hector’s dolphins, New Zealand fur seals and various marine birds both floating and soaring above the ocean.
The annual migration of the humpback whales heading north to warmer waters has well and truly kicked in, with pods of up to three humpbacks being seen out on the water during our tours this week. Humpbacks, known for their breaching and distinctive playful surface behaviours, tend to pass through Kaikōura up until late August. Winter is definitely the best time to book your tour if you are wanting to get the chance to see the most playful and acrobatic whales on earth.
Well done to The British & Irish Lions for their win over the weekend! On Friday we hosted the Living with The Lions Sports Tour group, with a bit of friendly Kiwi rivalry to go along with it. We hope you enjoy the rest of your travels around New Zealand and we’ll be seeing you at Eden Park this Saturday to witness some All Blacks redemption!
Term 2 ends this Friday and the July School Holidays will begin - why not bring your family to Kaikōura and join us for a Whale Watch tour? We are offering a July School Holiday Special where children can travel for free! Please consider taking the time to visit Kaikōura, your support is most welcome.
Mt Lyford Ski Field is holding its opening day this Thursday the 6th of July. With a clear forecast for the week, stop in on your way into Kaikōura to hit the slopes or simply to grab yourself a hot drink at the Lodge whilst enjoying the snow.
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 Aoraki. 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 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.
Intercity, 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.