Weekly Update 9th January 2017


update 9th January 2017


Kia Ora Friends




Great News as of Monday 2nd January 2017 we have been able to commence commercial whale watching trips again! We have been having successful tours and fantastic sightings with happy passengers and crew alike.

We are currently switching between the use of our berth and modified trailer unit to load and unload our passengers, we are currently operating up to 3 tours per day and our tour schedule is updated on a weekly basis. Operating from a trailer is how we loaded our passengers in the old days of whale watching.

 Please note that post-earthquake, available tour times are now based around the tide times as we are unable to operate around the low-tide 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 so please contact them prior to arriving in Kaikōura to secure a space on one of our tours. 

Our Customer Service team are ready to take your calls or answer your emails. They are available from 7am daily.

Thank you for your patience while we work at getting the Kaikōura marina fully operational and work with our interim tour timetable.

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.

Kaikōura Business Updat

78 - Accommodation Providers (68%) are currently open for business.

100 - Retail, Hospitality and General Service Providers (83%) are currently open for business.

47 – Activity Providers (83%) are currently open for business.

Transport Update:

Huge progress has been made in regards to road access to Kaikōura with the Inland Road now fully open both ways. State Highway 1 South is also open between the hours of 6am – 8pm daily, please note there is speed restrictions in place for both road accesses. (All subject to weather conditions and seismic activity). Updates available from the NZTA website.

Intercity have introduced two new daily bus services. First service is between Nelson and Christchurch which will travel via Murchison, Springs Junction and Hanmer Springs.

Intercity has also re-introduced daily services from Christchurch to Kaikoura, with the first day of travel being Thursday 12 January.  They will operate a return service from Christchurch with timings as follows:

Departs Christchurch 07:00         
Arrives Kaikoura 09:40
Departs Kaikoura 15:50                
Arrives Christchurch 18:25

Please visit their website for more details and trip bookings http://www.intercity.co.nz/

Again our team appreciate your continued support, we’re excited to be back out whale watching!

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.


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)


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. 


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