A Look Back Over April 2016

Autumn is my favourite time of the year with all the beautiful colours as the trees start to shed their leaves. The sunrises at this time of the year are stunning and well worth getting up early to witness.

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Sunrise on ANZAC Day

We had such beautiful days both weather & sea conditions wise, really were very spoilt. This made for many happy guests both while whale watching with us and also while visiting our amazing wee town.

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The semi-resident sperm whales that we were able to view throughout April included Saddleback, Manu and Tiaki. Saddleback being given his name due to a patch found on his back that looks much like that of a saddle. We have been seeing Saddleback for over 20+ years now off the Kaikoura coast well and truly a local.

There were quite a few visitors during April which is always such a treat: 

2 April – Orca x4

4 April – Orca x4

5 April – Humpback x1

11 April – Humpback x2

13 April – Humpback x1

15 April – Humpback x1

16 April – Orca x3

26 April – Blue x2

29 April – Blue x2

 

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Young blue whale

It is this time of the year that we start to see humpback whales pass by on their annual migration from the colder Antarctic waters to the warmer waters for the winter period. Always a blessing to see these beautiful whales as they stop by Kaikoura.

 humpback

As with all out tours when time allows we take time to view other species of marine life that live off the Kaikoura coast such dusky dolphins, NZ fur seals and the many marine bird species we can view here.

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Hector's dolphin

Bird species sighted during April included: Wandering albatross, Royal albatross, Bullers mollymawks, Shy mollymawks, Cape petrels, Giant Northern Petrels, Westland Petrels to name a few.

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Buller's Mollymawk

With the winter months creeping closer we are hoping for some snow to appear on the mountains, they are beautiful without snow on them but when they do they are spectacular.

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Looking forward to snow on the Kaikoura ranges sometime soon...

Have a great month all,

Keep warm 

Lisa

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