Weekly Update 16th January 2017

Kia Ora Friends

***WHALE WATCH KAIKOURA UPDATE***

It is fantastic being back out on the water with successful tours, fantastic sightings along with many happy passengers and crew alike. Over the last week we have been able to see sperm whales, dusky dolphins, Hector’s dolphins, NZ fur seals, marine birds.  

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. 

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.

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 Kaikoura 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

Again our team appreciate your continued support over the last 2 months,

 

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura

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Sperm Whale diving on one of our tours last week

This week Kaikōura really lived up to its reputation of being a marine mecca, with a wide variety of marine mammals sighted in abundance on our tours! We saw a lot of large transient Sperm Whales visiting our Coast to indulge in the nutrient rich waters of the Hikurangi Trench, as well as Spotty Tail! A semi-residential Sperm Whale who we’ve been seeing for a while now.

We’ve also seen a great number of Pilot Whales over the week, on Tuesday we saw 50+ and then on Thursday we saw 150+! A couple of stray Humpback Whales have also been hanging around Kaikōura, which we don’t usually get to see in November, but we’re guessing they’re just enjoying the Kaikōura Canyon too much to leave!

Dolphin varieties we saw on our tours included the usual suspects, the acrobatic Duskies and endangered Hectors, and this week we saw a pod of 20+ Bottlenose. As well as seeing the smallest of the dolphin species, the Hector, we also spotted the largest – the Orca. That makes two weeks in a row of Orca sighting!

On Tuesday, the 14th of November which marked exactly 1 year on from when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck which raised our coastline and left our boats on dry land, we celebrated our official marina opening. Thank you to everyone’s support and well wishes over the past year, each word of encouragement has been truly appreciated.

ROAD ACCESS UPDATE

There is a possibility of short delays with it being 30km/hour through parts of the route. Check the NZTA website for road updates before traveling. INLAND ROUTE 70 IS OPEN 24/7.

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. 

ORGANISED TRANSPORT OPTIONS FROM CHRISTCHURCH

Hasslefree ToursCanterbury Leisure Tours & Kaikoura Express have daily services from Christchurch to Kaikōura with a return service from Christchurch. Kiwi Experience now have the option of a day tour out of Christchurch for their travellers. Intercity Bus also provides a bus service between Christchurch and Kaikoura return.

Progress on the work being done on the roads (along with harbour repairs) can be found on the dedicated Kaikoura Earthquake Response page provided by the team at NZTA. This page is updated weekly on Fridays. Work is also underway on the railway network, please be aware and take care when using rail crossings.

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura.