Weekly Update - 25th September 2017

We hope you all enjoyed the sunny weather and bluebird days in Kaikōura’s over the weekend. Check out this morning’s sunrise, a great start to our Monday morning! The whole sky was lit up and we even caught a pod of dolphins frolicking along the coastline. Daylight savings has just begun and we’re looking forward to seeing plenty more epic sunrises and enjoying the longer, warmers days that Summer has to offer.

Sunrise in Kaikoura, New Zealand

Dusky Dolphins in Kaikoura New Zealand

Our tours this week spotted all our favourite marine mammals, including Sperm Whales, with a special guest appearance by semi-residential Sperm Whale Holy Moly, Dusky Dolphins, Hectors Dolphins, NZ Fur Seals and a Humpback Whale! We are so privileged in having these mammals right in our backyard to share with the world. Getting to view them day after day never gets old for us, they take our breath away each and every time.

Sperm Whale diving in New Zealand

Term 3 School Holidays kick off this Saturday so make sure you take advantage of our School Holiday Special! From the 30th of September to the 15th of October 2017 (inclusive), kids travel with us for free with every full fare paying adult! Consider taking the time to visit Kaikōura and showing your tamariki the spectacular marine life on offer. Reserve your seats here before spaces fill up.

School holiday special for whale watching

This year, Whale Watch Kaikoura has been nominated for the World’s Responsible Tourism Award 2017! We are hugely honoured to be recognised by the World Travel Awards for our endeavours in responsible tourism and the preservation of our natural environment. We are visitors to the world of the whales and respect it as such at all times. Please take the time to register and VOTE for Whale Watch Kaikoura – number 193 in the ‘World’ category. A World Travel Awards Nomination is a world-class achievement and is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality. 

Vote for Whale Watch Kaikoura in this year's World Travel Award

REMINDER: ROAD CLOSURE TO STABILISE ROCKFACE ON STATE HIGHWAY 1 SOUTH OF KAIKOURA

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.

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.

Kaikoura bridge beam work-in-progress update

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 our facilities will be restored in October 2017. Below is a graphic (indicative only) of what is being restored at the marina.

Kaikoura marina restoration 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 res@whalewatch.co.nz, 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.

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 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.

Hundalee repair work-in-progress from Kaikoura earthquake

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura.

ROAD ACCESS UPDATE

There is a possibility of short delays with it being 30km/hour through parts of the route. The full rebuild of the highway will continue in 2018. Check the NZTA website for road updates before traveling. INLAND ROUTE 70 IS OPEN 24/7.

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 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.