Weekly Update - 2nd October 2017

Beautiful sunrises and sunsets were found all over the place this week in Kaikōura, and with more sunshine predicted for this coming week we’re excited to see some more of those lovely long Spring days that Kaikōura has in store for us!

Sunrise in Kaikoura at Whale Watch Station

This week’s whale watching trips spotted Sperm Whales and Humpback Whales as well as those marine mammals that we consider to be the cherry on top for our tours – Dusky Dolphins, Hectors Dolphins and NZ Fur Seals.

Sperm Whale diving in New Zealand

A lot of transient Sperm Whales were seen this week, meaning that they aren’t the semi-residential Whales that we see time and time again on our tours. Rather, these are Sperm Whales that come to feed in the Hikurangi Trench for a short time and then move on. Seeing so many new whales to our region can only be a positive sign of our ecosystems recovery since the November 2016 7.8 Earthquake. Check out NIWA’s Press Release for more information regarding their latest trip exploring the Kaikōura Canyons seabed.

Sperm whale in Kaikoura

Term 3 School Holidays have begun! Take you kids on an adventure with the Giant Sperm Whale over the break and 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 promotion! Kids go whale watching for free!

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 Whale Watch Kaikoura in the World Travel Awards

Seafest 2017 is this weekend! Have you got your tickets yet? It’s going to be an awesome day full of seafood, music and sunshine. Not to mention the great local deals you can score yourself around town, including discounts with us on whale watching excursions, at Flukes Café and our Retail Store!

Kaikoura Seafest 2017

REGULAR, SCHEDULED CLOSURES OF 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.

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.

New Kaikoura Marina

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 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.

Hundalee repair work-in-progress from Kaikoura earthquake

Image Source: NZTA

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.