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

Kaikōura’s Summer weather has been a treat this past week, making for some epic sea conditions and amazing clear sightings of marine life out on the water.

It seems like Tiaki and Tutu, two of our favourite whales to see out in the Canyon, have been getting reacquainted since they’ve reunited, as this marks the second week in a row that we’ve seen catching a breather up on the surface and diving down to feed together. Looks like they missed each other as much as we missed them whilst they were away!

Other semi-residential Sperm Whales we saw this week included Mati Mati and Aoraki as well as many transient Sperm Whales who are constantly drawn to Kaikōura due to the abundance of food on offer. As with the majority of our tours, we sighted NZ Fur Seals, Hectors Dolphins, Dusky Dolphins and a variety of seabirds including the Great Wandering Albatross.

Who else is planning to kick start their Summer with a whale watching tour? Bring your family and friends along too and make it an adventure! Buy a whale watching gift voucher or, better yet, check out our Marine Combo deal! Get above, on and below the water with a scenic flight, whale watching boat trip and swim with the dolphins! The ultimate gift this Christmas and one of the best ways to make some lasting Summer memories.

Don’t forget, State Highway 1 North is re-opening this Friday afternoon. And yes, the world famous Nins Bin caravan will be ready to welcome you back! So if you’re making your way along the Coast, stop to enjoy the warm weather, soak up the scenes and take in this incredible new landscape that Kaikōura is quickly becoming known for. They’ll be serving freshly caught crayfish and all that other good stuff including mussels, whitebait and the classic Kiwi fish n’ chips right on the beach – does it get any better?!


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.


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. 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.