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Kaikoura is back!

[Full newsletter: Kaikoura_Update_7_on_Fri_6_Jan17.pdf]

Kaikoura Earthquake Update #7 – Friday 6 January 2017

Kaikoura is back!

News of the Week , “Whale Watching trips are back on the water! Whale Watch Kaikoura is thrilled to advise they have commenced whale watch trips again with schedules around high tides. Dolphin and Albatross Encounter trips are also available by prior arrangement. There’s still a way to go but we’re encouraged by the ability of operators to adapt and modify their visitor experiences to still provide a similar quality experience for visitors prior to the earthquake.” Glenn Ormsby, Destination Kaikoura http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/88093407/first-whale-watch-tour-leaves-kaikoura-after-bad-weather-halted-return-to-business

Cruise Ships Return to Kaikoura http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/nz-earthquake/87972174/caledonian-sky-cruise-ships-arrival-could-open-way-for-more-to-return-to-kaikoura

As reported by Lynette Buurman (Encounter Kaikoura), the cruise ship ‘Caledonian Sky’ called on 27 December 2016 to a perfect morning and it was a beautiful sight to see the ship anchored off in South Bay. The shore excursions went well with the passengers either coming ashore to do the Kaikoura Peninsula Walk or participating on a combination Dolphin and Albatross Encounter tour.

The planning to enable the Encounter Kaikoura vessels to offer a marine tour for the day, were quite an exercise, with the tour vessels having to be launched on the high tide well before the tours were to take place. The first tours in the morning saw the tenders from the ship, transferring the passengers to an Encounter Kaikoura vessels at sea. For the afternoon tours we were able to load the passengers as normal as the tide had come in to a level which made it possible to use the jetty. The feedback we received was that the passengers were very appreciative of the effort and the organisation that went into making the tours possible and they really enjoyed the experience.

The passengers were very empathetic about the earthquake and when questioned they were still keen to explore Kaikoura and had not been discouraged by the news of the 14 November quake. For the passengers who did not wish to join the organised options, a shuttle was provided to transport them into the town centre to visit the i-Site, the shops, cafes and the brand new Kaikoura Museum which is now open.

The Mayor, Winston Gray, met with some of the passengers as they come ashore and welcomed them to Kaikoura. They were so excited to be visiting and were thrilled to be off the first cruise ship visiting since the quake, despite the difficulties with the marina caused by the up lift of the seabed.

The Caledonian Sky will be calling in Kaikoura again on 16 January 2017 and we are hoping for another day of good weather and calm seas so that the passengers can see Kaikoura at its best!

Insights into SH1 and Inland Route 70 Roads

Julia Hunt, Trade Marketing Manager for Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism (CCT) drove to Kaikoura on 28 December 2016 and provides an insight on driving SH1 and Route 70.

“SH1 was really good and only took 15 – 20 minutes extra (new drive time 2 hours 50 mins). Advisable to take extra care with driving. There were a couple of detours due to bridges being closed and one-way traffic lights sections, but overall roads are in good condition considering the circumstances. We also drove the Inland Route 70 on the way back – this was a longer journey, the roads are narrower, quite windy with more roadworks.” 2Julia said, “it was great to speak to the local operators and despite the challenging last few weeks, the tourism community are positive and cautiously optimistic about the upcoming summer season. It was fantastic to see the Peninsula Walk Carpark packed and town’s main street full of people. The fascinating changes of the seabed add another unique proposition to Kaikoura’s marine experiences.

Just before Kaikoura driving along past the sea – notice the rocks up out of water. It was neat to see some seals around. To someone new to Kaikoura it would feel like business as usual, as if nothing had happened. For those who have been to Kaikoura before, the rise of the seafloor is evident and absolutely fascinating! Water no longer comes close to carpark – 400m walk out over rocks before you can see seals and water. Seabed risen quite noticeably. Once in Kaikoura felt busy with people around. Main street felt busy.

With SH1 now open and suitable for tourists, the Kaikoura townships should see the return of day trip traffic from Christchurch and visitor flow reinstated for the Alpine Pacific Triangle linking Christchurch, Waipara, Kaikoura and Hanmer Springs.”

SH1 South Road and Inland Route 70 is Open (from 21 Dec 2016)

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/opening-quake-affected-sh1-seriously-good-news-kaikoura

Road access is restored to Kaikoura. The Inland Route 70 is now open and State Highway 1 to the south of the seaside town is open with restrictions.

The Inland Route, between Waiau and Kaikoura, is now open 24/7 with unrestricted access both ways.

There are speed restrictions and no stopping areas which everyone using the route is asked to strictly adhere to. The average travel time for the 90km route from Waiau to Kaikoura is about two hours.

The route remains hazardous and fragile and all road users are asked to take extra care and be prepared for the unexpected.

Access along State Highway 1 to the south of Kaikoura when restored will have night-time restrictions.

These will remain until all slip faces have been stabilised and traffic signals have been installed along a 1km coastal section of the route where there is single-lane access only.

Access will be two-way and only during daylight hours, 6am to 8pm. The last vehicles will be admitted to travel along SH1 south from Peketa at 7.30pm. Vehicles travelling north from Christchurch are advised to leave the city by 5.30pm to ensure they get through to Kaikoura before the road closes at Oaro at 7.15pm.

There is no stopping or camping along the route because of the risk from potential rockfall in the event of any further seismic activity or heavy rain. There will be designated rest areas for your safety.

https://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic-and-travel-information/travel-information-for-canterbury-and-marlborough-regions/

Alternate route for cyclists - much of the alternate state highway route between Picton and Christchurch is via state highways 63, 6, 65 and 7 via Murchison and Lewis Pass is not suitable for cyclists because of the narrow, windy road and increased traffic volumes, in particular freight vehicles. It is therefore recommended you take the longer touring route via Nelson and down the West Coast or contact a public transport provider and travel by bus to Christchurch.

4NZ Inbound Tour Operators and Offshore Tour Wholesalers

Operators that work with Inbound Tour Operators (ITOs) are currently working on new itinerary and product ideas to cater for visitors that have Kaikoura on their itineraries. Please see the list below for names of activity/attraction operators that are operational as at 5 January 2017.

Wings Over Whales has a new schedule for flights running from Kaikoura-Christchurch-Kaikoura. Sounds Air is also running services to/from Kaikoura.

All ferry services with Interislander and Bluebridge sailings are fully operational.

Intercity have introduced two new daily bus services between Nelson and Christchurch which will travel via Murchison, Springs Junction and Hanmer Springs. InterCity is working hard on re-establishing services between Kaikoura and Christchurch. Watch this space for an exciting announcement next week!"

Accommodation – 78 properties on spreadsheet (68% open for business)

Please find attached a copy of a spreadsheet that has information on Accommodation providers and whether they are open (white) for business when mainstream travel resumes or if they are yellow (closed in the interim while still being evaluated) or red stickered (closed indefinitely).

Any agent requiring specific details, please contact Lynda Keene at keenel@xtra.co.nz or +6421 295395, Kaikoura i-SITE on 03-319 5641 or info@kaikoura.co.nz or contact the accommodation provider direct.

Retail/Food & Beverage Services – 100 businesses on spreadsheet (83% open)

The majority of retail, hospitality and general service0 outlets are open for business. Information collated from i-SITE. Please refer to spreadsheet attached with this email for specific information.

Businesses may be open but have yet to advise i-SITE or Destination Kaikoura. This list will be updated daily.

5Activities/Attractions – 47 operators on spreadsheet (83% open for business)

The following activities are operational. Whale Watch Kaikoura trips are now operating running 2-3 trips per day, as are Dolphin Encounter and Albatross Encounter trips on a charter and prior arrangement basis. www.whalewatch.co.nz and www.encounterkaikoura.co.nz for booking details.

Albatross Encounter (charter on request)
Air Kaikoura
Air Kaikoura Pilot a Plane
Atawera Art
Board Silly Surf & SUP Adventures
Café Encounter
Clarence River Rafting
Dolphin Encounter (charter on request)
Emporium Brewery
Emporium Mini-golf
Encounter Gift Shop
Fish Kaikoura (reopens 15 Jan)
Flukes Café & Whale Watch Retail
Glenstrae 4Wheel Adventures
Indulge Body & Soul
Kaikoura Coast Track
Kaikoura Cheese
Kaikoura Farm Park
Kaikoura Fishing Tours
Kaikoura Golf Club
Kaikoura Helicopters
Kaikoura Kayaks
Kaikoura Museum
Kaikoura Short Walks
Kaikoura Shuttles
Kaikoura Snorkelling Tours
Koura Bay Fishing Charters
Kowhai Gorge Horse-trekking
Kaikoura Lavender Farm
Levi’s Pedal Kayaks
Maori Tours Kaikoura (reopens 15 Feb)
Llama Trekking
Seal Swim Kaikoura
South Pacific Whale Watch
Spey Creek Hunting
The Point Sheep Shearing Show
Waikoura Springs & Freshwater Crayfish
& Poultry Farm
Wings over Whales
Whale Watch Kaikoura (on high tide)

Kaikoura’s Neighbour’s

Accommodation, activities and attractions are all OPEN in neighbouring regions of Marlborough, Nelson Tasman, Hanmer Springs, the West Coast and Christchurch.

Here’s some Top of the South Island touring maps. Worth checking out for ideas.

http://www.nelsonnz.com/assets/PDFs/NRDA-Driving-Routes-Map-Document-Full-Doc.pdf

6Kaikoura i-SITE Insights www.kaikoura.co.nz

Kaikoura i-SITE Manager, Mariet van Vierzen said, “It’s been great to see visitors back in town since SH1 and Route 70 opened prior to Christmas and with news that dolphin, albatross and whale watch trips are back in action. SH1 and Inland Road are occasionally closed due to the weather (mainly when it rains) but NZTA provides regular updates. In general people are impressed with the condition of the roads and are amazed the roads are open so soon after the earthquake. Visitors are showing interest in the geological changes and keen to do scenic flights by plane or helicopter. A temporary pool in the community for visitors and locals opened on 4 th January, situated on the Kaikoura Primary School grounds netball. The pool is heated to a very pleasant 26 degrees. Our team are very happy to look after visitors and provide helpful advice to create a special and memorable post- earthquake experience. Quite a few people from Christchurch come up just for the day to support our town, which is great.”

Happy New Year!

On behalf of the Kaikoura tourism industry and community, thank you for your continued support as we work towards getting back to a business as usual status. Nga mihi nui.

From Glenn, the Destination Kaikoura Board and i-SITE team

Helpful Websites & Facebook (FB) Pages to Visit

Albatross Encounter (charter on request)
Air Kaikoura
Air Kaikoura Pilot a Plane
Atawera Art
Board Silly Surf & SUP Adventures
Café Encounter
Clarence River Rafting
Dolphin Encounter (charter on request)
Emporium Brewery
Emporium Mini-golf
Encounter Gift Shop
Fish Kaikoura (reopens 15 Jan)
Flukes Café & Whale Watch Retail
Glenstrae 4Wheel Adventures
Indulge Body & Soul
Kaikoura Coast Track
Kaikoura Cheese
Kaikoura Farm Park
Kaikoura Fishing Tours
Kaikoura Golf Club
Kaikoura Helicopters
Kaikoura Kayaks
Kaikoura Museum
Kaikoura Short Walks
Kaikoura Shuttles
Kaikoura Snorkelling Tours
Koura Bay Fishing Charters
Kowhai Gorge Horse-trekking
Kaikoura Lavender Farm
Levi’s Pedal Kayaks
Maori Tours Kaikoura (reopens 15 Feb)
Llama Trekking
Seal Swim Kaikoura
South Pacific Whale Watch
Spey Creek Hunting
The Point Sheep Shearing Show
Waikoura Springs & Freshwater Crayfish
& Poultry Farm
Wings over Whales
Whale Watch Kaikoura (on high tide)

Check out this great video walking around Kaikoura Peninsula (courtesy Canterbury Walks & CCT) https://www.facebook.com/christchurchnz/videos/10154426727043541/

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