Kaikoura open for business
While the earthquake in November last year certainly shook the Kaikoura region, the tourism industry is back on steady ground and international are visitors returning to the picturesque coastal town.
Road access has been restored and almost ninety per cent of tourism activity providers in Kaikoura are now operating again.
Inland route State Highway 70 has been reopened with unrestricted access both ways. SH1 between Picton and Christchurch is open daily from 7.00am - 8.30pm.
For those visitors who would prefer to take public transport, Intercity
is running a daily return schedule from Christchurch to Kaikoura. The timetables will allow visitors to enjoy Kaikoura’s key attractions, including whale and dolphin encounters, which are running on a daily basis again.
The sperm whales, dusky dolphins, seals and albatross the rich marine environment of Kaikoura is famous for have all returned to the region and there have even been recent sightings of rare beaked whales, a blue whale and a pod of pilot whales.
Most of Kaikoura’s activities and attractions are open, and there are plenty of places to stay with all but a few accommodation providers available for bookings. Visitors can choose from a wide range of campgrounds, holiday parks, motels, hotels, b&bs, lodges and homestays. Most restaurants, cafés and bars are also open for business.
The changed landscape left behind by the earthquake has become an attraction in its own right, with a new wave of curious international travellers excited to explore the new coastline by scenic flight
or kayak. Another popular attraction is Hope Springs – bubbling geothermal ocean springs in Kaikoura's shallow waters, caused by the earthquake.
Kaikoura operators are welcoming these guests and some have adapted experiences to suit the changed landscape, such as Kaikoura Kayaks
(who are offering kayak tours to Hope Springs).
For more information and regular updates on Kaikoura activities, accommodation and more, keep an eye on our updates page