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November Earthquake Update

23 March 2017

State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura will be closed to all traffic for eight days from 8pm on Sunday 26 March to 7am on Tuesday 4 April. Kaikoura will continue to be accessible by Inland Route 70. 

Please visit the New Zealand Transport Agency wesite for more information.

16 January 2017

State Highway 1 from Hundalee to Kaikoura will be closed for two days (16-17 January) in order to allow work crews to safely remove rocks and debris from the surrounding hillside.

During the two day operation, three sluicing helicopters and a ground crew will be bringing the rocks and debris down.

The NZ Transport Agency will be diverting traffic along the Inland Road (Route 70) while the sluicing work is carried out.

As a result of the closure people travelling to and from Kaikoura should allow one hour of extra time for their journeys.

Check here for more information. 

 21 December 2016

The Inland Route 70 is now open and State Highway 1 to the south of the seaside town is expected to re-open at 2pm today.

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.

Check here for more information. 

View the NZTA Upper South Island Summer Holiday Travel Information sheet here.

19 December 2016

The Inland Route 70 through to Kaikoura is open for all traffic. Scheduled convoys are no longer required, however NZTA advises drivers to take care, be patient and considerate of other drivers.

12 December 2016

Check out the deals and activities in Kaikoura.

8 December 2016

Enviroment Canterbury wishes to inform visitors that they are strongly advised to stay out of the river beds at all times in the Kaikoura and Hurunui districts.  This is for foreseeable future, due to risks from the landslide dams that are a result of the recent earthquake. 

For more infomation please see the Environment Canterbury Website

29 November 2016

Road Travel

SH1 remains closed between Blenheim-Kaikoura-Christchurch. NZ Transport Agency contractors and local crews are working hard to re-establish access to Kaikoura from the south via State Highway 1.

The aim is to restore single-lane controlled access for residents and essential services by mid-December. This is dependent on weather and any further significant seismic activity.

In the meantime the Transport Agency is working to increase public access in and out of Kaikoura via the inland road (route 70) as an urgent priority.

At present the inland road (route 70) is still a fragile and hazardous route and access is controlled by the Transport Agency, Kaikoura District Council and Hurunui District Council. For more information on roads conditions visit www.nzta.govt.nz

Travel Options

For coaches, campervan, rental cars and private vehicles travelling from the Top of the South (Picton) to Christchurch, there are three routes to consider. Roads will be busy so patience is required with travel congestion expected in areas around townships.

(i) Picton-Blenheim (SH63) St Arnaud-Murchison (SH6)-Lewis Pass (SH65 and SH7)-Hanmer Springs (SH7a)-Christchurch (SH7 and SH1)

Travel time, allow minimum 7 ½ hours. Itineraries could be changed to include an overnight in Blenheim, St Arnaud, Murchison or Hanmer Springs. Alternatively drive direct from Murchison to Christchurch.

(ii) Picton-Nelson (SH6)-St Arnaud-Murchison (SH6)-Lewis Pass (SH65 and SH7adn 7a-Hanmer Springs-Christchurch (SH7 and SH1)

Travel time, allow minimum 8 ½ hours. Itineraries could be changed to include an overnight in Blenheim, Nelson or Hanmer Springs. Alternatively drive direct from Nelson to Christchurch.

(iii) Picton-St Arnaud (SH6 and SH63) or Nelson-Murchison-Greymouth-Hokitika-Franz Josef Glacier (SH6) or back to Christchurch (SH73)

Travel time, allow minimum of 10 hours. Itineraries could include overnight in Nelson, Greymouth and Franz Josef. Onward travel to Wanaka and Queenstown or Christchurch


22 November 2016

The Coastal Pacific scenic passenger train, from Picton to Christchurch will be closed for the remainder of the season. Carriages are being shifted to the popular TranzAlpine and Northern Explorer services, which operating as normal, and are regularly fully booked over summer.
All booked passengers who are now unable to travel will be provided a full refund.


16 November 2016

Kaikoura remains inaccessible by road and helicopters continue to send aid to the area. Christchurch and the rest of Canterbury is unaffected and fully operational. Our i-Site staff are on hand to assisit with arranging any travel plans within the area. 

Read our latest press release here. 


15 November 2016

On the 14 November 2016 there was a significant earthquake centered in the small North Canterbury township of Waiau. The majority of the Christchurch & Canterbury region is unaffected, however the coastal township of Kaikoura remains cut-off due to road closures.

Find out more below:


  • Open and operational as per normal.

Hanmer Springs and Hurunui

  • The road to Hanmer Springs is open.
  • Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa is open. 
  • The petrol station and supermarket, along with most other retail operators have reopened, or will be over the next few days.
  • The majority of accommodation providers are open.

Waipara Wine Region 

  • Open and operational as per normal.


  • At this stage Kaikoura is closed until further notice due to inaccessibility.


  • Inland Kaikoura Road (old State Highway 70) from Culverden to Kaikoura remains closed. 
  • State Highway 1, Picton to Blenheim/Seddon is now open but Seddon to Cheviot remains closed. Cheviot to Christchurch is open.
  • An alternative inland state highway route was re-established on Monday afternoon between Picton and Christchurch, via Murchison and the Lewis Pass. Please note while the route is open, some sections are reduced to a single lane, with active traffic management in place. Motorists are urged to use caution and take extra care as conditions are still changing. Please allow for extra time on your journey.
  • Find out more about road closures and conditions.

Additional Information

  • KiwiRail's Tranz Alpine train jouney is operating as normal from 15 November.
  • The Coastal Pacific is cancelled until further notice.

Please note: the rest of the Canterbury region is open and unaffected. 

Tourism providers in the wider Canterbury region encourage you to keep your plans to experience the rest of Canterbury's safe and enjoyable spaces. The region has an abundance of exciting activities available for your enjoyment.

Explore more Canterbury destinations here.

What to do in the event of an earthquake

If you are:

Indoors - Move no more than a few steps to a safe place, drop, cover, and hold on. Do not attempt to run outside. Stay indoors until the shaking stops. Stay away from windows, chimneys, and shelves containing heavy objects.

In bed - hold on and stay there, and protect your head and body with a pillow and blankets.

Outdoors - move as short a distance as possible to find a clear spot, away from buildings, trees and power lines. Drop to the ground.

In a car - slow down and drive to a clear place (as above). Stay in the car until the shaking stops.

In a lift - stop at the nearest floor and get out.

More information is available on the Earthquake Commission website.