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Kaikoura access restored: Kaikoura’s Waiau/ Mt Lyford road open at first light


The rain has abated in Kaikoura today and the inland road via Waiau and Mt Lyford is open again. Road crews, geotechnical and scaling teams have worked long hours in the past few days and the Transport Agency thanks the community for patience in difficult circumstances.

The Mason River, which flows along the inland road (Route 70) is back down to 11 cubic metres of water per second, from the 151 cumecs it reached yesterday.

Some rainfall data for the past few days:

  • Luke Creek (behind Kaikoura in the foothills)- 208mm
  • Rosy Morn SH1 south of Kaikoura - 151mm
  • Kaikoura Township - 39mm
  • Cloudy Range SH70 (slightly east of Mt Lyford)-138mm

Waiau/ Mt Lyford road (Route 70) – now open

The inland road (Route 70) to Kaikoura via Waiau and Mt Lyford has reopened today at first light. Whether or not an overnight closure is needed will be assessed around midday. Drivers should expect a slower journey through the inland road while crews repair damage at several sites.

There will be some scaling work (abseilers removing loose rock) immediately south of the Conway River, and a stop/go operation will be in place there.

Check this page(external link) for Canterbury road updates and an update on whether Route 70 will close overnight later today.

UPDATE MIDDAY 7 April: Route 70 will be open overnight tonight, barring any more extreme weather or rockfall events.


State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura remains closed

State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura is likely to remain closed today (Friday).

High volumes of rain caused mudslides to block the highway in the past three days, pushing rock-filled containers over the edge of the road.

(Check NZ Transport Agency South Island Facebook pages for more photos(external link) or check this drop box(external link))

Please check these pages(external link)  on the Transport Agency’s Traffic and Travel pages for updates on the closure and status of the highway.

Mudslides went beyond highways and roads

Mudslides did not just affect the state highways and inland road. Rakautara residents Ngaio Te Ua and Tahua Solomon’s home was inundated with mud yesterday. Read more about the predicament they were in and how a small cavalry of helpers were able to help them out on the Transport Agency’s South Island Facebook page(external link).

Ways to find out what is happening on the highway network: