Kaikoura access update – weather improving, highway reopening


Heavy rain in Canterbury created fresh slips on the two roads into Kaikoura yesterday and today, with both roads, Route 70 via Waiau and Mt Lyford, and State Highway 1 south via Cheviot, closed this morning.

State Highway 1 south reopened after 1 pm today, however drivers should expect delays for the first couple of hours as traffic is cleared from the Kaikoura end. Traffic will be convoyed between Peketa and Goose Bay for the remainder of the day.

“Convoys will be restricted to 20 vehicles at a time as crews are working on slip clearance along this stretch of coastline which is being repaired and rebuilt,” says Tresca Forrester, Journey Manager for the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery alliance.

“Rockfalls have occurred in places where barriers need to go in place and resilience work is not completed – which is why we have five-day closures planned for State Highway 1 starting next week. Other areas where resilience and reconstruction work has occurred are showing the benefit.”

Inland road closed, update at 3 pm

The inland Route 70 via Waiau and Mt Lyford could open later this afternoon but people should check the traffic and travel map for updates on this(external link).  

The road is open between Waiau and Mt Lyford with the fresh slip at an area called Green Burn, closer to Kaikoura, which may be cleared by late afternoon. While the road is undamaged, there is a lot of material to clear in a difficult part of the road, says Ms Forrester. The next update on this road will be at 3 pm so check the map(external link) then.

Next week, 25 - 29 September – inland road access to Kaikoura, SH1 closed

The first five day closure on SH1 south to Kaikoura is next week. This will enable crews to make good progress on the road reconstruction to get the road opened by the end of this year. (See background release on this work here(external link).)

  • Monday 25 September – Friday 29 September: local drive-throughs at 7am and at 6pm, then closed for the day and overnight.

How to stay up to date:

Drivers can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team for traffic and travel information.