We've received many emails and phone calls over the past 48 hours from travellers considering upcoming trips to New Zealand, or with questions about trips they already have booked. We wanted to write a quick update regarding the earthquake which hit New Zealand's South Island on November 14.
A magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck North Canterbury just after midnight on November 14 near the tourist towns of Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs, Picton and Blenheim.
The damage from the earthquake was largely centered around the epicenter near Kaikoura in North Canterbury. The areas of NZ outside the local region are largely unaffected which leaves areas outside of Hanmer Springs, Kaikoura and Picton largely unaffected.
At this point, Kaikoura is completely blocked off from slips on the road. It is unknown how long it will take for the roads into Kaikoura to be cleared, so it's possible that Kaikoura may need to be omitted from your South Island Itinerary.
Thankfully, whilst there has been infrastructure damage to North Canterbury, there were very few causalities with only two people sadly passing away at the time of the quake or shortly after. The stories that have come out of this event have largely been positive - stories of neighbors looking after neighbors with locals coming together to help those tourists stranded in Kaikoura.
There’s no reason to change your plans, and we look forward to welcoming you to New Zealand this summer.