13 Apr 2019

SH1 south of Kaikōura remains closed after rockfall yesterday

9:12 am on 13 April 2019

Part of State Highway 1 south of Kaikōura is still closed after heavy rain triggered small rockfalls yesterday afternoon, the Transport Agency has advised.

A slip over a train tunnel south of Kaikoura. Taken 18 January 2017.

A section of State Highway 1 south of Kaikōura, pictured in early 2017. Photo: RNZ / Joelle Dally

South of the Parititahi Tunnel at about 4.20pm yesterday a rock the size of two basketballs hit a car, but the driver escaped serious injury.

The Transport Agency closed the road overnight, and this morning advised on Twitter that it would remain closed and it would update the situation at midday.

Rockfalls along the Kaikōura coast are not unusual, it said.

Until the road reopens a detour will add about two hours' travel time and the Transport Agency said people should consider delaying their travel.

Traffic in Kaikōura going south is currently being detoured onto the Inland Road via Waiau, aiming to keep that route for light vehicles.

Trucks and heavier vehicles going south are being detoured in Marlborough onto the Lewis Pass Alternate Route and from Waipara north onto the Lewis Pass route (State Highway 7).

North of Cheviot, light vehicles can take the Leader Road.