Rockfall south of Kaikōura closes SH1 south of the town


A rock the size of two basketballs which fell from a height south of Kaikōura’s Parititahi road tunnels landed on and damaged a southbound car late this afternoon. The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle was not seriously injured and did not seek medical treatment.

Rain has been falling heavily in the area triggering small rockfalls at this site.

North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) Operations Manager Tresca Forrester says SH1 will remain closed overnight south of Kaikōura/Peketa.

Geotechnical advisors will fully inspect the area at first light and the road closure will be updated at 9 am Saturday.

  • Traffic in Kaikōura going south is 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/ Picton onto the Lewis Pass Alternate Route and from Waipara north onto the Lewis Pass route (SH7).
  • North of Cheviot, light vehicles can take the Leader Road.

Whilst rockfalls along SH1’s Kaikōura coastline are not a new phenomena, even a small rock from a height can cause significant damage.

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