SH1 between Picton and Christchurch opening 24/7 Monday, 30 April


The NZ Transport Agency reminds road users that State Highway 1 through Kaikōura, between Picton and Christchurch, will re-open for night-time travel from Monday, 30 April. This is the first time the highway will be open 24/7 since the November 2016 earthquake.

The safety of road users remains a top priority says Tresca Forrester, Network Operations Manager for the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery team (NCTIR). 

“Road crews will be carrying out regular observations and inspections of the route throughout the night and we’ll be taking a proactive approach to wet weather throughout autumn and winter. 

“In the event of persistent heavy rainfall, we may close the road as a precautionary measure – this can happen day or night. So drivers need to allow plenty of time for their trip and stay up-to-date on real-time travel information through link)  or by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49). We recommend checking at least two hours before travel and during your trip.” 

When the highway reopens at night, people can expect to see:

  • Multiple sections where traffic moves to a single lane, which will be controlled by traffic signals rather than current daytime Stop/Go controls
  • New signage including ‘no stopping’ and ‘rockfall’ signs (in addition to existing mesh and physical barriers) to protect road users and alert them to potential danger
  • Trains travelling day and night in either direction between Blenheim and Christchurch: drivers should take care at level crossings (where there are Stop or Give Way signs but no bells or barriers) and check both ways before proceeding
  • Different types of traffic using the route including an increase in heavy vehicles, for example trucks and buses. Cyclists are advised to only use the road during the day for their own safety – due to multiple traffic lights and rockfall/no stopping areas
  • That there will continue to be no stopping or camping in the two most earthquake-damaged areas just north and south of Kaikōura.

Until Monday 30 April, after 7.30 am, two sections continue to be closed every night between 7.30pm and 7.30am – they are (north of Kaikōura) between Clarence and Mangamaunu and (south of Kaikōura) between Goose Bay and the SH1/Leader Road Intersection.

 How to stay up to date: