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The trip

South Island Road Closures

Check or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) before you travel to check routes are open and get estimated travel times.

Upper South Island Travel Guide

In November 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Kaikoura subsequently damaging State Highway 1 (SH1) causing it to be closed to traffic between Blenheim and Christchurch.

SH1 is now opened for daytime travel to all traffic travelling from Blenheim to Christchurch between the hours of 7am – 8.30pm. As a safety precaution, parts of the road will be closed at night over summer. There will also be some planned daytime closures to carry out high-impact work along this narrow coastal corridor.

There is still a lot of work to do on this road and several sites will still be under construction. If you are wanting to travel this route, be prepared to expect unsealed surfaces, lane closures, reduced speeds and stop/go controls in some areas which will cause delays. 

You can also travel from Picton/Blenheim to Kaikoura on the alternate route along State Highways 63, 6, 65 and 7, then on the Inland Route 70. You can view a detailed map of these routes here.

There are no train services between Picton and Christchurch as the railway line is still damaged and closed. 

For up to date information about available routes, please visit or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49). This includes links to real-time traffic updates and information about planned closures. Make sure you check your route before you travel.


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