NEW TIMETABLE from Sun 18 Oct: Night closures south of Kaikōura - rockfall protection canopy


Night time work to install permanent rockfall protection between Peketa and the Parititahi Tunnels south of Kaikōura has been extended to late December with some changes to the road open/close timetable to increase productivity.

TIMETABLE from Sunday 18 October

  • Night closures continue 5 nights a week (Sunday – Thursday)
  • Night closures continuing until late December
  • From Sunday 18 October - road open 6:30am – 7pm (Road open 6:00am on Mondays)

Critical safety work in the rockfall-prone area has been underway since July 2020. Work includes installing mesh fencing, a barrier and a six-metre high canopy to redirect falling rock away from the road. The canopy is the first of its kind to be installed in the Southern Hemisphere.

While work is progressing well, works have been extended following unexpected delays in the supply of some construction materials due to COVID-19, increased requirements for milling and rock removal, and a number of high wind events where it was unsafe to work.

To complete the canopy work as quickly as possible, a new night closure timetable will be effective from Sunday 18 October so construction crews can continue to install anchors into the rock face, craning in the canopy beams, and draping and connecting protective rockfall mesh.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Owner Interface Manager Colin Knaggs says that, “The exposed corner poses a challenging environment for our construction crew, and we are managing the safety of our people working on the rock face while balancing the needs of road users. Thanks to the local community, freight users and travelling public for their on-going patience during this project.”

Periods of closures on this section of State Highway 1 are required in this very narrow section of coastal road as large machinery and construction materials extend across both lanes during the work.

The closures will continue to be in place five nights a week (from 18 October Sunday – Thursday) between 7pm and 6.30am with set opening times throughout the night to clear traffic (click here for updated timetable).

Detours for night closures: Light vehicles via Waiau, heavy vehicles via Lewis Pass
If people need to travel during the closure times and don’t want to time their travel for the set opening times, the Inland Road via Waiau (Route 70) is open 24/7 and would be the detour for light vehicles. The alternative route for heavy vehicles between Picton/Blenheim and Waipara would be via SH7, SH65, SH6 and SH63. This route is open 24/7 and takes about 6.5 hours to travel.

Upcoming Daytime closures (November)
In November helioperations will be underway during the day which will require 30 minute daytime stop/stop closures. More details will be provided closer to the time.
Please allow at least 5.5 hours for travel between Picton and Christchurch on SH1.

For more details and to check for real-time journey information and updates please visit

NCTIR will monitor traffic flows and continue talking to people most affected by the night closures as they may need to adjust the closure times. Times could change in summer with changes to ferry timetables. Please check for real-time journey information and updates on these planned closures.

To keep up to date with this work, or for any other information, please contact NCTIR

  • Send an email to:
  • Call us or leave a voice message via freephone: 0800 628 4737 (NCTIR EQ) and someone will return your call as soon as possible.

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19 October 2020