SH1 - South Island

06 March 18

The challenges of State Highway 1

Whether it’s the devastation caused by the November 2016 earthquake, the deluge created by Cyclone Gita or the structural damage caused by a crane crashing in a tunnel, State Highway 1, on the east coast of the South Island, has had its fair share of challenges recently.

Just as our tours began to utilise the new and improved State Highway 1 from late December 2017, our travellers marvelled at the repair work completed – an amazing achievement in just over 12 months from when the earthquake hit. For our GPN travellers, travelling back on this highway also meant a later departure time from Christchurch (more sleep time!) as they travelled to Picton.

Unfortunately, during February, State Highway 1 again closed North and South of Kaikoura due to multiple slips caused by Cyclone Gita. As a result, our tours reverted to the alternate inland route with adjusted timings to suit (early wake up calls!).

Due to ongoing repairs, the status of the highway is continually changing so we recommend all Crew stay informed via the NZ Transport Agency website which provides regular updates

The hotels are aware that timings could be earlier (when SH1 is closed and the tour needs to travel via the alternate inland route) or that timings could be half an hour later (when SH1 is open and available for coach travel to Picton). The hotels will work with whatever the Crew advise, with Karen Lowe also across any changes made. 

On a positive note, we take this opportunity to extend a HUGH thank you to all of our Crew on the road for their dedication and commitment shown to our travellers. Their efforts during challenging times are extraordinary and we are extremely proud they represent our brand.

Key Contacts

Malcolm Hegh (North Island)

Karen Lowe (South Island)

Jenny Saunders (Tour Operations)

Elena Randello (Quality Assurance)

Vanesa Brcic (Tour Guide Travel Arrangements)

Elizabeth Bezzina (Tour Product)

Stacia Morris (General Manager)

Peter Harding (Managing Director)



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