At 12:51pm on Tuesday 22 February, Christchurch City in New Zealand’s South Island was struck by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Since that time, the city’s central business district has been closed while emergency services clear the area.
It is important to know that the earthquake damage is localised and outside the very centre of the city, many businesses are resuming business now that power and water services are operating again. Beyond Christchurch City, other popular Canterbury destinations such as Akaroa, Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura have experienced no disruption of services and are busy as usual. The remainder of the South Island, including main visitor centres such as Queenstown, Fiordland, Dunedin and Nelson, and the whole North Island (including Auckland and Wellington) are entirely unaffected and are open for business.
If you have booked travel to New Zealand in the near future, you may not need to alter the arrangements at all. For all New Zealand travel outside Christchurch, tourism services are operating normally. Christchurch International Airport is open, as are the main highways north, south and west of the city, so visitors can still transit through Christchurch to other South Island destinations. Non-essential stays in Christchurch should be avoided for now, however, as accommodation is limited. For accommodation, activities and services booked in Christchurch, please contact the operator directly about changes to bookings.
Christchurch International Airport: Domestic and international flights are operating – please contact the airline to confirm revised schedules and check-in times. For updates, see www.christchurchairport.co.nz.
Rental Vehicles: If your clients have a rental vehicle to pick up or drop off in Christchurch, please contact the operator to confirm their location – some operators have relocated to temporary premises following the earthquake.
Further Information: For official Tourism New Zealand information on the Christchurch earthquake, see www.tourismnewzealand.com.