Group walk Kaikoura's rail line and highway and find road tunnel intact

A Kaikoura farmer has described the eerie feeling of entering a road tunnel on State Highway One south of the quake-damaged town.

Will Wilding, his girlfriend Anna Redmond, brother Sam and two male friends ventured north towards Kaikoura today to inspect the damage in a Hilux ute.

A tunnel near State Highway One near Kaikoura blocked by a rockfall. Photo / Anna Redmond
A tunnel near State Highway One near Kaikoura blocked by a rockfall. Photo / Anna Redmond
The damage caused by today's earthquakes on State Highway One near Kaikoura. Photo / Anna Redmond
The damage caused by today's earthquakes on State Highway One near Kaikoura. Photo / Anna Redmond

At Punchbowl Corner they entered a 30m tunnel with debris from slips strewn at either end.

"There is no noticeable damage in the tunnel. There are no rocks on the ground or anything," said Willing, who farms at Conway Flat, south of Kaikoura.

"We went through the tunnel quickly. We didn't stay around and look inside," he said.

The road, he said, was "pretty buggered". In one area they came across a section of railway track attached to the sleepers that had jumped up and moved toward the hill without taking any gravel with it.

"It is probably going to have to be re-engineered. It will be a huge, huge job," Wilding said.

They also encountered a part of the seabed that had been lifted above the low tide mark with paua, crayfish and dead fish in the open.

At Oaro, Wilding said they saw two massive slips either side of a house that survived the earthquake.

Tracks shifted by the earthquake alongside State Highway One near Kaikoura. Photo / Anna Redmond
Tracks shifted by the earthquake alongside State Highway One near Kaikoura. Photo / Anna Redmond
Rock lifted above sea level by today's earthquakes on State Highway One near Kaikoura. Photo / Anna Redmond
Rock lifted above sea level by today's earthquakes on State Highway One near Kaikoura. Photo / Anna Redmond
A tunnel near State Highway One near Kaikoura blocked by a rockfall. Photo / Anna Redmond
A tunnel near State Highway One near Kaikoura blocked by a rockfall. Photo / Anna Redmond
Rock lifted above sea level by today's earthquakes on State Highway One near Kaikoura. Photo / Anna Redmond
Rock lifted above sea level by today's earthquakes on State Highway One near Kaikoura. Photo / Anna Redmond

- NZ Herald

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