English woman Amy Cook is canning her Kiwi experience, fleeing New Zealand frightened after Monday morning's quake.

The 24-year-old, who is travelling with friend Hannah Loades, just arrived in the country after spending two months in Australia.

The pair, who are both from Redding, England, spent a night in Christchurch before arriving in Kaikoura on Sunday.

Read more: Kaikoura tourism industry fears


"We got here Sunday evening and did all the walks, saw the seals, it was really nice," Cook said.

Loades said she just turned off her iPad and was hoping for an early night when the quake hit.

It was such a terrifying ordeal Cook has had enough of her trip and wants to go home, although Loades is undecided.

"I want to go home. I don't think I would enjoy it that much. I wouldn't sleep, I would be on edge the whole time and I would rather go home and come back another time."

They were at the rugby club grounds last night waiting for their helicopter flight out of town.

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Garden City Helicopters pilot Tim Douglas-Clifford captures some of the destruction along State Highway One near Kaikoura after the magititude 6.5 earthquake.

The pair aren't sure whether they are insured or if they could get a refund.

Either way, Cook is "over it".

"I just want to go home and see my family."

Cook said her parents haven't slept since the quake, stressed at their daughter's predicament.

"I rang them a couple of hours ago and they were still awake. They're not sleeping or anything until they know I'm out of here.

"My parents didn't go to work or anything yesterday they were really worried."

Cook had also been sick since the quake, which she put down to the stress of the situation.

She had been extremely grateful for the help of Doug Winter from the Red Cross who she said had been their good luck charm in helping them get on a flight home.

Scottish couple Peter and Kate McCulloch were also part of the 20-strong group preparing to board a New Zealand Air Force chopper last night.

Peter said they had already travelled the North Island and had just begun the South Island leg when the quake struck.