Kaikoura residents and visitors will be able to dash for freedom this afternoon as Inland Rd opens for a short time.

Civil Defence have organised a "safe and coordinated road evacuation" from Kaikoura between 1 and 3pm today for southward travel only.

The evacuation is subject to weather conditions and safety assessments.

About 100 drivers have registered their intention to leave.


The main road in and out of Kaikoura, State Highway 1, was blocked by slips after the November 14 earthquake.

Inland Rd, also known as the Kaikoura Emergency Access road or Route 70, was also blocked by landslides.

It was reopened on two days after the quake but was closed again on November 22 because of the risk of further slips after a particularly strong aftershock jolted Canterbury.

Want to go?

• Report with your vehicle at the intersection of SH1 and Inland Rd, no later than 1pm today.
• All vehicles must be capable of driving the length of the route and will be inspected for road worthiness.
• Pre-registrations are not required.
• The trip could take up to four hours or more.
• There are no toilets on the route and stopping is not permitted.
• Turning around is not permitted.
• You can get a fuel chit for up to 40 litres from the council building if you are planning on leaving today.
• Ensure you have enough water, food and medicine for the journey.
• You are responsible for all onward arrangements.
• You can take pets if you can fit them in your car.