"We've got a lot more beach now," said the local pilot I spoke to.
The earthquake that devastated Kaikoura in November 2016 raised the seabed by several metres, and pushed parts of the South Island six metres closer to the North Island. It cut off connection to the town by road and rail, though inland route 70 is now open.
SH1 southwards from Kaikoura is now open during daylight hours, between Friday and Monday, and the route north of Kaikoura is forecast to reopen in December 2017. Driving the route gives you an insight into the power of the earthquake and the massive engineering work undertaken to reopen the road and railway line. Pick up information and travel directions in any of the I-Site offices on the South Island.