At 4.35am on 4 September, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch in New Zealand. There were no fatalities and the bulk of the damage occurred in the Christchurch central business district (CBD) area; other areas in New Zealand were unaffected.
This morning (8 September), a 5.1 magnitude aftershock occurred in the Lyttelton area. As a result, the state of emergency in Christchurch has been extended until 15 September. The central city area remains cordoned off.
So what do travellers to the region need to know?
While some parts of the CBD are closed for safety reasons, 'the remainder of the city is accessible,' says Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler and 'virtually all tourism operators in the Christchurch region are open'. However visitors are advised to contact their travel agents or accommodation providers before arriving in the city.
As at 7 September, all but one hotel was operational. Christchurch airport and car-rental companies are running as normal as are the ski fields. Travellers transiting via Christchurch to other parts of New Zealand are unaffected. For an up-to-date list of what is and isn't open, click here.
Updates from travellers on ground, as well as posts from Tourism New Zealand, can be found on the Thorn Tree forum, including reports from the railways and tourist attractions like the Orana Wildlife Park, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve and Southern Encounter Aquarium which, unfortunately, did suffer some damage.
However, Operations Manager Dave Bradshaw says things could have been much worse: 'Unfortunately two fish died and there has been a lot of water damage owing to water slopping out from the tanks into the aquarium and our gift shop. Pending an engineer's inspection, we hope to re-open again this Thursday.'
Scroll through the posted information, and please feel free to add any updates you feel are relevant to other travellers.