Kaikōura man's epic daily commute

Johnny Clark's house was severely damaged and he is now living in Kaikoura
Johnny Clark's house was severely damaged and he is now living in Kaikoura

A Kaikōura man who works for the iconic food caravan Nin's Bin has told Newshub about his extraordinary journey following last week's quake.

Johnny Clark traverses landslides, beaches and railway tunnels to make the commute between Kaikōura town and his coastal community of Rakautara.

Mr Clark's house was severely damaged and he is now living in Kaikōura. But he makes the daily commute back home each day to pick up essential supplies and check on his shop.

He sticks mostly to the State Highway 1 route, but with the road blocked by slips, has to improvise.

"It's what you've got to do," he says. "It's not too much work."

Mr Clark's spent the last week packing up supplies to take to Kaikōura, and taking stock of what's survived of the family business - the well-known coastal crayfish caravan, Nin's Bin.

"It's all our livelihoods, this shop."

More than a dozen people rely on the income from the caravan. On a good day, he'd sell more than 100 crayfish.

Kaikōura man's epic daily commute

Johnny Clark (Newshub.)

On the day of the quake Mr Clark fled with his family into the dense bush, fearing an impending tsunami.

"We chucked the kids on our backs and ran straight up the hill, right to the top. We lit a fire, and camped out for the night."

And he says that night was the worst.

"We had a big slip you come down - you could just hear it going woosh, you heard the trees break, felt the wind coming down off the valley because of the slip. It was a bit eerie. There were these big cracks up the hill. A couple of kids fell in the cracks."

After spending two days camping, the group decided to make a move.

Mr Clark traversed a massive slip on SH1 with four other adults and four children, despite not knowing what was on the other side and the risk of more landslides. Now it's his daily commute.

His family have all moved south to Timaru, leaving him to look after the caravan. But if he has to move Nin's Bin from Kaikōura to keep the business afloat, that's what he'll do.