Kaikoura Whale Watching, New Zealand

Whale watching in Kaikoura is the must-do activity while in this beautiful, peaceful town. Not only do you get a rare chance to get up close and personal with these majestic mammals, but you also get to choose how and where you’d like to see the whales from. Whether it’s boat, plane or helicopter, we’ve listed all the options here with the most recent details to help you plan your stay in Kaikoura.

This website exists to bring you the most up to date information about seeing whales in and around Kaikoura.

We have a page dedicated to featuring all whale watching tour operators and companies in Kaikoura which includes up to date pricing, and you can also learn about the amazing geology of Kaikoura which is the very reason that this part of New Zealand is such a hotspot for seeing spectacular whales.

Discover which whale species you can see in Kaikoura and don’t forget the other intriguing and spectacular wildlife while you’re in town: Kaikoura’s dolphins, seabirds and fur seals are well worth the time to seek out for anyone who loves nature and seeing all of these fascinating animals in their natural habitats.

By Boat Whale Watch Kaikoura  
kaikoura whale watch

Tour Type: Marine tour by boat

Tour times: 7.15am, 10.00am and 12.45pm, 3.30pm(November-March)
Whale Watch operate tours every day except Christmas Day.

What you will see:
Giant Sperm Whales are present year-round. You may also encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, pods of Dusky Dolphins the Wandering Albatross.
Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales are also visible depending upon the season.
The world’s largest dolphin, The Orca or Killer Whale (yes this is actually a dolphin!) can be spotted, as well as the world’s rarest and smallest dolphin – the Hector.

Duration:
Tours last around 2.5 hours on the water or 3.5 hours including bus transfer and check-in.
Whale Watch Kaikoura refund 80% of your cost if you do not see a whale.

Cost:
Adult: $145
Child 3-15: $60
Children under 3 not permitted.

Phone:
+64 3 319 6767

Fax:
+64 3 319 6545

Address:
Whaleway Station Rd, Kaikoura

 
By Plane Wings Over Whales Kaikoura  
kaikoura wings over whales

Tour Type: Air tour by plane

Tour times: Contact operator for information.

What you will see:
Aboard the plane and with accompanying commentary, you will typically spot the Sperm Whale. Other whale sightings can include Southern Right, Humpback, Fin, Sei, Brydes, Pilot, Southern Bottlenose and the mighty Blue Whales, as well as Dusky, Common, Hectors, Risso’s and Southern Right Whale Dolphins and the massive Orca, although these are spotted less frequently.

Other visual sights from the air include the Kaikoura Peninsula, Maori fortifications (Pa sites), New Zealand Fur Seals resting and the Kaikoura township
If conditions allow, you may fly over the spectacular Seaward Kaikoura Ranges (2800m in height)

Duration:
30 minute flight

Cost:
Adult (15+): $180
Child (4-14): $75
Infants under 3 free

Phone:
+64 3 319 6580

Fax:
+64 3 319 6668

Address:
Main South Road, Peketa
(8km south of Kaikoura on State Highway 1)

 
By Helicopter Kaikoura Helicopters World of Whales  
kaikoura world of whales

Tour Type: Air tour by helicopter

Tour times: Contact operator for information.

What you will see:
View the full length of all the whales from the air. Sperm whale sightings are most common, with all other whales viewable at certain times of the year.

Duration:
Classic Whale Flight: 30 minutes
Grand Whale Flight: 40 minutes
Top’n’Tail: 50 minutes

Kaikoura Helicopters operates 364 days of the year subject to weather conditions.

Cost (per person):

30 minute Flight:
2 passengers: $325
3-4 passengers: $220

40 minute Flight:
2 passengers: $395
3-4 passengers: $265

Coastal Whalewatch:
2 passengers: $435
3-4 passengers: $295

Top ‘n’ Tail:
2 passengers: $490
3-4 passengers: $330

Phone:
+64 3 319 6609

Fax:
+ 64 3 319 6814

 
By Plane Kaikoura Aero Club  
kaikoura wings over whales

Tour Type: Air tour by plane

Tour times: Contact operator for information.

What you will see:
Operates on demand for whale & dolphin watching. The flights are fully customizable to suit. Fly to the whale watch areas to look for sperm whales and dusky dolphins.

Flight times are typical around 30 minutes with a success rate of 95%

Duration:
30 minute flight

Cost:
Adult: $145

Phone:
+64 3 319 6579

Address:
627 SH1, Peketa, Kaikoura.

 

* All prices are in $NZ

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