Kaikoura, a small coastal town in New Zealand, has been recognized as one of the best destinations in the world for whale watching. Situated on the east coast of the South Island, Kaikoura’s unique location offers an abundance of marine life, including whales and dolphins. In this post, we’ll share with you the best whale watching experiences in Kaikoura, including when to visit, where to spot these magnificent creatures, and what to expect during your tour. So grab your camera, binoculars, and sense of adventure, and let’s explore the best that Kaikoura has to offer!
The 5 Best Whale Watching in Kaikoura
- Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat
- Wildlife Kayaking 3hrs
- Whale Watching Flight
- Kaikoura Whale Watch Flight
- Kaikoura Dolphin Encounter Cruise
The 5 Best Whale Watching in Kaikoura
1. Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat
Whale watching enthusiasts, this one’s for you! Join a tour in Kaikoura on New Zealand’s South Island to witness the array of epic marine wildlife living off the shores. To see the best of it, you have to take to the waves. On this boat tour, hop onto a speedy catamaran and cruise into Kaikoura’s deep waters accompanied by running commentary from your guide throughout the journey. Look out for dolphins, seals, and sperm whales in their natural habitat and experience a spectacular sighting of native sperm whales in their natural environment. Let the live commentary shed light on the whales’ habits and life-cycle. If you don’t see a whale on your tour, no need to worry since you will receive an 80% refund. This tour operates all year round using a modern fleet of purpose-built catamarans. Food and drinks are included in the package. The meeting point is Whaleway Station Road, Kaikōura 7300, New Zealand. Join us and have an unparalleled whale watching experience!
2. Wildlife Kayaking 3hrs
Explore the stunning coastline of Kaikoura from a unique perspective – by kayak. This half-day tour is the perfect opportunity for nature lovers to get up close with some of New Zealand’s most iconic wildlife. With a certified guide leading the way, paddle through protected waters to see an array of wildlife potentially including dolphins, seals, and even whales during their season. Along the way, learn about the local wildlife and get tips on kayaking technique.
The tour takes you through a marine reserve, allowing you to see Kaikoura’s unspoiled coastline. You will also have private transportation and all kayaking equipment provided, including paddle jackets, wet shoes, spray skirts, dry pants, gloves, and hats (during winter months).
Join us at the meeting point on 19 Killarney Street in Kaikōura before we travel to the start of the tour. Note that we are the only sea kayak operator that holds a marine mammal permit, making this a unique and unforgettable experience.
3. Whale Watching Flight
Looking for a unique way to experience whale watching in Kaikoura without having to deal with sea sickness? Look no further than this whale watching flight tour. You’ll soar high above the beautiful Kaikoura coastline and beyond, spotting sperm whales, dolphins, and other migratory whales from the comfort of a high-winged aircraft. With a personalized small-group tour limited to a maximum of seven people, you’ll enjoy plenty of attention and care along the way. Plus, transfers from the town center to the airport, a pre-flight safety briefing, and an informative presentation on Kaikoura’s wildlife and geology are all included. So why wait? Book your whale watching flight tour today and get ready for an adventure you’ll never forget!
4. Kaikoura Whale Watch Flight
Enjoy an unforgettable whale-watching experience in Kaikoura with a unique panoramic flight. On this 40-minute tour, you will cover a large distance of the ocean, maximizing your whale-watching opportunities. From your guaranteed window seat, you’ll be able to take fantastic unimpeded photos of the mighty sperm whales, playful humpback whales, imposing orcas, and mighty blue whales. Throughout the flight, you will be provided with listening headsets for commentary and take in the amazing panoramic views of beautiful New Zealand alpine and coastal scenery. This tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off, but please note that it is not suitable for people over 264 lbs (120 kg). Don’t miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness these marvelous creatures from the air.
5. Kaikoura Dolphin Encounter Cruise
Cruise along the stunning Kaikoura coast and witness the beauty of the Dusky Dolphin species in their natural habitat with the Kaikoura Dolphin Encounter Cruise. Choose to interact with the dolphins by swimming with them or view their impressive acrobatics from the comfort of the boat. Watch the breathtaking scenery and enjoy commentary from an expert guide while snorkeling in the ocean. The tour includes a safety briefing, wetsuit with jacket snorkel mask and fins (if swimming is selected), and a souvenir information pack to take home. Food and drinks are also available for purchase at the local partner’s base. Please note this tour is not suitable for children under 3 years old. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the Kaikoura Dolphin Encounter Cruise on your visit to Kaikoura!
Most Frequently Asked Questions about Whale Watching in Kaikoura
Kaikoura is a small town situated on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The town has become famous for its whale watching tours and has become a popular destination for tourists visiting New Zealand. Whale watching in Kaikoura is an unforgettable experience, but if you’re planning a visit, there are a few things you should know first. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about whale watching in Kaikoura:
1. When is the best time to go whale watching in Kaikoura?
The best time to go whale watching in Kaikoura is from June to August when you’ll have the best chances of seeing the mighty sperm whales that live in the region year-round. However, if you visit between December and February, you may also be able to see Orcas (killer whales) and other types of whales that migrate through the area during the summer months.
2. What types of whales can be spotted in Kaikoura?
Sperm whales are the most commonly sighted species in Kaikoura. The local population of sperm whales is the largest in the world, and you can see them here throughout the year. You may also see humpback whales, blue whales, and southern right whales at certain times of the year.
3. How long does a whale watching tour last?
Most whale watching tours in Kaikoura last between two and three hours. However, the length of the tour can vary depending on weather conditions and the number of whales seen.
4. Can you guarantee that we’ll see whales on our tour?
No, unfortunately, there are no guarantees that you will see whales on your tour. However, most tour operators in Kaikoura offer a ‘whale sighting guarantee,’ which means that if you don’t see a whale, you can go on your tour again for free.
5. Is whale watching ethical?
Yes, whale watching in Kaikoura is ethical. All tour operators in Kaikoura follow strict codes of conduct and guidelines to ensure the safety of the whales and their passengers. These codes include rules about how close boats can approach the whales, how long boats can spend near the whales, and how many boats can be in the same area at once.
6. What should I wear on a whale watching tour?
It’s best to wear warm, comfortable clothing on a whale watching tour as it can get cold out on the water. Layered clothing is a good idea so that you can adjust your clothing as needed. You should also wear closed-toe, non-slip shoes to prevent slips and falls on the boat.
7. Are there age restrictions for whale watching tours?
Most whale watching tours in Kaikoura do not have age restrictions, but some do have minimum age limits. If you’re traveling with children or infants, make sure to check with your tour operator before booking.
8. Can I take photos on the whale watching tour?
Yes, you can take photos on the whale watching tour. However, you should follow the guidelines set by your tour operator to ensure the safety of both yourself and the whales. Flash photography is not allowed as it can startle the whales, and you should never throw anything into the water.
9. Can I eat or drink on the whale watching tour?
Yes, most whale watching tours in Kaikoura offer refreshments such as water and hot drinks. However, it’s a good idea to avoid eating heavy meals before the trip to prevent seasickness.
10. How do I book a whale watching tour in Kaikoura?
You can book a whale watching tour in Kaikoura online or through a tour operator’s office in the town. It’s best to book in advance during peak season to ensure availability.In conclusion, whale watching in Kaikoura is an amazing experience that should not be missed. By knowing the answers to these frequently asked questions, you’ll be better prepared for your tour and can make the most of your time on the water.
How to do Whale Watching in Kaikoura
Kaikoura is a beautiful coastal town located in the South Island of New Zealand. It is well known for its incredible whale watching tours. In this guide, we will give you step-by-step instructions on how to do whale watching in Kaikoura.
Step 1: Choose the right Tour Company
The first thing you need to do is choose the right tour company. Kaikoura has several operators that offer whale watching tours. Research the companies and choose the one that has the best reputation for responsible and sustainable whale watching.
Step 2: Make your Booking
Once you have selected the tour company, it’s time to make your booking. We recommend booking in advance to ensure availability. There are various options to consider, such as boat or helicopter tours, and tours that offer both land and sea sightings. You should also consider the duration of the tour, as well as the season in which you wish to visit.
Step 3: Arrive on time
On the day of your tour, arrive at least 15 minutes before departure time. This will give you time to check-in and receive a safety briefing from the tour guide. Most tours include a life jacket and other safety equipment.
Step 4: Enjoy the Tour
Once you’re on board and the tour is underway, sit back and enjoy the experience. The tour guide will provide you with all the necessary information about the whales you will encounter, as well as their behaviour and the ecology of the area. Listen carefully to the instructions provided by the crew to ensure you have the best experience possible.
Step 5: Respect the Whales and Marine Environment
It is important to remember that we are visiting the whales and their environment, and we should always treat them with respect. Follow all the guidelines provided by your tour company and remain at a safe distance from the whales. Do not litter and keep the environment clean.
Step 6: Take Photos and Videos
Whale watching is an amazing experience that you’ll want to remember forever. Bring your camera or smartphone with you to capture the memories. Most tour operators ensure that you get great views and angles of the whales – but you should never put your device before the safety and respect of the animals.
Step 7: Post-Tour Activities
After the tour is over, it’s time to return to land and explore Kaikoura. The town offers several post-tour activities such as exploring the beach, visiting the nearby seal colony, kayaking, and even swimming with dolphins. Take your time after the tour and explore the local sights and sounds.
Book Your Tour Now
Kaikoura is a world-class destination for whale watching. Follow these steps and you’ll be sure to have a safe, responsible and memorable whale watching experience.
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