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Whale Watching in Kaikoura by boat

  • Explore the deep waters off Kaikoura by speedy catamaran with your guide
  • Sightings of native sperm whales in their natural environment
  • Live commentary sheds light on the whales’ habits and life-cycle
Whale Watching in Kaikoura by boat
From US$100.83
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
Select Date and Travellers
10.00am TourMost Popular
Please note that these are check-in times only - please do not come earlier than the times specified. Please allow 3.5 hours with us.
12.45pm Tour
Please note that these are check-in times only - please do not come earlier than the times specified. Please allow 3.5 hours with us.
10.30am Tour
Please note that these are check-in times only - please do not come earlier than the times specified. Please allow 3.5 hours with us.
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Located on the eastern shores of New Zealand’s South Island, Kaikoura is famous for the spectacular array of marine wildlife living off its shores—but to see the best of it, you have to take to the waves. On this tour, cruise into Kaikoura’s deep waters by speedy catamaran with running commentary throughout from your guide, and spot dolphins, seals, and sperm whales in their natural habitat.
What to Expect

Our office is located a scenic 5-minute walk from the Kaikōura town centre, once you are at The Whaleway Station you will check for your whale watching tour, you will then take part in a safety briefing before taking a short ride on our coach to the marina where your sea crew will be waiting for you. Once everyone is seated and the all clear is given you will begin your journey out to see what marine life you can in the 2.5 hours spent on the water.

Kaikōura is the whale watching capital of New Zealand, every Whale Watch tour is a unique experience and the sightings vary. Giant Sperm Whales are the stars of the show and year-round residents. A typical Whale Watch tour may encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, pods of Dusky Dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross. Depending on the season you may also see migrating Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales. Kaikōura often hosts the world's largest dolphin - the Orca - and is home to the world's smallest and rarest - the Hector's. Kaikōura also attracts the largest concentration and variety of seabirds on mainland New Zealand.

Our on-board plasma screens display a virtual animated whale watching tour while the tour is actually taking place! You will experience your own tour through the eye of the albatross in real-time. As your vessel approaches the Kaikōura Canyon the ocean will be 'removed' to show the sheer scale of the abyss that plunges kilometres beneath you.

Once your tour returns back to our marina our coach will be there to take you back to our office where situated right on the seafront, Whale Watch Kaikoura’s - Flukes Café is (Kaikōura's best kept secret), offering a relaxed atmosphere with one of the best views in town. Flukes breakfast and brunch menu is on offer all day. Enjoy a cup of freshly-made coffee and sample the homemade cakes and savoury items along with daily blackboard specials to choose from.

Reviews (33)
1 - 5 of 33 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago
Fantastic experience

Loved this . Booked in advance , immediate confirmation, very well organised by organisation , lovely cafè if needing a coffee beforehand and great shop . Tip if likely to suffer travel sickness - the pharmacy in Kaikoura will sell you either recognised products or...More

2  Thank ange55
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile
Sperm AND a minke whale!

We had a perfect day for our trip, which helped hugely I’m sure, but this day was an absolute winner! The building excitement of waiting 40 minutes for the spent whale to resurface added to the joy when he finally did. After that encounter we...More

Thank Melinda B
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile
We enjoyed our little surprise

Booking was easy and straightforward. We opted for the 7:15am tour, which meant the wind hadn’t picked up yet but since it was the first trip of the day they didn’t know where the whales were. This didn’t matter as we just went to where...More

Thank LeonB1754
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile
Delivered as promised

Great trip today with this company. The excursion was excellent and well worth the money and time. We came to Kaikoura, as many people probably do, for a whale watching trip. Short review: great company, excellent staff, nice catamaran, saw whales and dolphins, it was...More

Thank 730dan
Reviewed 14 September 2018
It is mandatory to go to Kaikoura to see whales

We made this all day August 16, 2018 my wife, my daughter and I at 10. We were lucky to see whales, dolphins and seals. It is an essential excursion in Kaikoura. The assembly is perfect: they have a good parking lot, they take you...More

Thank Francisco R
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
23 August 2018|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Rochelle F | Reviewed this property |
Hi! there is no actual best time to whale watch. The whales surface regularly -- so a lot of it will depend on luck and patience. My best tip would be to arrive energized, alert and refreshed :)
Teresa S
5 June 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Barbara A | Reviewed this property |
Definitely take warm and wind proof clothing, as it can get very windy, especially if you are outside taking photos.
Margaret A
6 May 2018|
Response from Julian H | Reviewed this property |
From what I could gather the whales are there all year - I did notice the company offer an 80% refund if you don’t see whales so I assume they are confident each time they run the trip! Enjoy.
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