Tours and Tickets
Kaikoura Helicopters Classic Whale Watch
4.5

Kaikoura Helicopters Classic Whale Watch

By Kaikoura Helicopters Ltd
Recommended by 91% of travellers
91% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
from
$330.00
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 0-100, max of 6 per group
Duration: 30m
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Live guide: English
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Audio guide: English
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  • Scenic helicopter excursion to view sperm whales and wildlife
  • View from above Kaikoura’s deep-sea canyon while searching for a Giant Sperm Whale
  • Explore the unique and rugged Kaikoura Coastline
  • Live commentary from our pilots who are flying encyclopedias on the local area.
  • Headset with microphone to clearly hear your commentary and ask questions on your journey
  • Unique and uninterrupted views of magnificent marine mammals from above in your luxury helicopter


Start:
  • 16 West End, Kaikōura 7300, New Zealand
    Kaikoura Helicopters is situated under the rail bridge on the main street of Kaikoura. Look for the whales on the windows and the smiling staff on the reception.
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Near public transportation
    • Infants must sit on laps
    • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 245011P1

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Most travellers can participate
    • A headset is provided with a microphone for communicating with your pilot
    • Please call 24 hours in advance to reconfirm your booking +64 3 319 6609
    • We recommend wearing covered shoes and bringing a warm jacket
    • We recommend bringing your camera and sunglasses
    • All passengers will be weighed before departure
    • Your pilot in command will load helicopter based on weight and balance
    • All flights are subject to weather conditions and minimum numbers. Please see our website for full terms and conditions
    • If the weather does not allow you to fly, we will be happy to rebook you for a later time if your travel schedule allows. Alternatively your voucher can be used at one of our other helicopter bases in Wellington or Christchurch
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 6 travellers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    How much is Kaikoura Helicopters Classic Whale Watch?
    Kaikoura Helicopters Classic Whale Watch price starts from $342.10. Discover and book Kaikoura Helicopters Classic Whale Watch on Tripadvisor
    What is the Kaikoura Helicopters Classic Whale Watch cancellation policy?
    Kaikoura Helicopters Classic Whale Watch cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Kaikoura Helicopters Classic Whale Watch on Tripadvisor
    Which company provides Kaikoura Helicopters Classic Whale Watch?
    Kaikoura Helicopters Classic Whale Watch is hosted by Kaikoura Helicopters Ltd. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Kaikoura Helicopters Ltd on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Kaikoura Helicopters Classic Whale Watch on Tripadvisor
    How much time do I need for Kaikoura Helicopters Classic Whale Watch?
    On average, this experience will take approximately 30m. Discover and book Kaikoura Helicopters Classic Whale Watch on Tripadvisor

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 245011P1

    Reserve your spot

    Similar experiences

    Itinerary
    • You'll start at
      16 West End
      16 West End, Kaikōura 7300, New Zealand
      Kaikoura Helicopters is situated under the rail bridge on the main street of Kaikoura. Look for the whales on the windows and the smiling staff on the reception.
      See address & details
    • 1
      Kaikoura
      Stop: 30 minutes
      This helicopter tour departs from our beachfront heli-pads and within minutes you'll be in the spectacular environment that plays host to one of the world's largest marine mammals, the magnificent Sperm Whale. From the comfort of our helicopter, you will enjoy the ultimate whale-spotting experience. Enjoy spectacular, panoramic views of Kaikoura Peninsula. See the seal colonies along the rocks at the end of Kaikoura Peninsula. There is a possibility of seeing dolphins, baleen whales migrating through, and humpback whales on their way back and forth from their feeding grounds down near Antarctica, to their birthing and breeding grounds in Tonga/Niue in May/Nov We operate under the strict guidelines of our whale watching concession from the Department of Conservation whilst also abiding to the Marine Mammals Protection Act
      Read more
    • You'll return to the starting point
    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Kaikoura Helicopters Ltd
      189
      Kaikoura, New Zealand
      Joined in August 2010
    • louisek431
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Fantastic helicopter tour
      Fantastic excursion out over the ocean to view a sperm whale offshore. Also got to see some dusky dolphins on the flight out. Our pilot was exceptional. He coordinated well with the whale watching boats and scenic planes to help locate at least one whale in the vicinity.
      Written 22 March 2024
    • Erica055
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      New Zealand Highlight
      Our pilot Arron gave us a magnificent flight. His expertise in spotting and locating the whales was a marvel. His knowledge of the whale behaviour added to our enjoyment. We saw 2 separate sperm whale plus a pod of pilot whales with dolphins and albatrosses.
      Written 4 March 2024
    • sabinemarieloiuseb
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Perfect flight over the Kaikoura peninsula with Whaleand dolphine spotting
      The day was perect for a flight over the Kaikoura peninsula and out to the sea for searching of whales. As there was no Whale spotted this morning, we were happy to find a sperm Whale, just coming up for taking air. Our pilot was very knowledgeable and gave us very good opportunities for taking photos of the Whale, of the schools of dolphines as well as the peninsula and the coast. Would do it again, any time!
      Written 5 February 2024
    • famvanderwende57
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      First helicopter flight
      It was great to be able to go up and see the magnificent ocean. I really liked seeing the ocean shine up in my eyes. To be honest it was more fun going on a helicopter then a plane
      Written 15 January 2024
    • famvanderwende57
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      First helicopter flight
      This was a wonderful experience for me seeing the water underground me and seeing dolphins. This was so cool, my sister and I were with my grandparents. I rate 10/10.
      Written 15 January 2024
    • Y1305HHmartinw
      0 contributions
      2.0 of 5 bubbles
      Disappointing
      Our departure time was brought forward and so our flight missed out on spotting the one whale that was in the area. Flight was a failure, no refund nor extended flight, nor anything. Very disappointing considering the cost
      Written 18 December 2023
    • F4254QHjohnl
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Sperm whale near kaikoura
      The flight was mind blowing! Saw hectors dolphins before we even left the helipad! Our pilot was super knowledgeable and super confident. He did an amazing job. Found a sperm whale within minutes. Amazing experience having never seen one before and after he found a huge pod of dusky dolphins!! Scenery was amazing as well. Best wildlife flight ever!! Highly recommend doing this flight
      Written 9 December 2023
    • 911bernadettek
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      fantastic
      Arron thank you. You made the trip magic from start to finish, from your commentary to your amazing gift of spotting :) Arron, went above and beyond the call of duty to making sure that we had the best experience ever. Professional, knowledgeable and an absolute 'good bugger' Bernadette, Shea.Molly, Lulu, Daisy.
      Written 6 October 2023
    • Wanderer27536994447
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Sunny Afternoon with Sperm Whale, Dolphins and Seals
      We had an amazing sunny afternoon flight with Aaron. Thanks to Aaron’s flexibility we started an afternoon earlier to use the incredible weather. Spotted a Sperm Whale, a huge group of dolphins and seals sleeping on the coastal rocks. Great experience, thank you so much for this excellent whale experience :)
      Written 24 May 2023
    • 971helenaf
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing trip flying a helicopter
      Absolutely fantastic experience flying a helicopter! Aaron was friendly, clear and incredibly knowledgeable. We saw loads of dolphins, seals and even a blue whale! Perfect Birthday present and once in a lifetime activity.
      Written 14 April 2023
    • mabcemaes
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Exceeded expectation!
      As first time helicopter passengers this trip far exceeded our expectations! From the start Aaron was professional, knowledgable and reassuring. The flight was smooth and right on time for the sperm whale to be seen on the surface - a real highlght of our holiday in New Zealand. Thank you
      Written 22 February 2023
    • Spenceeey
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Professional, safe and totally worth the experience!
      Booked late the night before and managed to get a slot the next morning. We understand that whale watching is weather permitting and depends on a little luck as well so we had fingers crossed. The next morning, reached at the mentioned time but it was closed. Turns out I had missed multiple calls from the office informing me that my flight was delayed. Robin was extremely professional and apologetic even though she tried multiple times to reach me. Aaron the pilot was very professional. He rushed straight back from another flight and met with us. There in the office we planned the best time to see a whale which had been spotted. I love the professionalism and the way they liaised with different operators just to maximise the chance of catching a whale. We saw the whale, dolphins pods, seals and an unmatched view of Kaikoura. Will definitely return again!
      Written 26 January 2023
    • 792trishac
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Fantastic birthday experience.
      The flight was amazing and they went out of their way to accommodate us when the weather turned bad. An experience my son will never forget.
      Written 16 January 2023
    • timgina1
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Highly recommend
      We thoroughly enjoyed a top n tail tour. We saw a sperm whale and some lovely scenery in the mountains including a lot of deer. We did this ride with a 3 year old, who loved every minute of it. Our pilot Aaron was super friendly and gave commentary along the way so we new what we were looking for/at. I highly recommend doing this helicopter ride in Kaikoura, seeing the massive sperm whale then the stunning mountain scenery is a must.
      Written 13 October 2022
    • KiwifamilyNelson
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Worth Every Penny!
      we booked an hour's ride to see whales - thrilled to have seen a sperm whale reoxygenating then diving with great view of fluke (magnificent creature) and five humpbacks, including three swimming along together, one of them being a juvenile. We felt very privileged. Besides the whales we enjoyed watching a huge pod of dolphins having fun around a humpback, seals on rocks and in the water, and an Albatross flying over the water. Time went very quickly, we were glad to have chosen an hour long flight. Loved our experience.
      Written 26 June 2022
    See all 189 reviews
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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    4.5
    4.5 of 5 bubbles24 reviews
    Excellent
    21
    Very good
    1
    Average
    1
    Poor
    0
    Terrible
    1

    waihoueng
    Hamilton, New Zealand1 contribution
    1.0 of 5 bubbles
    Feb 2020
    were booked on a 10am flight but told because of low cloud could not fly till 2pm.At 2pm we flew but the whales had moved south out of our flying time so we saw nothing.Very good pilot which tried hard and told us he had been flying all day and had seen whales. We were ripped off $700.00 shame on you Kaikoura Helicopters
    Written 10 March 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    We are extremely sorry to hear your thoughts on your experience here with us at Kaikoura Helicopters, this is definitely not the kind of review we expect to receive from our much valued guests as we strive to give our clients the best experience possible. Unfortunately, on this day we had to postpone your flight in the morning due to the low cloud which prevented all aviation companies in Kaikoura from flying. We rescheduled your flight to mid-afternoon to allow plenty of time for the weather to clear. The weather cleared earlier than expected so we flew another group that was pre-booked for 1pm that day before your flight at 2pm. As the whales here in Kaikoura are wild animals in their own natural environment, unfortunately we cannot guarantee sightings on our trips. We are very clear with all of our passengers during our pre-flight briefing that we cannot guarantee sightings of whales. On your trip the pilot tried his best to find the whales, he worked in with the boats and other aircraft that were also searching and flew for an extended time but unfortunately the whales did not come up during that time. We sincerely apologize that you feel disappointed with your experience, if you find yourselves visiting Kaikoura again please do make contact with us and we will see what we can do to get you out on another flight. Kind regards The Kaikoura Helicopters team
    Written 12 March 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    bill & Robyn
    Christchurch, New Zealand13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Had a wonderful flight experience that I would recommend to all who visit Kaikoura. Really good staff that make you feel welcome in all parts of the process. Gordon the pilot was very helpful and professional in all aspects of the flight.
    Unfortunately we did not see a whale as we only had 30 minutes and the whales can dive for up to 45 minutes. Still the flight out and back was magical. The views of the peninsula are spectacular as are the views of the Alps.
    I would recommend spending the time and money on this experience.
    Written 10 May 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thanks for your kind review! we are glad you enjoyed your trip and hope to fly you again in future.
    Written 11 May 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    James S
    Adelaide, Australia454 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Apr 2023
    We were so well informed before the trip and then the trip was brilliant. We managed to circle over a massive sperm whale before it dived and then found a massive pod of performing dusky dolphins- it truly is a magical experience. The chopper is so comfortable and the pilot really friendly and informative
    Written 6 May 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    aamurray2017
    Timaru, New Zealand2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aug 2020
    took a flight to view whales off the Kiakoura coast. After a safety briefing with our pilot Aaron we were off.Heading out Aaron gave us a run down on what to expect.Once we found the whales we circled above them turning in different directions so everyone on board got a good view.Amazing animals to watch .Spent about 20 mins out by whales before heading back in .spotted a huge pod of dolphins which Aaron followed for a short period of time .we then had the surprise experience of landing on top of Mt Fyffe,what a view!! Headed back to base. we were gone for close to an hour Instead of the 30 mins we expected.A trip we wont forget.Thanks to our pilot and Kiakuora Helicopters.
    Written 24 September 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Jenny R
    Bexhill-on-Sea, UK8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We had a wonderful flight with Kiakoura Helicopters - it was one of the highlights of our trip. The pilot certainly knew his stuff - which wales were in the area and when they were likely to break surface. Couldn’t have asked for more. We both absolutely loved it and ticked two things off our bucket lists - a helicopter flight and seeing a whale in its natural surroundings. Thank you so much!
    Written 18 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for your wonderful review. Please do share your images on our social pages, we would love to see your memories captured with #kaikourahelicopters
    Written 13 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Rose H
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    May 2021
    Only a few minutes into the heli ride & we spotted a teenage whale. We were given the option to then go view dolphins but we chose to stay in the hope of seeing another whale - boom saw our second whale. Great way to view whales, dolphins, seals & the beautiful coast of Kaikoura. Do it.
    Written 2 June 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    andrew h
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2024 • Couples
    Online booking was straightforward and face to face service was prompt and helpful. Pilot was knowledgable and felt in safe hands. Seeing a sperm whale from the air and close up was just superb. A highlight of our holiday
    Written 20 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Skylab1965
    Wellington, New Zealand68 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nov 2022
    Brilliant flight. From the moment Aaron our pilot met us, we felt safe in the hands of a very friendly, informtive professional. He took off later than planned to coincide with the Sperm whales assent from feeding at 1.8km depth. Highly recommended.
    Written 24 November 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for your review. Please do share your images on our social pages, we would love to see your memories captured with #kaikourahelicopters
    Written 13 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Suehes
    Western Ireland, Ireland17 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2024 • Couples
    The administration was poor. We were sent instructions to meet at the incorrect place. Phoned and was told that she'd sent a link to get to the correct place - she hadn't. Finally went in to the office in Kaikoura to get the correct instructions.
    Aaron was our pilot. Very friendly and informative but he spoke to us as though we were kindergarten age. Good 30 minute helicopter ride but no whales seen at all sadly.
    Written 22 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Jodi R
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2021
    What an amazing experience. The team were friendly and experienced and put my girls minds at ease. It is a lifelong memory for my girls made even better by seeing a blue whale! Would recommend to anyone and will use again in the future.
    Written 11 January 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thanks for the review! Happy to hear you all had a great time.
    Written 11 May 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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