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Air Kaikoura Aero Club

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Kaikoura, New Zealand
About Air Kaikoura Aero Club
Amazing Whale Flights / Spectacular Scenic Flights / Charter Flights / Pilot a Plane & Flight Training Experiences Air Kaikoura is Kaikoura's longest running aerial operator. We have been operating scenic flights and flight training for 30 years. Our spectacular whale flights give you the chance to see the mighty sperm whale, plus dusky dolphins, whilst taking in some of the most stunning scenery New Zealand has to offer. We have an excellent success rate and we’re really honest about your chances each day. Have you ever wanted to fly? We also offer pilot training beginning with a 25 minute trial flight, where you get hands on experience in our 2 seater aircraft, ZK-TUG, alongside a qualified flight instructor. You can even complete a full Private or Commercial Pilot Licence with us. With three commercial aircraft, private charter day trips to Nelson, Golden Bay, Mt Cook, Wellington are all possible too. We're a non profit community organisation - thank you for your support!
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Hours Today: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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Air Kaikoura Aero Club
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Mike T wrote a review Mar 2021
Christchurch, New Zealand3 contributions1 helpful vote
Went Whale Watching with Air Kaikoura today. Friendly informative staff, we saw Blue Whales! a great experience.
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Date of experience: March 2021
Bonnie wrote a review Jan 2021
Christchurch, New Zealand330 contributions37 helpful votes
My husband and I thought our whale watching flight was absolutely brilliant! We would highly recommend this as a fun and different way to do whale watching as you get the benefit of spotting whale/s and also get to see the coastline of Kaikoura and dolphins if you’re lucky. Our pilot was Austin who was extremely good (best landing!) and very knowledgeable and friendly. We spotted a pod of about 300 dolphins as well as a sperm whale and saw parts of the coast that we would never have seen from a boat. Thoroughly enjoyable!
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Date of experience: January 2021
emilie2205 wrote a review Oct 2020
Christchurch, New Zealand18 contributions4 helpful votes
Had a great flight with really friendly staff, who obviously wanted to make it the best experience possible for us. Nice small group, so felt like a really personal activity. The pilot worked hard to help us see whales while out but even if nature hadn't cooperated I think it would have been a great experience/trip. Highly recommend.
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Date of experience: October 2020
sarah1991905 wrote a review Aug 2020
Dublin, Ireland130 contributions28 helpful votes
Wonderful experience, worth the money. Team were full of knowledge. Excellent customer service as they were keeping us updated if flight would go ahead. We saw a sperm whale and pod of dolphins. Beautiful views of kaikoura coastline also. I'd recommend 40 min trip
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Date of experience: August 2020
Rantin rover wrote a review Aug 2020
Biggar, United Kingdom8153 contributions1250 helpful votes
The Air Kaikoura office is located at the air strip a few miles south of the town. There is plenty of parking. On arrival we were weighed and given a safety briefing by the staff and then we waited on shared radio communication to obtain the most likely opportunity to see a whale. The whales only surface for around 10 to 15 minutes in between feeding in the deep waters close to the coastline at Kaikoura and they are below the surface for around 45 minutes. The operators don't need to allow for a huge timeframe to fly out to them and in this way they have the best chance of sightings. Including ourselves there were six passengers and I was allocated a seat alongside the pilot, with my wife just behind. To be honest I don't think there would be a "bad" seat on the plane, which had high wings i.e. above the windows. We had a clear morning for flying and we got good views of the coastline with the only issue regarding photographs being the bright sunlight reflecting on the windows. We were all asked to keep a lookout for whales however it was a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack until word came over the radio. We made a B-line for the site at the same time as one of the boats below and sure enough we soon could see a sperm whale near the surface. The pilot circled the area allowing for everyone to see it, get photos and then reversed the direction of the circling. We were banking at quite an angle and it soon became apparent that at least one passenger was feeling motion sickness. I must admit I was a bit queasy myself eventually. After about 10 mintues the whale did it's tail flick and dived. I'd been out on a boat here many years ago whale watching and the latter is all that could be seen from sea level. When the boat stops and gets caught in the swell they have motion sickness issues too so either way, by air or sea, visitors should be prepared. (It may be the association of the Cockney rhyming slang "Moby Dick" which means "sick"!). As we headed back to the coastline there was a great aerial view of the local pod of Dusky Dolphins leaping about close to shore in the company of a boat load of visitors who were swimming with them. Quite a sight. Back on the ground our sickly passenger had disappeared before I managed to unclip my seatbelt however the pilot was very obliging offering to take our photos with the plane. We were staying in self contained accommodation at the home of Murray, who manages and also pilots some of the flights and were therefore offered a discounted rate of $135 p.p. Our flight lasted around 40 minutes. Prices vary seasonally - we flew in March 2020, prior to Covid-19 lockdown. Great way to spend a morning and we were still able to walk the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway in the afternoon which added to the visit. We found this made good use of a couple of nights stay and allowed for potential weather issues with the whale watching.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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