Whale Watch Kaikoura
Whale Watch Kaikoura
4.5
Boat ToursSightseeing ToursDolphin & Whale WatchingNature & Wildlife Tours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
"THE ULTIMATE MARINE EXPERIENCE" Whale Watch® is New Zealand's only marine-based whale watching company offering visitors an exciting up-close encounter with the Giant Sperm Whale all year round. A 95% success rate means a guaranteed 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale. The Giant Sperm Whales share these waters with up to 14 other different species of whales and dolphins that migrate past at different times of the year. At times you may also see NZ Fur Seals, rare & endangered Hector’s Dolphins & a wide variety of marine birds including the wandering albatross. Designed for whale watching, the company operates a fleet of modern catamarans equipped with engines that minimise underwater noise &toilets that never pollute the sea. The main passenger cabin is enclosed and large outside decks offer great viewing and photo opportunities. Spacious air-conditioned interiors are fitted with comfortable seating while large plasma screens display award-winning marine wildlife animations.
Kaikoura, New Zealand
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Tours and Tickets by Whale Watch Kaikoura
Travellers talk about
(5 reviews)
(17 reviews)
(2 reviews)

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 bubbles2,891 reviews
Excellent
1,923
Very good
574
Average
200
Poor
90
Terrible
104

shoegazer82
Sydney, Australia47 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
Weather conditions were amazing but the trip was delayed by at least half an hour. We didn't get to see any sperm whales on the 1.5 hours we had on the sea. One humpback whose small tail we could barely see. Not sure why the delay, maybe out looking for a whale so they didn't need to give out refunds. Dolphins came out to play but we were expecting at least 2 hours on the water and to see a sperm whale.
Written 18 April 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.

Grant N
Hastings, New Zealand1,535 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
We were booked into the Captain's Cabin so could see everything going on. Food and drink were provided and we sat back and relaxed in comfy chairs until we got out to the viewing area. The crew found a sperm whale on the surface and we had its company for about 5 - 10 minutes before it sounded - they then found another one for same sort of time. Everybody got "That" photo of the tail and all were buzzing. Last time we did the trip there were no whales - so we now have two. On way back in the crew were alerted to a pod of 250 plus dolphins of various types and we watched them for some time. Weather was good and the sea was pretty flat so trip was really great. Stormy weather came up later in the day so afternoon sailing may have been cancelled. But we had a great time, the crew were terrific, the whole thing was very professional but friendly and happy, and we saw whales - fantastic!
Written 17 April 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.

Steve M
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
My family and I were scheduled to go on an afternoon whale watch excursion. On the morning of the trip, despite calm seas and little wind (as it turned out, all day), the company sent us a text message saying the trip was cancelled due to bad weather. They refunded all of the ticket price, as per their policy when the cancellation is due to “weather” or factors in their control (e.g. boat problems); good on the company for doing this. Later, at the office, they told me politely the cancellation was due to “ocean conditions”. But the offshore, undersea canyon where the whales usually hang out is 800m offshore. In other words, if the weather and sea conditions were rough out there, it would have been noticeable from onshore. The company very likely cancelled our sailing not because of bad weather, but because they couldn’t find whales in their morning excursions, therefore in line with its policy had to refund customers 80% of their ticket price, and didn’t want to have to do the same for afternoon trips. I wish they had just said so, rather than blaming “weather”.
Written 17 April 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.

Michael C
Derby, UK2,022 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
We had a exciting boat ride with quite rough seas which we found quite thrilling, Unfortunately, the whales decided that they were not going to play so we did not see any. The skipper did his best to find a whale for us, but he had no luck. Nevertheless, we really enjoyed the trip.
Written 9 April 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.

Steve B
6 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
When we first turned up to reception the signs indicated people in wheelchairs (my partner) were able to use the transfer bus. We checked in and there was no mention of this. We asked just to clarify and were told that actually we would have to drive ourselves to the boat despite not having a car. Reception then got on the walkie talkie to management and had a very lengthy, loud discussion (in front of all the other customers) about all of my partners personal details and why she couldn’t possibly walk, all without talking to her. After that major embarrassment, a staff member offered to drive us to the boat in their personal car as we had no other way of getting there.

When we turned up at the boat they were surprised and stressed out that there were 3 people in wheelchairs and they had to think about how to manage that situation. They then let me on to decide where all three of the wheelchair users would sit (apparently they were not allowed to decide for themselves). The left side was chosen and the captain said when a whale was found she’d put it on the left so all three could see the whale… this did not happen and the whale was on the right side of the boat. There are three steps to get onto the boat and the staff carried everyone in a wheelchair up and down those stairs. The inside and rear of the boat are accessible.

Apart from their near complete inability to deal with people in wheelchairs, the trip was excellent. There was very good ongoing commentary and staff were clearly familiar with the animals. It was extremely informative, we did see a whale and we saw dusky dolphins jumping out of the water, seals, albatross and petrols. Would highly recommend but I’m deeply unhappy with their disability policy or lack thereof.
Written 8 April 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.

Sparcs07
Epsom, UK845 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
A well run boat trip, on a great air conditioned boat your quickly be taken out to where schools of dolphins play, then onto the whale watching zone .

With great commentary and videos and a 95% success rate you’re likely to come across a sperm whale, we did within 20mins.

This area is unique and ideal for sperm whales and this business specialises in conservation and whales preservation.
Written 2 April 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.

Martin L
24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
What a fantastic jet boat cruise. We saw 4 sperm whales at close quarters and dusky dolphins, plus numerous albatrosses. A coach takes you from the check in to the marina whee you embark. Once out on the sea, the doors are opened and you can go on deck to watch the wildlife. When a Whale is sighted, hang on as the jet boat races to the location so that you can see the animal as it breathes on the surface before diving once again to feed. The on board guide provides a wealth of information on the wildlife and behaviour etc. A very memorable trip
Written 29 March 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.

Yari v
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
OMG, it was the best experience in New Zealand ever! We found two giant Sperm Whales- Far above 100 Dolphines mixed together (Duskies, Bottlenose, Common)- a lot of Albatross close to the vessel. We had Sunshine and the Crew was just amazing- well experienced and easy goin🤙🏼
Written 28 March 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.

DMZ
27 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We had a great experience whale watching in Kaikōura. It was a beautiful day and we had 2 encounters with sperm whales. Also after the whales encounters the captain brought the boat toward shore and we saw about 100 dolphins playing right alongside the boat. Staff was great and it was easy to get access to areas of the boat where the whales could be seen.
Written 28 March 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.

Julia @Scrumptious Solent
Southampton, UK2,427 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Great trip with the crew today, and with a great commentary from Billy. We saw a sperm whale, a pod of dolphins, seals and albatross.

The boat is quite large and relatively stable so thankfully wasn’t sick (although they do have sick bags and loos on board).

You spend about two hours on board, after a short bus journey from the main office. We went on the 12:45 trip (the bus actually leaves at 1:15 so don’t get there earlier than 12:45 - that just the check in time!). And returned to the main ‘Whale Way office’ (the train station) at 4pm.

It was a relatively calm day with a light wind so perfect for our excursion on the catamaran.

You can bring on board your own drinks/food as there is not catering onboard.

A great experience!
Written 24 March 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.

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