Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch
In Kaikoura, meet your boat for your whale-watching tour with expert local guides. As you cruise, learn about the town, its whaling history and its natural features. Not far offshore lies the Hikurangi Trench, which creates the upwelling that attracts an abundance of marine life. If you’re lucky, you can watch the whales breach, spout and lift their huge fins and tails out of the water.
While the giant sperm whales are the stars of the show and live here year-round, you might also see New Zealand fur seals, dusky dolphins and, depending on the season, migrating humpback whales, pilot whales, blue whales and southern right whales. Kaikoura’s waters also host the world's largest dolphins—the orca–and the world's smallest and rarest—Hector’s dolphins.
On the feathered side of life, Kaikoura has the largest concentration and variety of seabirds on mainland New Zealand, with 13 species of albatross, 14 varieties of petrels and 7 types of shearwaters.
After your whale-watching cruise, take a break for a tasty lunch at a local restaurant with great views of the snow-dusted mountains of the Seaward Kaikoura Range. Have the option to include the lunch in your tour at additional cost, or to purchase your own meal.
Once you have refueled, hop back on the bus to visit a nearby New Zealand fur seal colony where you can observe the seals at close quarters. Then begin your return journey to Christchurch, stopping at a North Canterbury vineyard for a wine tasting as time allows. Your tour ends in the evening when your guide returns you to your hotel.
- Air-conditioned vehicle
- Live commentary on board
- Whale watching tour by boat
- Lunch (if option is selected)
- Fur seal colony viewing
- North Canterbury vineyard visit and wine tasting
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Minimum numbers apply. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation, if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund.
- Please note, infants under 3 years of age may not join the cruises but may travel on the light aircraft tours
- Once the tour has commenced only the unused portion of the tour will be refunded should the boats not sail or the planes not fly.
- If due to whale sightings or weather conditions the boat offers a partial refund, this refund will be passed on to our customers.
- If whale watch is undertaken by light aircraft and no whales are seen, no refund applies.
- A decision is made at 6:30am each day, based on local weather conditions, as to whether the tour will depart Christchurch or be canceled. If the tour is canceled, clients are notified by 7:15am and no cancellation fees are charged. If the tour travels to Kaikoura and the whale watch cruises are canceled, whale watch plane tours are offered as an alternative. If clients do not wish to fly, or the plane tours are also canceled, a cash refund of NZD 120.00 per adult is given. Refund is issued on the day of the tour by the tour operator in Christchurch.
- As the wineries close at 5pm daily and on selected public holidays, a stop may not be possible. On these occasions no refund is applicable.
- Currently, the tour cost has been discounted by $15.00 per a person. Due to road conditions following the Kaikoura earthquake in 2016 it may not be possible on all occasions to include a winery due to the wineries closing times.
Booked the tour 2 nights before and the booking was easy and smooth. Wished for more information shared during the drive and more time for lunch and walk at Kaikoura town. The whale watching tour was good, just be prepared that the encounter with whale and dolphins depends on luck.
Lifetime expr ...watching whale first time