Whale Watch Kaikoura

NZ$150 per adult

Whale Watch Kaikoura

Whale Watch Kaikoura is New Zealand’s only marine-based whale watching company offering visitors an exciting up-close encounter with the Giant Sperm Whale at all times of the year.

The 95% success rate means they guarantee an 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale. Whale Watch tours operate daily and are extremely popular so we advise to book early.

Activity Options

Whale Watch Tour

  • 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.
  • Kaikoura often hosts the world’s largest dolphin – the Orca – and is home to the world’s smallest and rarest – the Hector’s dolphin. Kaikoura also attracts the largest concentration of seabirds on mainland New Zealand including 13 species of Albatross, 14 varieties of Petrels & 7 types of Shearwater.


  • Designed for whale watching, the modern catamarans are equipped with engines that minimise underwater noise and 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
  • Passenger numbers for each tour are kept well below the vessel carrying capacity to ensure your tour experience remains a personal one
  • Flukes Cafe – take time to relax and soak up the incredible view from the cafe. Open for breakfast and lunch 7 days
  • A unique selection of clothing, books, posters, postcards, jewellery and souvenirs are available at the gift shop


  • Daily tour check in times: 7.15 am, 10.00 am and 12.45 pm, a further tour is scheduled at 3.30 pm during summer months (Nov-March)


  • The actual time on the water is up to 2.5 hours
  • Including check-in time and transfer by bus, you should allow 3.5 hours in total

Other Information

  • The 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 Kaikoura Canyon the ocean will be ‘removed’ to show the sheer scale of the abyss that plunges kilometres beneath you.
  • Whale Watch have also created a unique, award-winning series of animation sequences designed to reveal Kaikoura’s hidden wildlife wonders. Discover how a Sperm Whale survives in the dark and freezing depths of the Kaikoura Canyon or why the green-eyed Plunket Shark is easy prey for a Giant Squid.
  • Whale Watch tours are always dependent on sea conditions. Whale Watch staff constantly monitor the weather and respond professionally to any changes. This may mean a tour is cancelled or safety restrictions placed on children or passengers with medical problems. Passenger comfort and safety is always our priority.
  • If you are susceptible to motion or seasickness Whale Watch offer Aqua Straps for hire or purchase. Whale Watch also sell a range of natural active motion-sickness tablets.


Whale Watch is located in the town of Kaikoura – a scenic two and a half-hour drive north from Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island. Kaikoura is a special place of lush pastures and towering, snow covered peaks that fall to the sea. This rare magic continues just offshore where a deep undersea canyon combines with unusual sea currents to attract an extraordinary abundance of marine life, the most famous being the Sperm Whale.