"Dolphins and Birds are free with Whale Watch Tour" Top 5 Page for this destination Kaikoura Things to Do Tip by Kakapo2
Kaikoura Things to Do: 87 reviews and 169 photos
You can have a smooth or bumpy ride, you can see four or five whales or not a single one, but if you are lucky - and most people are - you see some whales and a lot more wildlife. On a whale watch tour off Kaikoura's coast you have the chance to see big pods of Dusky Dolphins, some Orcas, the small Hector's dolphins, 13 species of albatrosses, petrels, shearwater, gannets and other big seabirds. And on the way to the Whale Watch centre you will surely see NZ fur seals.
The tours are really expensive but at least you have a money back guarantee. If you do not see any whales you get an 80% refund. This does not happen often because they search the whales with echo location from the vessels.
The Giant Sperm Whales are there year-round but you might also see migrating Humpback Whales, Blue Whales (the largest species, over 33m long and nearly 200 tonnes) and Southern Right Whales.
The Sperm Whales (18.5m long, 57 tonnes) are the biggest of the toothed whales. They like it in the waters of Kaikoura because the sea falls 3km deep right off the coast - perfect for those deep diving whales. They can stay submerged for up to two hours. When they come to the surface all passengers hurry up to the deck to get a better view and take photos.
When a whale floats at the surface you first only see the triangular or rounded hump two thirds along the body. Sometimes the whale ejects a big flow forward through the blow hole at the fronst left side of his head. Before he dives back - then you should have your camera ready ;-) - he lifts his tail flukes high into the air and slams them down on the water and then disappears.
Whale Watch Kaikoura is the only company with the license for those tours. They started in 1987 with tiny boats and rocky rides. Now they have built a big centre at the railway station. From there they transport the passengers by bus to their catamarans at the new marina south of the town (South Bay).
You should always make reservations!!!
Rates (as Feb. 2007): adults $130, children (3-15y) $60.
Address: Railway Station, Kaikoura
Directions: Coming from the south on SH1, do NOT turn right into the Esplanade but some metres later after the bridge, and then drive along the shore northwards. Big carpark in front of the Whale Watch building.
Phone: (03) 319 6767, (0800) 655 121
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