Latest News

Whale Watch Kaikoura Weekly Update - 22 May 2017

We had it all over the weekend – sunshine, wild wind, sleet, warmth, cold and beautiful new snow on the Kaikoura ranges. Despite the conditions over the weekend in the days leading up we had some great tours with sightings of semi-resident sperm whales Manu and Tiaki and hen time allowed we also saw dusky dolphins, Hector’s dolphins, NZ fur seals and marine birds. 

Whale Watch Kaikoura Weekly Update - 15th May 2017

What we love about whale watching is that you never know what to expect from one trip to the next with no one trip being the same. We were fortunate enough to see not only sperm whales last week but we also had a pod of Orca pass through. Not the usual time of the year to be seeing Orca but always thankful when we do get to see these beautiful creatures. Dolphins, NZ fur seals and various species of marine birds were also sighted on our tours.

Whale Watch Kaikoura Weekly Update - 8th May 2017

We have had some fantastic trips over the last week. Semi-resident sperm whales Tiaki, Manu and MatiMati being the stars of the show along with guest appearances from a minke whale, humpback whale and blue whale as they passed through Kaikoura. Dusky dolphins, Hector’s dolphins, NZ fur seals and many different marine bird species were also sighted on our tours.

Whale Watch Kaikoura Weekly Update - 1st May 2017

Over the weekend we had wonderful sightings of sperm whales, dusky dolphins, fur seals and a juvenile humpback whale. This humpback whale stunned both passengers and crew alike by breaching alongside the boat around 20 times… This is not something we get to see every day so when it does happen you can imagine even the crew are excited! 

Whale Watch Weekly Update - 24th April 2017

Autumn is such a beautiful time of the year with not just the stunning colours that come with this season but also the calm days we can get out at sea along with fantastic sightings. We were able to see sperm whales, pilot whales, a humpback whale and various species of dolphins as well as NZ fur seals and marine birds out on our tours last week.

Whale Watch Weekly Update - 18th April 2017

We hope you all had a wonderful time over the Easter break with family and friends. Over the weekend we were able to take out some very successful whale watching trips with sightings over sperm whales, a humpback whale, dusky, common and Hector’s dolphins as well as NZ fur seals and marine birds.

Whale Watch Kaikoura Weekly Update - 11th April 2017

It was an interesting week weather wise with a lot of rain which unfortunately closed all access into Kaikōura for a time, the road crews worked hard though and managed to get them open again rather quickly much to the delight of locals and guests alike.

We had fantastic sightings when we were able to sail with sperm whales, a couple of humpback whales and even a blue whale sighted. We also managed to sight common, dusky and Hector’s dolphins along with NZ fur seals and marine birds.

Whale Watch Kaikoura Weekly Update - 3 April 2017

Kaikōura truly is a marine mecca. We have had the opportunity over the last week is see sperm whales, a pod of orca passing through along with a humpback whale which seems to enjoy hanging around Kaikōura at the moment. We were also able to see dusky, common & Hector’s dolphins as well as NZ fur seals and various marine birds.

Whale Watch Kaikoura Weekly Update - 27 March 2017

Over the last week we have had around 3 to 4 sperm whales feeding close inshore which has made for some fantastic sightings. There has also been a humpback whale visiting Kaikōura over the last couple of weeks which has been making itself known on our tours also much to our crew and customers delight. Dolphins, NZ fur seals and marine birds have also regular viewings on our tours.

State Highway 1 South of Kaikoura Closure Notice

For guests traveling to Kaikoura please take note that State Highway 1 South of Kaikoura will be closed between 8pm on Sunday 26 March to 7am on Tuesday 4th April. Kaikoura will continue to be accessible via the Inland Road Route 24/7. Thanks for you patience as crews work to make the highway safer for all.

Whale Watch Kaikoura Weekly Update 18th March 2017

For guests who are planning on joining us please note NZTA have issued a notice to all travellers that State Highway 1 Coastal Route south from Kaikōura to Christchurch will be closed to all traffic from 8pm on Sunday 26 March to 7am on Tuesday 4 April. This is to allow remedial work to take place and to make the coastal route more resilient during times of unfavourable weather. Please use Inland Route 70 which is open 24/7 during this time.

 

Whale Watch Weekly Update - 13th March 2017

Sightings over the last week have been amazing. Last Thursday we were greeted by 3 blue whales on one of our tours which is incredible, also sighted was a humpback whale during the week along with our regular sightings of sperm whales, dolphins, seals and marine birds.

Whale Watch Weekly Update - 6th March 2017

We really have been treated to a wide variety of marine life sightings recently with 2 humpback whales, a blue whale, a pod of orca and sperm whales being sighted over the last week. Along with these majestic creatures we have also been viewing dusky, common and Hector’s dolphins along with NZ fur seals and various marine birds. Kaikōura is a very unique and fascinating place, well worth taking the time to visit.

WWK Weekly Update - 27th February 2017

We have had a wonderful week weather and sightings wise in Kaikōura. We were fortunate to have sightings of a humpback whale for a couple of days along with a blue whale which is always very special to see. Along with the amazing whale sightings, we also had the opportunity to see common, dusky & Hectors dolphins, NZ Fur Seals and marine birds. Kaikōura is a very unique and fascinating place, well worth taking the time to visit.

WWK Weekly Update - 20th Feb 2017

Kaikōura is as beautiful as ever with so much on offer. Over the last week we have had opportunities to view a pod of orca, a humpback whale, an Erect Crested & Yellow-Eyed Penguin as well as our commonly sighted sperm whales, dusky dolphins, NZ fur seals and amazing marine birds on our tours. We are certainly well worth considering when planning your next holiday.

Whale Watch Weekly Update - 13th February 2017

We are now 3 months on from the 7.8 earthquake that struck on 14th November 2016. So much has happened in that time to get us to where we are now as a company and a town. The support, encouragement and care shown by our industry partners, guests both past and present, and fellow Kaikourians has been overwhelming to say the least. 

Whale Watch Weekly Update - 7th February 2017

Over the last week we have been very fortunate in viewing sperm whales on our tours along with a rare sighting of a pod of beaked whales pass by the coastline – there is not much known about this species of whale due to their rare and infrequent sightings worldwide. When time allowed on our tours we also saw dolphins, seals and marine birds, Kaikōura really is such a marine mecca. 

Weekly Update - 31st January 2017

Happy Chinese New Year to all our Chinese Friends and Visitors. It has been another busy week out on the water with sightings of sperm whales, dusky dolphins, common dolphins, NZ fur seals and many marine bird species.

Weekly Update - 23rd January 2017

Over the last week we have been able to sight not only our regular sperm whales but also had a pod of beaked whales pass by the coastline.

Weekly Update 16th January 2017

It is fantastic being back out on the water with successful tours, fantastic sightings along with many happy passengers and crew alike. Over the last week we have been able to see sperm whales, dusky dolphins, Hector’s dolphins, NZ fur seals, marine birds.  

Weekly Update 9th January 2017

Great News as of Monday 2nd January 2017 we have been able to commence commercial whale watching trips again! We have been having successful tours and fantastic sightings with happy passengers and crew alike.

WEEKLY UPDATE - 28th DEC 2016

This week we are conducting a series of trials of our modified trailer unit with the intention of starting commercial whale watching tours again from next week. Interim repair work has taken place on the slipway in the Kaikōura Marina which will allow us to use our vessel Tohorā via our trailer unit much like we did in the old days.

Weekly Update - 12th December 2016

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura are continually humbled by the ongoing support we are receiving from our friends near and far. We can’t thank you all enough for your continued patience as we work towards being able to operate our whale watching tours again.

Whale Watch Gift Stores 12 Days Of Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner we will be running our very own 12 Days of Christmas specials...

Marine Bird Spotlight – Hutton’s Shearwaters (also known as the Titi)

The Hutton’s Shearwater is an endangered seabird endemic to Kaikōura. Kaikōura is the only place in the world that the Hutton Shearwaters breeds, high in the Kaikōura Ranges at elevations...

Marine Mammal Spotlight - Orca

Orca can be found around the coast of New Zealand (including estuaries and harbours) being seen off the Kaikoura Coastline generally between the months of November – March usually at...

School Holiday Special

For those of you who are planning on doing something as a family for the upcoming school holidays look no further, we have a great special just for you!

A Look Back Over July 2016

Did you know that winter time in Kaikoura is not only incredibly beautiful but also the best time of the year to come whale watching?

Marine Mammal Spotlight - Humpback Whale

Over the last few months we have been incredibly blessed in being able to see many humpback whales out on our tours and even from out the front of our...

Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori - Māori Language Week 2016

It is Māori language week in Aotearoa (New Zealand) from the 4th – 10th July 2016.

School Holiday Special

This year seems to going by at a rapid speed of knots with it not being long until the school holidays...

A Look Back Over May 2016

What a beautiful end to autumn we had with the amazing colours from the trees before their leaves fell; we also had some warm autumn’s days to which were welcomed...

A Look Back Over April 2016

Autumn is my favourite time of the year with all the beautiful colours as the trees start to shed their leaves.

Marine Mammal Spotlight - Blue Whale

Kaikōura plays host to not only the largest of the toothed whales – the sperm whales all year round but we also play host too many other species of whales and...

A Look Back Over March 2016

I just love this time of the year where the leaves start to change colour, it really does make for such beautiful scenery.

Online Discount & School Holiday Special

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura hope you are enjoying the beautiful start to Autumn, we have been really blessed with the amazing weather especially over Easter weekend.

Easter Weekend Special

With the long weekend coming up and it being a great time for families to pay us a visit we thought it would be an ideal time to have children...

School Holiday Special

This year seems to going by at a rapid speed of knots with it not being long until the school holidays...

A Look Back Over February 2016

February was a great month in Kaikōura, we had fantastic summer weather, amazing sightings of semi-resident sperm whales along with various visiting cetacean.

Sea Birds of Kaikōura

While our tours mainly focus on viewing sperm whales – year round residents off the Kaikōura coastline, we also can view throughout our tours a diverse array of seabirds.

A Look Back Over January 2016

Kia Ora – Welcome to the first update of 2016. January was a very busy month whale watching.

Kaikōura - Marine Mecca

Only 5-7mins off our coastline the water depth drops away drastically going from anywhere between 50-100 metres to over 600 metres deep just like that.  This is due to what...

A Look Back Over December 2015

Welcome to the first update of 2016… The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura hopes you all had a wonderful Christmas / New Years with your family and friends.

Marine Mammal Spotlight - Orca

Orca can be found around the coast of New Zealand (including estuaries and harbours) being seen off the Kaikoura Coastline generally between the months of November – March usually at...

The Giant Sperm Whale Part 2

There are some amazing facts about the Sperm Whale that are worth sharing, showing you just how truly amazing these creatures are and in turn how incredibly blessed we are...

The Giant Sperm Whale Part 1

Did you know it is the Giant Sperm Whale that we see off the Kaikoura coastline all year round? Being the largest of the toothed cetaceans they can measure in...

Ohau Waterfall Track Temporarily Closed

Due to safety concerns, the Ohau Waterfall Stream track has been closed temporarily.

A Look Back Over November 2015

This year has gone by at a rapid speed of knots. November is behind us and we are moving into our busier summer months.

A Look Back Over October 2015

October was an interesting month, it is around this time of the year that we beginning to notice the sperm whales feeding further offshore as the changeover period from winter...

A Look Back Over September 2015

Spring really is a beautiful time of the year with blossom on the tress, daffodils sprouting up everywhere, baby lambs and calves bouncing around the paddocks and the daylight hours...

A Look Back Over August 2015

Winter time is always such a beautiful time of the year in Kaikoura! We can have such calm beautiful winters days out at sea with the glorious Kaikoura ranges and...

Three Year study of Kaikōura Canyon Launched

Whale Watch Kaikoura (WWK) General Manager Kauahi Ngapora said it was crucially important to better understand the distribution and habitat use of the Sperm Whales at Kaikoura.

Marine Bird Spotlight - Little Blue Penguin

These are the world’s smallest penguin measuring in at around 25cm tall and weighing in between 1kg – 1.5kgs.

Te Wiki O Te Reo - Maori Language Week 2015

It is Māori language week in Aotearoa (New Zealand) from the 27th July – 2nd August 2015.

Humpback Whales Annual Migration

Humpback whales hunt and feed during the summer months in the colder waters like Antarctica and then migrate to warmer tropical waters during the winter months for mating.

Marine Mammal Spotlight - Toothed Cetaceans

There are at least 61 species of toothed whales dolphins and porpoises, ranging from the largest 16-20m sperm whale to the smallest 1-1.2m Hector dolphin.

Whale Watch Kaikoura App

We have some exciting news...

We had it all over the weekend – sunshine, wild wind, sleet, warmth, cold and beautiful new snow on the Kaikoura ranges. Despite the conditions over the weekend in the days leading up we had some great tours with sightings of semi-resident sperm whales Manu and Tiaki and hen time allowed we also saw dusky dolphins, Hector’s dolphins, NZ fur seals and marine birds.

The most recent update on State Highway 1 South from Kaikoura is that it is expected to remain closed till the end of May to allow the construction of a temporary road and rail alignment around the base of the large landslide that came down during April’s heavy rain at Easter. Please allow extra time as you travel through Inland Route 70 which remains open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

As we enter into the cooler winter months it is a good reminder to take extra care on the roads and to check the NZTA website for road updates before traveling.

Progress is being made on the repair of the Kaikōura Marina and we continue to switch between using a berth and our modified trailer unit for launching our vessel Tohorā, when and where possible we are also making use of the public jetty that we have modified, this is due to tidal restrictions and repair work as a result of the coastline lifting by +1.0m. It is anticipated that the Kaikōura Marina will be fully restored by October 2017.

Dredging of the outer channel of the Kaikōura marina is well advanced.

Currently our available tour times are based around the tide times on the day and may differ from the tour times originally advertised, please bear with us as we continue to work toward being fully operational again. For an update on the tour times available please contact our Customer Service team directly either by email on res@whalewatch.co.nz or phone +64 3 319 6767 or free phone 0800 655 121 (within NZ) and they will be able to help you with your inquiry.  Please note we are operating at a reduced capacity in the interim with up to 3 tours available per day, please contact our team prior to arriving in Kaikōura to secure a space on one of our tours and to save disappointment.

Kaikōura Business Update:

Kaikōura is open for business. For latest updates on accommodation / restaurant and retail information please contact the team at the Kaikōura i-Site who will be able to help you find what suits your needs during your stay in Kaikōura.

Transport Update:

All subject to weather conditions, slips, repair work and seismic activity. Updates available from the NZTA WEBSITE.

Intercity, Hasslefree Tours & Canterbury Leisure Tours have daily services from Christchurch to Kaikōura with a return service from Christchurch, as well as Kiwi Experience now having the option of a day tour out of Christchurch for their travellers.

Progress on the work being done on roads (along with harbour repairs) can be found on this dedicated KAIKOURA EARTHQUAKE RESPONSE page provided by the team at NZTA, this page is updated weekly on Friday. Work is also starting to take place on the railway network, please be aware and take care when using rail crossings.

Please consider taking the time to visit Kaikōura, your support is most welcome.

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura.