Our Tours - New Zealand's Ultimate Marine Experience

Pelagic Bird Species Central!

Kaikoura attracts the largest concentration and variety of seabirds on mainland New Zealand including 13 species of Albatross, 14 varieties of Petrels and 7 types of Shearwater...

Modern vessels!

These vessels are built specifically for whale watching here in Kaikoura. Our modern catamarans are equipped with engines that minimise underwater noise and toilets that never pollute the ocean.

Whales in Kaikoura!

Kaikoura is the whale watching capital of New Zealand. Sperm Whales can be seen here all year round while 7 other whale species visit regularly.

Entertaining Dusky Dolphins!

Dusky Dolphins are the acrobats of the sea and can be sighted year round,pods of up to 1,000 individuals can be sighted at times.

New Zealand Fur Seals

New Zealand Fur Seals can be sighted commonly along the Kaikoura coastline.

Endangered Hector Dolphins!

Hector Dolphins are the rarest marine dolphins in the world, can only be found in New Zealand and can be sighted in Kaikoura year round

General Information

Tour Times:

Tour check-in times all year are:
  - 7:15am       - 10:00am       - 12:45pm

An extra tour is scheduled at 3:30pm from November to March.

Tour scheduling is subject to customer demand, please note check-in times do not indicate when the actual tour departs but when check-in procedures begin.

Tour check-in occurs at the Whaleway Station (Whale Watch Office)

Whale Watch operate tours every day (weather permitting)
excluding Christmas Day.

Please call 0800-655-121 for a weather update if travelling to Kaikoura on your day of travel with us.

Actual time on the water is up to 2.5 hours

Including check-in time, safety briefing and bus transfers, you should allow 3.5 hours in total.


Adult NZ........................................$145.00

valid to 30 September 2016 (Our price is unchanged since 2009)

Child NZ (3-15yrs inclusive) ........$60.00

Children under 3yrs are not permitted on the tour

Tour costs can change without notice!

Family and Group discounts are available (conditions apply)

Exclusive Charter and Student group rates available upon request (conditions apply)

Please Note:

No charge applies to any booking changes made!

No booking fee is charged!

No credit card transaction fee is charged!

No refund will be given in the event of your failure to notify us of your cancellation before the check-in time!

Tour Features...

Whale Watch is New Zealand's only vessel based whale watching company offering an exciting up-close encounter with the worlds largest toothed predator the Giant Sperm Whale in their natural environment at all times of the year, our 95% success rate means we guarantee an 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale.

Whale Watch has 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. These animations are a world first for the whale watching industry.

Our 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.

Kaikoura is the Whale Watching capital of New Zealand, 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 worlds largest dolphin the Orca and is home to the worlds smallest and rarest marine dolphin the Hectors. Kaikoura also attracts the largest concentration and variety of seabirds on mainland New Zealand including 13 species of Albatross, 14 varieties of Petrels and 7 types of Shearwater.

Designed specially for whale watching, our modern catamarans are equipped with engines that minimise underwater noise and toilets that never pollute the sea. Hamilton jet units are used for our vessel propulsion and are quieter for the marine mammals compared with other forms of vessel propulsion, they also have an internal propeller so the risk of a propeller strike with marine mammals is completely eliminated. The main passenger cabin is enclosed and outside decks offer great viewing and photo opportunities. Spacious air-conditioned interiors are fitted with comfortable seating while large plasma screens display our award-winning marine wildlife animations.

Whale Watch vessels are crewed by a friendly team of Skippers and Guides very experienced in interacting with the local Sperm Whales. They have expert knowledge of Kaikoura's sea conditions and are fully trained in all aspects of safety. 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 are always our priority. 


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Crew were very knoweldgeable and managed to inform us of the whales, seals, albatross and other various birds. Made a very enjoyable trip for us.



Great time and good to see the whale. Crew were great and very informative. Thanks for the experience.

Whale Watch is one of the most popular tourist attractions in New Zealand. Experience the magic of Kaikoura whale watching with one of our tours.
03-319 6767
The Whaleway Station Whaleway Road Kaikoura, Canterbury 7340 NZ