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 their snow-capped peaks in the back ground, along with fantastic whale sightings.

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We had 6 semi-resident sperm whales feeding in the canyon throughout the month: Manu, Tiaki, Aoraki, Tutu, MatiMati & Saddleback. Saddleback was given his name due to a large scar across his back that from above looks a bit like a saddle, we have been seeing him for the last 20+ years so he is very well known and one of our favorites.

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Semi-resident sperm whale Manu

We also had quite a few days where we had visiting species cruise past the Kaikoura coastline which is always a treat to see not just for our passengers but all the sea crew:

1 Aug – x2 Humpback Whales

2 Aug – x3 Humpback Whales

4 Aug – x3 Humpback Whales

7 Aug – x1 Humpback Whale

17 Aug – x1 Fin Whale

18 Aug – x1 Southern Right Whale

20 Aug – x1 Humpback Whale

23 Aug – x3 Humpback Whales

24 Aug – x4 Humpback Whales

29 Aug – x1 Humpback Whale

29 Aug – x15 Common Dolphins

 

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Fin whale

Seeing a Southern Right Whale was definitely a highlight for our sea crew during August, as they are critically endangered. Quite the contrast to the days of old. Kaikoura was where hundreds of Southern Right Whale mothers and calves would congregate so much so that people would complain about how loud they were at night!

Southern Right Whales

Southern right whales

When we have time on our tours our captains will always do their best to show any other species of marine life that is within a viable distance from where we were watching the whales. During August we were able to see hectors dolphins, dusky dolphins and NZ fur seals.

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Kaikoura Marine Life

There were also many other species of birds sighted throughout the month, petrels, shearwaters, and various species of albatross. It is during this time of the year that we especially see many cape petrels as they frequent our waters during our winter months. These birds have black and white splotches on their backs making them quite distinctive and easy to tell when out at sea.

Spring is starting to make itself known with plenty of blossom and daffodils blooming along with lambs and calves bouncing around in the paddocks. Here is hoping for a great September in the whale department with fantastic sightings and many happy passengers.

Please let me know if you have any questions, or if you have visited us and have a story you would like to share we would love to hear from you.

Until next month,

Lisa

Kaikōura’s Summer weather has been a treat this past week, making for some epic sea conditions and amazing clear sightings of marine life out on the water.

It seems like Tiaki and Tutu, two of our favourite whales to see out in the Canyon, have been getting reacquainted since they’ve reunited, as this marks the second week in a row that we’ve seen catching a breather up on the surface and diving down to feed together. Looks like they missed each other as much as we missed them whilst they were away!

Other semi-residential Sperm Whales we saw this week included Mati Mati and Aoraki as well as many transient Sperm Whales who are constantly drawn to Kaikōura due to the abundance of food on offer. As with the majority of our tours, we sighted NZ Fur Seals, Hectors Dolphins, Dusky Dolphins and a variety of seabirds including the Great Wandering Albatross.

Who else is planning to kick start their Summer with a whale watching tour? Bring your family and friends along too and make it an adventure! Buy a whale watching gift voucher or, better yet, check out our Marine Combo deal! Get above, on and below the water with a scenic flight, whale watching boat trip and swim with the dolphins! The ultimate gift this Christmas and one of the best ways to make some lasting Summer memories.

Don’t forget, State Highway 1 North is re-opening this Friday afternoon. And yes, the world famous Nins Bin caravan will be ready to welcome you back! So if you’re making your way along the Coast, stop to enjoy the warm weather, soak up the scenes and take in this incredible new landscape that Kaikōura is quickly becoming known for. They’ll be serving freshly caught crayfish and all that other good stuff including mussels, whitebait and the classic Kiwi fish n’ chips right on the beach – does it get any better?!

ROAD ACCESS UPDATE

There is a possibility of short delays with it being 30km/hour through parts of the route. The full rebuild of the highway will continue in 2018. Check the NZTA website for road updates before traveling. INLAND ROUTE 70 IS OPEN 24/7.

KAIKOURA 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. 

ORGANISED TRANSPORT OPTIONS FROM CHRISTCHURCH

Hasslefree ToursCanterbury Leisure Tours & Kaikoura Express have daily services from Christchurch to Kaikōura with a return service from Christchurch. Kiwi Experience now have the option of a day tour out of Christchurch for their travellers. Intercity Bus also provides a bus service between Christchurch and Kaikoura return.

Progress on the work being done on the roads (along with harbour repairs) can be found on the dedicated Kaikoura Earthquake Response page provided by the team at NZTA. This page is updated weekly on Fridays. Work is also underway on the railway network, please be aware and take care when using rail crossings.

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura.