A Look Back Over July 2017
Kaikōura is as beautiful as ever in July, marking the middle of winter which brought with it snow and hail storms as well as days of clear blue skies with the sun in its full glory. July is genuinely a quitter time of year for us at Whale Watch Kaikoura so definitely a perfect time to visit if you are looking to get away from the crowded city life to enjoy a slice of paradise.
The semi-resident Sperm Whales that we were able to view throughout July included Saddleback, Tutu, Tiaki, Matimati, Aoraki and Aotearoa. We’ve been seeing these guys for 20+ years on our tours off the Kaikōura Coast, which well and truly earns them ‘local’ status.
We had quite a few Humpback Whale visitors during July, making for some extra special tours:
1st July 3X Humpback Whale
2nd July 2X Humpback Whale
3rd July 2X Humpback Whale
5th July 2X Humpback Whale
7th July 1X Humpback Whale
10th July 1X Humpback Whale
11th July 1X Humpback Whale
17th July 1X Humpback Whale
19th July 1X Humpback Whale
20th July 2X Humpback Whale
That is an incredible total 16 individual sightings of a Humpback Whale passing through Kaikōura during July! Humpback Whales pass through Kaikōura during the months of May - August as they travel from the cold Antarctic waters to sub-tropical coastal waters of Australia and Tonga. In winter, Antarctic food becomes scarce and the waters too cold for these warm-blooded mammals, especially new-born calves.
This great whale migration occurs every year, as they move from their feeding grounds to mate and give birth during winter and spring. Humpback Whales are capable of travelling up to 5MPH! However, during such a long journey, they average only 1MPH, allowing them to rest and socialise along the way.
One of our most exciting encounters this month was seeing two Humpback Whales playing with a pod of over 100 Dusky Dolphins. Guests walked away with some amazing pictures and memories, stoked to see the Humpbacks and Duskies living up to their spirited and inquisitive reputations. Seeing whales in their natural habitat for some people is a once in a lifetime experience, and coupled with dolphins is just the icing on the cake!
As with all out tours, when time allows we take time to view other species of marine life that live off the Kaikōura coast such Dusky Dolphins, Hectors Dolphins, NZ Fur Seals and the many marine bird species.
Bird species sighted during July included: Wandering Albatross, Royal Albatross, Bullers Mollymawk, Shy Mollymawk, Grey headed Mollymawk, Black Browed Mollymawk, Cape Petrel, Giant Northern Petrel, Storm Petrel, Westland Petrel, Hutton Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Bullers Shearwater, Fairy Prion, White Fronted Tern, Caspian Tern, Black Back Gull and the Spotted Shag.
The Kaikōura Trench makes Kaikōura a marine life mecca, and each day on the water diverse and exciting! We’ll check in with you and the end of next month for another monthly round up of sightings.
The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura