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. During November we had a couple of days where we woke up to fresh snow on the mountains but this soon melted away but those mountains are still very beautiful.

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Kaikoura ranges reflecting in the tide pools

We had transient sperm whales come in and out of the Kaikoura canyon throughout the month with a whale that we have unofficially named Jonah (very big whale and in memory of New Zealand rugby legend Jonah Lomu) being a frequent visitor close inshore. Looking back over photo ID records we have been seeing this beautiful whale off our coastline from 1991. Amazing.

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It is around this time of the year that we start to see Orca passing by the Kaikoura coastline – usually between the months of November to March. And it seems they were right on cue again this year with sightings of them on the 26th & 30th November with between 6-8 individuals each time.


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Orca sighted on one of our tours during November

Other species of marine life sighted at times throughout this month included: dusky dolphins, hectors dolphins, NZ fur seals and the cute blue penguins. Did you know that you can view the blue penguins in their nesting boxes which are found under the local Coast Guard building? Check out what the team at K.O.R.I have on offer and be sure to check out their P.E.A.P (Penguin Education Awareness Program) one night, really is a great experience.

We are very blessed with the abundance of marine life we can see of the Kaikoura coastline including the many species of marine birds that feed off the nutrient rich waters here such as: Hutton shearwaters, cape petrels, bullers shearwaters, Wandering  & Royal albatross, various species of mollymawks and giant petrels to name a few.

 Wandering wing span

It is hard to believe that December is upon us, not long until Christmas now. The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura would like to thank all of you who have visited us this year, those who have followed us on facebook, twitter and you tube and shared with us your photos / videos and feedback. For those of you who are thinking about joining Whale Watch Kaikoura over the summer season please remember to book well in advance, if you have any questions at all please feel free to contact us.

Enjoy the beautiful summer weather,

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura

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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?!


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.


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. 


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.