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 at up to 20 metres in length and weigh in at around 60 tonne in weight!

Sperm Whale Boat Squid

Size comparison between Whale Watch boat, sperm whale & giant squid

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 to be able to enter into their natural environment. 


Due to the large quantities of oil in their bodies, whales are naturally buoyant in water. It is thought that by regulating the temperature of spermaceti oil in their heads, the Sperm Whale can alter it buoyancy. As the whale is exposed to cold air on the surface, the oil cools down forming a solid wax. The wax is denser than water and helps the whale descend beneath the surface.

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By pumping blood into the capillaries around the spermaceti melon, the wax is melted back into a buoyant oil, assisting the whale ascend to the surface.




Sperm Whale Tooth

Life cycle:

Sperm Whale Tail 

Where can they be found?

Sperm whale spout

Sperm whale off the Kaikōura coast


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.


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 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.