Weekly Update - 26th February 2018

The aftermath of Cyclone Gita appears to have brought Sperm whales out in abundance over the weekend! We were privileged to see 3 whales surfacing at the same time, side by side with a 4th whale about ½ a mile away! Male Sperm whales are solitary whales, living on their own in colder waters separate from females and juveniles. They are rarely seen together in pods, even pairs of Sperm whales travelling together is not a common sight for us. What a truly special day this was, Aoraki, Nawe, HB120 and the fourth whale, who we are assuming is HB110, provided guest and crew alike with an incredible once in a lifetime experience.

Four Sperm whales surfacing together

Four Sperm whales surfacing together (Credit: Heleen Middel)

Semi-residential Sperm whale Tutu has been King of the Canyon this week, we saw him on the majority of our tours and he ranks highly on the Sea Crews favourite Sperm whales list!

Semi-residential Sperm whale Tutu

Semi-residential Sperm whale Tutu (Credit: Heleen Middel)

Throughout the week, not only have we seen a number of Sperm whales on our tours but also a Humpback whale on Monday and on Sunday who couldn’t seem to contain his happiness about being here in beautiful Kaikōura that we saw him breaching multiple times throughout his stay with us. A few of our tours were also able to witness him surface feeding, this is when the whale lunges through a shoal of prey with their mouth gaped open towards the surface. It was amazing to watch this spectacular display of Mother Nature and the cycle of life in the wild, with some tours able to spend up to an hour watching him feed and breach whilst being surrounded by playful dolphins.

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Humpback whale (Credit: Samantha Richardson)

It seems the number of Blue whales seen on our tours in 2018 is continually on the rise, with tours seeing another two of these beautiful giants on Monday! That takes our count for the year so far to double figures in regards to Blue whale sightings, a number that we hope continues to grow throughout the year for this species whose population was significantly affected by the whaling. 

blue whale tail

Blue whale tail (Credit: Heleen Middel)

There have been a variety of dolphin species sighted this week, including the very rare Hector’s dolphins, the energetic and playful Dusky dolphins and the highly social Common dolphins who tend to visit Kaikoura during our Summer period. When we have spare time in between whales diving, it’s great to be able to show our passengers dolphins as well as NZ Fur seals.

Dusky Dolphin

Dusky Dolphin (Credit: Tehlia Richardson)

Do you know a teacher or student who wants to be in the draw to win some epic prizes? Then get them to take part in the Young Ocean Explorers incredible contest as part of this year’s Sea Week to help support the conservation of our oceans and their inhabitants. Enter here to get your hands on a portion of 20k worth of prizes and you could find yourself on a free whale watching trip with us!

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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 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.


Inland Road Route 70 between Christchurch (via Waiau) to Kaikōura is OPEN 24/7.

Please drive to the conditions & visit nzta.govt.nz/p2c for more information.