Our Crew

Whale Watch vessels are crewed by a friendly team of Skippers and Guides very experienced in interacting with the local Sperm Whales.

They have expert knowledge of Kaikōura's sea conditions and are fully trained in all aspects of safety. Whale Watch staff constantly monitor the weather and respond professionally to any changes. This may mean a tour is cancelled or safety restrictions placed on children or passengers with medical problems. Passenger comfort and safety are always our priority.


Jim Manawatu - Captain

I started working for Whale Watch Kaikoura back in 2000 as a guide. Since then I have moved on to become a captain. Over the years I have continued to be amazed and humbled by the marine life, its variety and the power of the ocean and the life that it brings. I love being able to share this with people from all over the world.


Shannon Gray - Captain / Guide

Kia Ora - I have been apart of the Whale Watch Kaikoura team for a few years now. I get a lot of enjoyment showing our visitors the beauty of Kaikōura, the whales and other animals we encounter on our tours. "I love the office I work in". I have the best job ever!


Aroha Tahau - Tour Guide

Kia Ora my name is Aroha, I work with as a guide with the Sea Crew team at Whale Watch Kaikoura. I love working alongside such vibrant and passionate people, what we encounter out on the ocean on almost a daily basis is nothing short of stunning. A dream job!


Chevy Allen - Captain

Kia Ora – I started working at Whale Watch Kaikoura in the early 90’s as a guide. I was then given the opportunity to work in other departments of the company which eventually led me to become a skipper.

Working in a company that has a 100% focus on customer satisfaction & value for our guests gives me pleasure in being able to show people who have travelled from the 4 corners of the earth what nature has to offer… beautiful marine life, the true natural wonders of the world.


SAMANTHA & TEHLIA RICHARDSON - TOUR GUIDES

Kia Ora our names are Samantha & Tehlia, we are both part of the sea crew team. It's a true privilege and pleasure to bring manuhiri out and show off what papatuanuku provides for us here in Kaikoura. No tour is ever the same and that's what keeps us excited and gives us the passion we have for our "job". Getting to experience what we get to on a day to day basis is amazing but getting to share it and show it off to our people is what we look forward to the most!

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.