Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Destination: New Zealand, Canterbury, Kaikoura

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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Kaikoura
  • E-Voucher
  • Lowest Price
  • Cancellable


Whale Watch is located in the small coastal town of Kaikōura on the East Coast of New Zealand’s South Island a scenic two and a half-hour drive north from Christchurch and two hour drive south from Picton. Kaikōura is a special place of lush pastures and towering, snow covered peaks that fall to the sea. This rare magic continues just offshore where a deep undersea canyon combines with unusual sea currents to attract an extraordinary abundance of marine life, the most famous being the Giant Sperm Whale.

Whale Watch is New Zealand's only vessel-based whale watching company offering visitors an exciting up-close encounter with the world’s largest toothed predator the Giant Sperm Whale in their natural environment at all times of the year. Whale Watch scheduled tours operate daily. Our 95% success rate means we guarantee an 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale. Whale Watch tours are extremely popular so we recommend booking early.


Few places on Earth possess the magic of Kaikōura. Many who visit leave transformed. It is a special part of New Zealand, imbued with powerful natural energy. A place where tectonic plates collide, towering peaks fall to the sea and ocean currents converge.

Such rare combinations lure an abundance of marine wildlife, the most famous being the Giant Sperm Whale. It was a whale that led the Māori ancestor Paikea to New Zealand many centuries ago. His descendants live in Kaikōura today. Fittingly, the whale continues to guide the people of Kaikōura and the visitors they host.

Kaikōura is one of New Zealand's leading eco-tourism destinations offering a variety of exciting activities and experiences. Despite the recent rise in tourist numbers, the town retains much of its historical charm. Many new motels, cafes and restaurants can be found in beautifully restored old buildings. Fresh local seafood is always on the menu. The retention of the town's distinctive character has made Kaikōura extremely attractive to artists. Their work, inspired by the remarkable landscape and wildlife, can be seen all over town.

Stop At:

• Whale Watch Kaikoura, Railway Station Road The Whaleway Station, Kaikoura 7300 New Zealand

  • Tours operates all year round
  • Modern fleet of purpose built catamarans
  • 95% success rate backed up by an 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale
  • Experienced knowledgeable staff providing a running commentary throughout your tour
  • Award winning onboard animations
  • Bus ride to and from our marina

  • Food and drinks
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Tours operate all year: 7.15am, 10.00am, 12.45pm & 3.30pm (Nov-Mar)—Please note that these are check-in times only - please do not come earlier than the times specified.
  • The minimum age limit for children traveling on a whale watch tour is 3yrs+, although Whale Watch Kaikōura maintains the right to raise the age limit depending on sea and weather conditions at the time of check-in.
  • All our tour are subject to favourable weather & sea conditions. If cancelled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund.
  • 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 is always our priority. Passengers travelling to join us on the day of their tour are strongly advised to telephone the FREEPHONE number 0800 655 121 for a sea conditions update.
  • Dress warmly and wear flat shoes. If you wish to spend time on the outside decks of our vessels you may need light waterproof clothing depending on the sea conditions.
  • Don't let sea sickness ruin your whale watch tour experience. Purchase motion sickness pills to help prevent sea sickness, car sickness, or any type of travel sickness from our Retail Store before you travel.
  • The actual time on the water is up to 2.5 hours. Including check-in time, safety briefing and bus transfers you should allow 3.5 hours in total.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 48 travelers
Departure Point

Whaleway Station Road, Kaikoura 7300, New Zealand

Return Details

Returns to original departure point

Voucher info

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.


3 hours 30 minutes

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

User's Reviews


12 Feb, 2020

Second trip with this company. Well run operation boats are really comfy with excellent crew. Happy to recommend.

Sara S

06 Feb, 2020

Fabulous morning. Wonderful staff. Would definitely recommend. We saw three sperm whales, dusky dolphins and albatross. What a day !!

Chris H

21 Nov, 2019

All crew and captain great, very knowledgable. Were lucky enough to see a Sperm Whale and Humped Back and so many dolphins it was possible to count them! Thank you for such a memorable trip.

Sandra M

02 Jan, 2020

We saw one sperm whale twice that day which was amazing. Just from quite far away. I know and would never want to scare the whales but was a little anti-climactic until they dove. But the 300 dusky dolphins after was incredible!


05 Dec, 2019

Our original booking was canceled due to rough weather so we hit onto another tour the following day. The check in time was 8:15 but we waited over half an hour after that for the tour to start. Then you board a bus and take a 10 minute ride to the marina. The boarding procedures were a bit disorganised allowing rude people to push in and jostle for what they perceived were the best seats on the boat. This was not the case as you are required to be seated the whole time the boat is moving and there is really nothing to see but water! When the whale was located the boat is stopped and there is plenty of good viewing spots outside. We saw the same whale twice and some albatross. A nice experience- glad I got to see a whale in the ocean! The guy at the check in was a bit rude: he told me it was going to be rough(which it wasn’t) and asked me if I needed sea sickness tablets(they sell them) and I said I had already taken some of my own and he said “I hope they work”!!

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