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.

Kia Ora Friends

***WHALE WATCH KAIKOURA UPDATE***

Kaikōura is as beautiful as ever with so much on offer. Over the last week we have had opportunities to view a pod of orca, a humpback whale, an Erect Crested & Yellow-Eyed Penguin as well as our commonly sighted sperm whales, dusky dolphins, NZ fur seals and amazing marine birds on our tours. We are certainly well worth considering when planning your next holiday.

Progress is being made on repairs to the Kaikōura Marina and we continue to switch between using a berth and our modified trailer unit for launching our vessel Tohorā, this is due to tidal restrictions and repair work as a result of the coastline lifting by +1.0m. Launching from the trailer is how we loaded our passengers in the old days of whale watching.

Currently our available tour times are based around the tide times on the day and may differ from the tour times originally advertised (please note we are working hard at being able to return to a fixed tour schedule from Mon 27th Feb 2017  – please watch this space). For an update on the tour times available please contact our Customer Service team directly either by email on res@whalewatch.co.nz or phone +64 3 319 6767 or free phone 0800 655 121 (within NZ) and they will be able to help you with your inquiry.  Please note we are operating at a reduced capacity in the interim with up to 3 tours operating per day, please contact our team prior to arriving in Kaikōura to secure a space on one of our tours and to save disappointment.

Kaikōura 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.

Transport Update:

All subject to weather conditions, slips, repair work and seismic activity. Updates available from the NZTA WEBSITE.

Intercity & Hasslefree Tours have daily services from Christchurch to Kaikōura with a return service from Christchurch, as well as Kiwi Experience now having the option of a day tour out of Christchurch for their travellers.

Progress on the work being done on roads (along with harbour repairs) can be found on this dedicated KAIKOURA EARTHQUAKE RESPONSE page provided by the team at NZTA, this page is updated weekly on Friday.

Again we thank you for your patience as we continue to work toward being back fully functional, but for now we are very thankful for the ability to be able to take the people we can out whale watching.

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura.