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Best time to come Whale Watching

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A question I get asked often is “When is the best time to come whale watching?” My first answer would be “Every day is a good day to come whale watching” after all we have sperm whale feeding off our coastline all year round.

Marine Bird Spotlight - Albatross

Bullers Reflect Haley Baxter

Along with the amazing marine mammals we encounter in the Kaikōura area, we are privileged to see many other taonga (treasured) species. New Zealand is the seabird capital of the world. 

Pilot Whales

In New Zealand we encounter long-finned pilot whales which prefer temperate waters and can be found around the country all year around. The male pilot whales can grow over 6 metres in length and the females grow to about 5 metres.

New Zealand Fur Seal / Kekeno

The Kekeno is the most common seal in New Zealand and their numbers are estimated to be over 200,000 seals. They prefer rocky shore lines and we have plenty of that here in Kaikōura which makes this the perfect place for the New Zealand fur seal. We often see them out on our tours while they are out foraging for food in the Kaikōura canyon.

Hector’s Dolphins / Tutumairekurai

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The Hector’s dolphin is endemic to New Zealand and is one of the smallest dolphins in the world! They reach a maximum length of 1.5 meters.

Unique tail of a whale

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Whale Watch has been working closely with researchers from the University of Otago in Dunedin in order to learn more about the individual sperm whales sighted in Kaikōura.

Big baleen whale invasion

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As we head into the warmer months, it’s now the time we start to see a lot more of the marine giants come into Kaikōura.

“Horo” the Humpback Whale

Humpback and people

Kaikōura is a home to semi-resident sperm whales but it is also a place that humpback whales like to repeatedly visit too!

One case in particular is a famous humpback amongst our sea crew, known as “Horo”.

Marine Mammal Spotlight - Dusky Dolphins

Pod of Duskies Haley Baxter

Not only do we have the sperm whale off our coastline all year round but Kaikōura is also home to the resident dusky dolphin. On our tours we have around a 50/50 chance of viewing dolphins if time allows and if they are not feeding too far from where we are viewing whales.

Recent Visitors to Kaikōura

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While the Sperm Whale calls Kaikōura home and the main focus when we head out on our tours we at times come across other species of whales and dolphins as they are passing through these waters, in fact up to 14 other species can be sighted of the Kaikōura Coastline throughout the year!

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Kia Ora

Whale Watch monitors the latest public health advice and adapts the operation accordingly.

Key Themes:

  1. If you are unwell, have been to a place of interest in the last 14-days or are awaiting a covid test please stay home.
  2. Contact tracing is required so we ask you to scan in with the covid tracer app or use the manual sign-in option provided.
  3. We ask that you wear a face covering.
  4. Our cleaning procedures have been enhanced and hand sanitizer is available.
  5. We ask that you listen to all instructions provided by our team, please be patient and kind.

Vaccination Mandates - The Vaccine Pass - Covid19 Protection Framework

From Friday 3rd December 2021 all customers to Whale Watch will be required to present a valid New Zealand Government vaccine pass as part of the New Zealand Governments Covid19 Protection Framework to travel on our tours and enter our premises unless they are exempt.

You are exempt if;

  1. You are ineligible for vaccination.
  2. Children under 12-years and 3-months of age.
  3. People who are clinically exempted.

Please note: You may also be required to show a valid form of ID in the form of a current New Zealand drivers license, Passport or 18+ Kiwi Access Card to validate your ID. Please ensure you have one of these options readily available upon request.

The message from the New Zealand Government is clear. To enjoy the full life everyone in New Zealand deserves, get vaccinated today. If you are already vaccinated, do your best to help your friends and family get their vaccinations so we can all enjoy life within the new system. 

Covid19 Protection Framework

Should you have any concerns or questions in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Support Services team.