About the location, Kaikōura

About the location, Kaikōura

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.

Kaikōura is committed to protecting its unique environment and is the first destination in the Southern Hemisphere to achieve Earth Check Platinum Accreditation recognising the communities’ activities to reduce its environmental impact.

Kaikōura Peninsula

Kaikōura marine management area

The new Kaikōura Marine Management Area developed to conserve Kaikōura’s whales, dolphins, seals, albatrosses, rock lobster, shellfish and finfish was formally opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the 6th August 2014.

Great news for the beautiful marine life that we have off the Kaikōura Coastline providing us with New Zealand's first Whale and Seal Sanctuaries and deepest Marine Reserve.

For more information about the new whale sanctuary, fur seal sanctuary and marine reserve in Kaikōura please click on the following: Hikurangi Marine Reserve.

The chart below highlights the new sanctuaries and marine reserve areas in Kaikōura. For more detailed information on these areas please read the following Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura - Kaikoura Marine Management Area (pdf).

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.