NZ Marine Mammal Species Definition

What is classified as a whale under New Zealand regulations?


Whale Watch Kaikōura holds a valid Marine Mammal Permit that allows us to carry on a commercial operation to view marine mammals.

All Whale Watch Kaikōura interactions with marine mammals are governed by the Marine Mammal Protection Regulations of 1992 administered by the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

These regulations ensure that the marine mammals of New Zealand are protected and that their conservation is a top priority.

Under the New Zealand Marine Mammals Protection Regulations 1992 which governs all our interactions with marine mammals.

Whale means -

All species commonly known as whales; and includes baleen whales, sperm whales, beaked whales, killer whales, and pilot whales.

Dolphin means - 

All species commonly known as dolphins; and includes dusky dolphins, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and Hector’s dolphins; but

Does not include the species known as killer whales and pilot whales.

Nau Mai Haere Mai Ki Whale Watch Kaikoura  


To check our tour availability or to secure your place now please click BOOK NOW

50% OFF Winter Whale Sale T's & C's

  • PARTIAL REFUNDS DO NOT APPLY - In the event of a partial refund the recipient may exchange the remaining value within the Whale Watch Gift Shop or towards the purchase of another Whale Watch Tour. This applies to both combo's & direct 50% off tickets (1st May-30th September).


  • The tour time you have booked for is when check-in begins and is not when the tour departs, for that reason, there is no need for you to arrive at our office any earlier than at your tour time to check-in.
  • For further information on our tour, please visit FIND OUT MORE