Call us in NZ (freecall): 1855 979 6659 1855 979 6659 Enquire Now

New Zealand Self drive Holidays

Custom designed NZ holidays created by specialists

Display blogs in:

The best way to see whales in Kaikoura

Kaikoura is one of the most popular whale-watching spots in New Zealand. What’s the best way to enjoy a wildlife adventure here?

Whale watching, Kaikoura

For a small town with a population of only 3,600 on the South Island's east coast, Kaikoura certainly looms large on the list of New Zealand tourist hotspots. Just two hours north of Christchurch, the scenery is breathtaking, the coastal walks are refreshing and the fresh seafood is divine.

Those three reasons alone are enough to warrant a trip, but it's the marine life just off Kaikoura's shores that keeps visitors coming in their droves. Whales, dolphins and fur seals can be seen year round.

So if you're keen on spotting some of these ocean mammals on your wildlife adventure in New Zealand, what are your best options in Kaikoura?

Climb aboard

The most popular whale-watching option is by boat. Hop aboard a modern boat with the skipper and crew of Whale Watch Kaikoura in search of these beautiful animals. They have the best modern technology and the local know-how to track down whales. Sperm whales are the most common sighting on a boat trip, while you'll also most likely come across dolphins, seals and various marine birds.

Take to the skies

If you want to see the stunning Kaikoura landscape and catch a glimpse of its resident whales at the same time, a spectacular plane ride with Wings Over Whales is for you. Spend 30 minutes flying over the peninsula, looking out at the seas below and finishing with a breathtaking 2,800-metre flight over the Seaward Kaikoura Ranges. It's guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.

Dive in

You may not be able to swim with the whales, but Kaikoura's resident fur seals play in the shallow waters along the coastline of the peninsula, offering an ideal opportunity to swim with these curious creatures. Seal Swim Kaikoura will take you on a guided tour to the best locations where the seals hang out in what is sure to be a wonderful wildlife adventure.