We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat

Select Date and Travelers
From
US$96.25
Date
2 travelers
Options
Highlights
    What to Expect
    Itinerary

    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.

    Stop At:

    • Whale Watch Kaikoura, Railway Station Road The Whaleway Station, Kaikoura 7300 New Zealand
    Show More
    Important Information
    Departure Point
    Whaleway Station Road, Whaleway Station Rd, Kaikoura 7300, New Zealand
    Duration
    3h 30m
    Return Details
    Returns to original departure point
    Inclusions
    • Tours operates all year round
    • Modern fleet of purpose built catamarans
    • 95% success rate backed up by an 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale
    • Experienced knowledgeable staff providing a running commentary throughout your tour
    • Award winning onboard animations
    • Bus ride to and from our marina
    Exclusions
    • Food and drinks
    Show More
    Additional Info
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Tours operate all year: 7.15am, 10.00am, 12.45pm & 3.30pm (Nov-Mar)—Please note that these are check-in times only - please do not come earlier than the times specified.
    • The minimum age limit for children traveling on a whale watch tour is 3yrs+, although Whale Watch Kaikōura maintains the right to raise the age limit depending on sea and weather conditions at the time of check-in.
    • All our tour are subject to favourable weather & sea conditions. If cancelled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund.
    • 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 is always our priority. Passengers travelling to join us on the day of their tour are strongly advised to telephone the FREEPHONE number 0800 655 121 for a sea conditions update.
    • Dress warmly and wear flat shoes. If you wish to spend time on the outside decks of our vessels you may need light waterproof clothing depending on the sea conditions.
    • Don't let sea sickness ruin your whale watch tour experience. Purchase motion sickness pills to help prevent sea sickness, car sickness, or any type of travel sickness from our Retail Store before you travel.
    • The actual time on the water is up to 2.5 hours. Including check-in time, safety briefing and bus transfers you should allow 3.5 hours in total.
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 48 travelers
    Cancellation Policy
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
    Reviews (221)
    Filter reviews
    185 results
    Traveler rating
    130
    29
    11
    6
    9
    Traveler type
    Time of year
    LanguageEnglish
    More languages
    Traveler rating
    130
    29
    11
    6
    9
    Show reviews that mention
    All reviews dusky dolphins safety briefing see whales great trip perfect weather beautiful experience bad weather new zealand motion sickness good deal afternoon trip rough seas tacos comfortable seats repeat the experience marine life some great photos
    Selected filters
    FilterEnglish
    Updating list...
    1 - 5 of 185 reviews
    Reviewed 6 days ago

    We saw so many whales on this tour, two Sperm Whales and an entire family of about 5 Orca Whales including babies! The captain and crew do a great job of finding the whales in the vast ocean and getting you to them as quickly...More

    Date of experience: September 2019
    Thank KHTTU2000
    Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

    This company was so accommodating, allowing us to change our tour to the afternoon before our morning booking as the weather was changing. Everyone was super friendly and helped make our time the best it could be. In hardly any time we happened upon a...More

    Date of experience: September 2019
    Thank Gillian P
    KaikouraWhaleWatch, Manager at Whale Watch Kaikoura, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

    Kia Ora, Thank you for taking the time to submit a review after your experience with us. Feedback, positive or negative, from our customers is important and taken very seriously as we continually strive to improve the level of service and the quality of experience...More

    Reviewed 2 weeks ago

    Came early to buy afternoon trip. Came at schedule time but trip was cancelled due to bad weather. Came back next morning. Very easy to get sea sick if not used to boating. One of the most beautiful experience in life watching wahles in real...More

    Date of experience: May 2019
    Thank Ferrytan7
    KaikouraWhaleWatch, Manager at Whale Watch Kaikoura, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

    Kia Ora, Thank you for taking the time to submit a review after your experience with us. Feedback, positive or negative, from our customers is important and taken very seriously as we continually strive to improve the level of service and the quality of experience...More

    Reviewed 3 weeks ago

    This is not a cheap attraction but it must rate as a 'must see' if visiting the South Island. No guarantee that passengers will see a whale but, usually, they do. Try to pick good weather and let the boat crew find really interesting sea...More

    Date of experience: August 2019
    Thank Stephen H
    KaikouraWhaleWatch, Manager at Whale Watch Kaikoura, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

    Kia Ora, Thank you for taking the time to submit a review after your experience with us. Feedback, positive or negative, from our customers is important and taken very seriously as we continually strive to improve the level of service and the quality of experience...More

    Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

    Very friendly and capable staff. We saw 2 sperm whales and a lot of dusky dolphins. I would definitely recommend the trip to my friends :)More

    Date of experience: August 2019
    Thank Sandra K
    KaikouraWhaleWatch, Manager at Whale Watch Kaikoura, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

    Kia Ora, Thank you for taking the time to submit a review after your experience with us. Feedback, positive or negative, from our customers is important and taken very seriously as we continually strive to improve the level of service and the quality of experience...More

    View more reviews
    Questions & Answers
    Ask a question
    Kendoarts
    7 August 2019|
    AnswerShow all 3 answers
    Response from Richard A | Reviewed this property |
    I imagine any age restrictions are related to safety. There can be quite a rush and crush as 20-30 people try to quickly exit the inside of the boat when whales or dolphins are sighted. The long trip out and back is not... More
    0
    Votes
    Kendoarts
    7 August 2019|
    AnswerShow all 3 answers
    Response from CassandraBlackSun | Reviewed this property |
    I do think the kids would get pretty bored too. There are extended periods with nt much happening
    0
    Votes
    Vacation10172971055
    2 August 2019|
    AnswerShow all 3 answers
    Response from GilliR | Reviewed this property |
    Definitely a sperm whale as that is what the boat goes out for. If you are lucky you will also see dolphins - the boat crew know what’s about in the waters and will take you to the right spot. If you don’t see any whales you... More
    1
    Vote
    Key Details
    • Whale Watch Kaikoura
    • Duration: 3h 30m
    • Mobile Ticket Accepted
    • Instant confirmation
    • Languages Offered: English
    Why Book on TripAdvisor?
    • Low Price Guarantee
    • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
    • Secure Payments
    • 24/7 SupportCall: +63 923-0990452