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Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat

By Whale Watch Kaikoura
Kaikoura is renowned for its amazing marine life, and you’ll discover why on this whale watching tour. From your catamaran boat you’ll get up close to whales, seals, and dolphins in the deep waters off shore, as well as albatross. Learn about the animals and their habitat from live commentary on board. You are almost guaranteed to spot a whale, as you’ll receive most of your ticket price back if you don’t.
from
₹8,835.22
per adult
from
₹8,835.22
per adult

Lowest price guaranteeFree cancellation

Ages 3-99, max of 116 per group
Duration:3h 30m
Start time: Check availability
Ticket type:Mobile
English

Highlights
  • Return bus ride to the marina is included
  • Enjoy watching animations of the whales and sea from on-board screens
  • Nature lovers will especially love this tour
  • Enjoy one of New Zealand’s most unmissable wildlife experiences

  • 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
What's not included
  • Food and drinks


Departure details
  • Whaleway Station Road, Kaikōura 7300, New Zealand Departure Point: Whale Watch Kaikoura is located on Whaleway Station Road just a short walk or drive from the town centre - our office is based at the Old Railway Station. Address: Whale Watch Kaikoura Whaleway Station Road Kaikoura 7300
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 66962P1

  • 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.
  • Most travellers can participate
  • If travelling in a wheelchair please contact us prior to arrival so we can provide additional details and advise how we can assist you
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 116 travellers

  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

How much is Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat?
Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat price starts from ₹ 8,583.35. Discover and book Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat on Tripadvisor
What is the Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat cancellation policy?
Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat on Tripadvisor
Which company provides Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat?
Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat is hosted by Whale Watch Kaikoura. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Whale Watch Kaikoura on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat on Tripadvisor
How much time do I need for Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat?
On average, this experience will take approximately 3h 30m. Discover and book Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat on Tripadvisor

If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 66962P1

About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

Rona L
Rona L
00
Disappointed we missed out going
We went into the office, after checking out of our motel hoping to do the trip. We had to be back in ChCh by a cer
thekennedysnz
thekennedysnz
00
Canceled due to weather
Unfortunately our tour was canceled due to the weather. The staff were friendly and getting a full refund because
MVS47
MVS47
00
A Kaikoura must do
Very well organised tour. Ran smoothly and to time. We were briefed that it was going to be a little rough and offe
GeordieBoy1959
GeordieBoy1959
00
Breath-taking
Thrilling to see Sperm Whales so close to the coast. Very professional staff and pilot very knowledgeable about fau
gayn0r16
gayn0r16
00
Well worth the money
We went out for a Whale watching trip with this company and were thoroughly impressed. The attention to detail was
AdventuringHills
AdventuringHills
00
Whale Watching Tour
My wife and I decided to try our luck with catching a glimpse of nature’s biggest mammal and it didn’t disappoint.
Kiwi_bex12345
Kiwi_bex12345
00
Amazing
Was warned of sickness warning with rough seas that morning but was fine. Took a while to find a whale but luckily
bmm28
bmm28
00
So much wildlife!
We may have been lucky but we had a fantastic experience with Whale Watch Kaikoura and saw 2 sperm whales, a pod of
S-TeamForever
S-TeamForever
00
Best crew we could ever wish for!!!
This really was an incredible adventure! We knew the sea would be rough (28th Dec 4pm sailing) so we had taken medi
jackiekS2706SD
jackiekS2706SD
00
Great once out on the water!
This is the 2nd time I’ve been lucky enough to go whale watching In Kaikoura and returned wanting my husband to hop
jjc978
jjc978
00
Cancelled Trip & No Alternative Offered
Booked whale watch quite a way in advance. Unfortunately on the morning of our visit the weather meant it was cance
Marcos César S
Marcos César S
00
Watch the Leviathan in a ver respecful way
Awesome spot in this Planet to meet sperm whales in a very respecful way. 4 boats operating, 3 at the same time, al
359td
359td
00
Great tour for whale watching!
We booked this tour online a few months before our trip to New Zealand. There is a large parking area for our renta
Niks40
Niks40
00
Brilliant trip
We popped in to the office early just to check if the trip would be running given the bad weather. Our trip was goi
479ji
479ji
00
Sperm whales, dolphins and a log whale!
The crew were brilliant at finding us the whales. I like that the commentary was kept to a minimum when the whales
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
2,312 reviews
Excellent
1,580
Very good
448
Average
148
Poor
71
Terrible
65

Evy Coke
Wellington, New Zealand72 contributions
Jan 2022
I was a bit hesitant to take this trip as I have been on unsuccessful or underwhelming tours in other places, but this trip was the real deal. We spent quite a bit of time near sperm whale Holy Moley while he 'refueled' with oxygen, before seeing two impressive views of his tail when he dived. It was a very special experience.
We also enjoyed being able to see some other wildlife from the boat such as seals, dolphins, albatrosses, mollymawks and petrels. The commentary was excellent – not only educational and interesting, but the guide Eru was entertaining and funny.
We recommend paying the extra for a seat in the Captain’s cabin, as the higher view from inside is good and there is dedicated space at the outside railing.
This whale watching operation runs very well. The refund was prompt when our first attempt was cancelled due to unsuitable weather, and the crew went to some effort to successfully net a random disposable face mask spotted in the ocean. Good to see kaitiakitanga in action.
Written 4 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

robal2015
Auckland Central, New Zealand25 contributions
Jan 2022
Fantastic experience, highly recommend paying extra for the Captains Cabin, for a more "business class" type experience with spacious seating and viewing decks separated from the larger group.
We were thrilled to see 3 whales, and plenty of dolphins.
The staff were very skilled in tracking the whales, knowing where to go, and even telling us when to get ready for the tail flip photos!
We had a really great time.
Written 4 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Zoepmc
30 contributions
Sep 2022 • Solo
Large safe modern fast boat, holds two busloads of people easily. They find the sperm whale by hydrophone and motor you over to where it's likely to surface. And they do a great job of positioning the boat for optimal viewing in terms of angle, lighting, etc. Guide also did a very nice job of explaining boat safety and sperm whale ecology - right level of info for both nerds and non-nerds, with lightness and a nice sense of humor. Only reason it doesn't get 5 stars is I felt the focus was so much on the sperm whale (which was what we were all there for, let's be honest) that opportunities were missed to educate about the humpback whales, dusky dolphins, and fur seals we also saw (though there was some nice commentary on the albatrosses, which was great). I'd love to see this trip become more about the whole ecosystem in addition to the star of the show.
Written 18 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BaldyManG
Cardiff, UK33 contributions
Jan 2020
I booked our trip via the Trip Advisor app. Unfortunately due to high winds our trip was cancelled. We were offered a refund or an alternative trip. We had time to try again the next day and although we booked a 10.00 slot, we were both at the Check-in area at 06.30 in the hope of joining an earlier one. We managed to get on the second trip out and it was just as well as the 10.00 trip was later cancelled. We sailed out to the channel where the whales are regularly spotted but again the winds caused the time there to be aborted and we returned inshore without a whale in sight. We did see several albatross and we were treated to a great display from the dolphins inshore. They were playful and followed the boat for some time, a memorable experience.
We were given an 80% refund by Whale Watch as we didn't see any whales. The crew were great and the customer service was excellent, very professional.
So, we were unlucky on the day but they have an amazing success rate for observing the whales and we would highly recommend.
Written 15 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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 we deliver. Every effort is made to deliver a quality tour and experience at all times. We are so sorry to hear that your whale watching tour was unsuccessful. We would love to have you back again so we cn show you the incredible whales that reside here in Kaikoura. Thank you so much for recommending us. We wish you safe travels on the rest of your journey around our beautiful country.
Written 2 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

CAP
1 contribution
We did not see whales. Completely understand the concept of Mother Nature, and there are no guarantees , however we felt the ‘oh well times up, tough, we did our best’ mentality was a bit much, as others have commented on.
It is all about perception whale watch kaikoura !!
Also, anecdotally, I really challenge the ‘96% success but boo hoo you are in the 4%’ ...... I suspect you the company will need to review the 96% statistic’s accuracy based on talking to others, or at least break it down by season.
Our captain did a great show of coming down from her post, listening to the whales and going back up, at one stage joking about our tense faces on the way ..... to be honest, it’s no joking matter when 100 people have been bounced around for 3 hours on for many their only day in kaikoura, told to stand up and sit down and there’s a 96% chance of seeing a whale, but oh well time it up.
Also, staff receiving messages on their radios constantly and talking amongst themselves about what is actually happening certainly didn’t build confidence in the honestly and integrity of the experience.
I challenge you whale watch kaikoura not to respond to me with the same copy and paste PR line that you have given in response to countless others.
You are going to need to think differently to continue to flourish as a business in these changing times . Cheers
Written 27 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
KaikouraWhaleWatch
Kia Ora - Thank you for your review. I have passed this on to our sea crew for their information as well as senior management. I can assure that we do take our customer feedback seriously and endeavor to deliver the best experience we can in the time we have out at sea. We are very sorry to hear that our time with us was not what we set out to deliver. We are always looking at ways to improve what we do, reviews such as this are remind us as such.
Written 5 March 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jovitapw
Hamilton & Waikato Region, New Zealand21 contributions
Dec 2020 • Couples
We booked this tour a few hours before it was to depart and had zero expectations of seeing any wildlife but, how were we wrong!

Easy check-in process with modern comfortable transportation for all ages. We had a great Captain and crew that gave clear instructions and commentary throughout the duration of the tour.

There were a few attempts to track down a Sperm Whale and it was cool to see the process and tools the crew and captain used to find them. Once we did find one and it was easy to understand the process and when to take the best pictures with guidance from the crew over the microphone. After that, we followed a pod of dolphins and was surprised to find a Hump Back whale that breached the water and gave everyone on board a spectacular show. It was such a thrill and we appreciate that we were able to stay out for the entire 2 hours. We found that we got the best views upstairs but it was more personal on the lower deck as you were closer to the wildlife.

Hands down, most memorable experience we have encountered and it was an highlight of our South Island trip. Would highly recommend local tours like Whale Watch Kaikoura and understand that not every tour is the same. We were very lucky and blessed to have had this experience and wish all future tours the very best!
Written 28 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
KaikouraWhaleWatch
Kia Ora, thank you for taking the time to share about your experience with us. We love what we do, knowing that our guests are having a wonderful time makes us very happy. Thanks again for visiting with us.
Written 29 December 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Superwoman888
Auckland Central, New Zealand332 contributions
Mar 2021
The whole excursion was scheduled to take three and a half hours, actual time on the water was just over two hours.

Check in at the office was quick, then it was a half an hour - forty five minute wait. There is no longer a cafe at this location.

We were transported by bus to South Bay where we boarded the vessel, Paikea . It was not their biggest craft.

The weather was fine but the sea was a little rough. As a precaution, we had taken sea sickness pills prior, which as it turned out was a good move.

While the boat was in motion, everyone was required to be seated in the main cabin. At certain times, a crew member would open the doors, which was the signal that passengers could exit out to the deck for fresh air or viewing.

Warm, windproof clothing and beanie recommended

We had very good commentary onboard during the search for the presence of whales. Once a whale was located, level of excitement heightened. We had a brief viewing before the dive, cruised about in search of another, and failing that, returned to view a second dive of the previous whale.

On the return to shore, two large pods of dolphins turned up alongside the vessel and entertained us for a good half hour with acrobatic skills. Such a thrill !

Thoroughly enjoyed our close encounter with these beautiful marine mammals.

The excursion was well run although the waiting time after check in could be shortened; unless this was weather dependent at the embarkation end, in which case informing the group would have been appreciated.
Written 3 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mark H
1 contribution
Sep 2020 • Family
No whales sited at sea, but after they were radioed about a whale next to the marina, they pretended they couldn't see it (despite the passengers all pointing at it), refused to let us look at it despite it only being a short distance away, our time was up. They chose to refund an entire boat load of passengers 80%, rather than be late. Zero financial sense there, especially when the following cruises would be spared whale searching time, it was right in the bay. Can't fathom the logic, hope the owners are happy with money being unnecessarily refunded.
Written 5 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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 we deliver. Every effort is made to deliver a quality tour and experience at all times. We are sorry to hear that you were not able to see a whale on your tour. Due to us running multiple tours a day, we need to adhere to a strict time schedule and sometimes this means that we run out of time to find a whale. I have passed your feedback on to our management team for further review. We hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Kaikoura.
Written 13 December 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Craig P
Sydney, Australia557 contributions
Nov 2022
The staff in the main were very engaging, helpful and informative. The vessel we sailed was one of the quite new boats and very comfortable. Combined with plane and sonar the captain was able to track down 3 whale sightings, and supported by the video presentation the few hours were very informative.
However.....
This was the first item I booked on our South Island itinerary. Clear prompt emails and communication prior to leaving up until we arrived, together with 7 other unrelated travellers at 7.30 am at the designated departure point on the designated morning to find nothing, no one, locked doors. A lady approached to see If we were ok and inform us there was no sailing at the communicated 7.45 am time slot. It would be 10 am. And several other customers had confirmed by telephone the day previous. Genuine scepticism until we produced printed documentation.
It put all of us through a needless range of emotions.
Really very poor administration and communication with their customers from our experience. There was what appeared genuine concern to apologise but it does raise a red flag that there are some issues with this provider.
Written 9 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AliNel01
Nelson, New Zealand91 contributions
Jan 2021
If we'd seen a whale I'd have given this company five stars - we didn't see a whale but it's a game of chance and we were given a substantial refund, but the sailing, information given, watching the hunting process was interesting all the same. We saw a pod of dolphins and spent time watching them all around the boat, enjoyed that. We chose the Captain's Cabin option, only 12 in a comfortable cabin with great views, we'd recommend it. The previous two days sailings had been cancelled due to weather conditions and it was fairly rough, some people were sick but that's the chance you take. I'd like to try again one day, fingers crossed for a whale next time.
Written 8 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
KaikouraWhaleWatch
Thank you for joining with us, it is great to hear that despite not being able to show you a whale that you still enjoyed your time with us. We hope you are able to join with us again one day soon.
Written 5 March 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat | New Zealand