4 Kaikoura Whales c Travel Essence
MHP 8378 Kaikoura Canterbury Miles Holden
Nz kaikoura whale watching jump sea family see and do easy going
4 Kaikoura Whales c Travel Essence
MHP 8378 Kaikoura Canterbury Miles Holden
Nz kaikoura whale watching jump sea family see and do easy going

The best place to spot whales in New Zealand

Are you a passionate nature enthusiast with a dream of witnessing the majestic giants of the sea in their natural habitat? Look no further than the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand. Nestled along its rugged coastline, the quaint town of Kaikoura, just a scenic three-hour drive north from Christchurch, emerges as a haven for marine life enthusiasts.

Here, the chance to observe humpback whales, sperm whales, dolphins, and seals in their element is nothing short of a bucket-list experience. Join us as we embark on an unforgettable journey, guided by our colleague Inge-Margriet, who recently ventured through New Zealand's South Island to uncover the secrets of Kaikoura's whale watching adventures. Read on to delve into her encounter with these magnificent animals.

Go whale watching in Kaikoura | New Zealand holiday
Tick whale watching off your bucket list
Whale watching in Kaikoura | New Zealand wildlife
Keep your eyes peeled to the water so you don't miss a thing
© TravelEssence

At TravelEssence, we've got your whale watching adventure covered! We'll secure your tour in advance, so no worries about availability. Once you arrive, our friendly staff will greet you and hand you your ticket. Hop on a comfy bus to South Bay, where your catamaran is ready to set sail. Take a seat inside and get all the info you need for a safe and unforgettable journey.

Now, it's time to cruise the deep waters of the Kaikoura Canyon, home to a diverse array of marine life, including majestic whales. As you sail, soak in the crystal-clear sea, and admire the stunning Kaikoura Ranges in the background.

View of ocean and Kaikoura mountain range in the background
Admire the stunning mountain range in the background
© TravelEssence
Join a boat cruise, swim with dolphins and seals or take a scenic flight in Kaikoura
Savour tranquil moments on the ocean
© Miles Holden

As you sail into deeper waters, the guides will tell you in detail about the whales and the marine ecosystem that surrounds you. Whales do not just show themselves, so the captain will regularly look underwater for sounds of whales communicating with each other.

As you wait anxiously for a whale to be spotted, you will learn about the history of whaling and the whales that regularly return to the area.

Then the moment has finally arrived! A whale has been spotted. The boat moves closer to the whale, but keeps an appropriate distance so as not to disturb it. First, you will see the familiar spouting of water to the surface. Have your camera ready, because you don't want to miss the moment the fin goes into the air. Simply magical!

After a whale has surfaced, it will be underwater again for more than half an hour. So the boat sails on, looking for more sea creatures. If you're lucky, you'll see several whales in one day. Keep an eye on the water along the way, because often a dolphin suddenly jumps out of the water, or you see a seal floating on the water.

Jumping dolphins in Kaikoura | New Zealand wildlife
Get your camera ready for the the dolphin show
© Hans Wijker
A dolphin swimming in the water in Kaikoura
You can also swim with dolphins in Kaikoura

After about 2.5 hours, you will sail back to the harbour with a satisfied feeling. The boat trip is an experience in itself, but of course seeing whales is the icing on the cake. The great thing is that the company is not only committed to giving you a beautiful day. They also ensure the conservation of the marine ecosystem and strict guidelines are followed to minimise the impact on the whales. By participating in this tour, you indirectly contribute to the conservation of these beautiful creatures and their habitat.

Are you looking for an unforgettable adventure in the middle of breathtaking New Zealand nature? Then ask your TravelEssence travel advisor to include whale watching in your tour and experience the beauty of New Zealand's marine life. You will leave Kaikoura with a deeper appreciation for nature.

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Discover a world beyond ordinary

At TravelEssence, we specialise in crafting tailor-made holidays that take you off the beaten path and create memories to last a lifetime. Our emphasis on authentic travel experiences means you won't just be a spectator.

We believe in connecting with the heart and soul of a place, introducing you to the locals who call it home. Engage in conversations with fascinating individuals who will share their stories, traditions, and way of life, leaving an indelible mark on your journey.