Christchurch, New Zealand
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clock-o11 hours (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English

Overview

Experience the natural treasures of New Zealand on a Kaikoura whale-watching cruise. Look for impressive sperm whales along with migrating humpbacks and southern right whales, and search the waters for orcas and other dolphins as an experienced guide shares informative commentary. Visit a New Zealand fur seal colony on land, glimpse the snowy peaks of the Kaikoura Ranges and top off your full-day tour with a wine-tasting in North Canterbury. Includes optional lunch, with round-trip hotel transport from Christchurch to the picturesque town of Kaikoura.
  • Full-day tour with whale-watching cruise in Kaikoura, from Christchurch
  • Marvel at the scenery as you drive through North Canterbury's gorgeous countryside
  • Take a whale-watching cruise with expert guides to look for sperm whales, dolphins, New Zealand fur seals and seabirds
  • Learn about the marine mammals of Kaikoura and the town’s whaling industry history from your knowledgeable guide
  • Observe a fur seal colony on the shore near Kaikoura
  • Relax with an afternoon wine tasting at a North Canterbury vineyard
  • Includes pickup and drop off from centrally located Christchurch hotels
Following hotel pickup in Christchurch, settle in for a comfortable 2.5-hour scenic drive by coach. You’ll drive through the North Canterbury region of the North Island to Kaikoura, New Zealand’s prime whale-watching locale.
Climb aboard your boat and meet expert guides who explain the town’s whaling history and point out the area’s abundant marine life throughout your Kaikoura whale-watching cruise. 
Hikurangi Trench, located not far offshore, creates an upwelling that draws the showstopper attraction — mighty sperm whales, who ply Kaikoura’s waters year-round — as well as migrating blue whales, pilot whales, humpback whales and southern right whales, depending on the season. Be prepared to watch the whales spout, breach and slap their large tails on the water. Keep an eye out for orcas as well as Hector’s dolphins, the world's smallest and rarest dolphins.
Kaikoura boasts the largest concentration and variety of seabirds on New Zealand’s mainland, including seven types of shearwaters, 13 species of albatross and 14 varieties of petrels.
Sate your appetite with lunch at a local restaurant (if option selected) or purchase your own meal. Relax with views of the imposing snow-capped peaks of the Seaward Kaikoura Range. 
Then re-board the coach to witness New Zealand fur seals at a nearby colony. Stop for wine tasting at a North Canterbury vineyard en route to Christchurch, where your tour ends in the evening when your guide returns you to your hotel.

Reviews

Viator Traveler's Reviews

4.5
42 Reviews
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i
, Nov 2018

Half way through our journey we were told that since the weather was bad our two children wouldn’t be allowed

C
, Nov 2018

Booked the tour 2 nights before and the booking was easy and smooth. Wished for more information shared during the drive and more time for lunch and walk at Kaikoura town. The whale watching tour was good, just be prepared that the encounter with whale and dolphins depends on luck.

A
, Mar 2018

What an exciting day with breath taking whale sightings!

P
, Mar 2018

We had a great day. We were very fortunate with the weather and we managed to see four sperm whales, albatross and lots of dusky dolphins. Our driver Sue was wonderful, helpful and informative. Our advice: do not book the lunch. It was extremely rushed compared to our wonderful lunch at Akaroa.

A
, Mar 2018

We did this trip from Christchurch instead of driving down from Nelson due to the delays on the roads. The coach was great and took us directly to the ticket office. After obtaining the pre-ordered tickets and a short safety video a coach took us to the quayside. It was a fairly calm day and the boat took us to see the dolphins first - there must have been 200 ahead of us just playing and doing flips. We ended up alongside many of them so photo opportunities for photos was ideal. After that we saw 3 whales during the trip, the same one twice. They didn't come as close to the boat as I had expected but we did see them from about 50m. During the trip we also saw several albatross as they flew around the boat. A great day out.

Z
, Jan 2018

It was wonderful when you saw the whale. But if you are seasick, it was hard time in the bumpy boat

p
, Dec 2017

Hey! The drive to Kaikoura was very scenic. There was some work on going on the roads, due to which we had some small delays. The whale watching was fantastic! We saw 2 sperm whales really up-close, some dolphins, albatross and some seals .. it was worth it! Had it been a bigger group driving down from christchurch, it would have been more fun!. Nonetheless, the guide was good at his driving and his knowledge of the places we passed by.

S
, Mar 2016

OMG! We saw two sperm whales surface very close up and saw them dive back down. Watching that tail wave to you as they disappeared was amazing. Dolphins as well so it couldn't have been any more thrilling. The downside is that I was seasick but who cares. I would not have missed it for anything. Fish and chip lunch was really good too.

s
, Jan 2016

Lifetime expr ...watching whale first time

d
, Dec 2015

Got to see 2 Sperm Whales, the 2nd really quite close. Slick organisation although the 'trainee' doing the commentary has a little work to do on fact checking.


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