Magnificent Whale Watching Experience in Kaikoura
Kaikoura, on the east coast of the South Island, is one of the only places in the world where you can easily see sperm whales. Sperm whales, the largest of the toothed whales, grow to over 15 metres in length. They dive deep into the ocean to feed. The resident population of sperm whales at Kaikoura can be seen all year round. Orca (killer whales) may be seen from December to March, and humpback whales in June and July. Several dolphin species are seen almost daily in the area. Whales thrive close to Kaikoura because of its unusual submarine landscape. The continental shelf drops quickly into a number of extremely deep underwater canyons. In addition, a warm current from the north meets a colder one from the south. This causes nutrients from deep within the ocean to be carried upward, a phenomenon that helps to support all types of marine life from plankton and krill to dolphins and whales. Few places on earth possess the magic of Kaikoura. 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 the 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 Maori ancestor Paikea to New Zealand many centuries ago. His descendants live in Kaikoura today. Fittingly, the whale continues to guide the people of Kaikoura and the visitors they host.
Kaikoura 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 Kaikoura extremely attractive to artists. Their work, inspired by the remarkable landscape and wildlife, can be seen all over town.
Kaikoura coastline is a marine environment so rich in nutrients that it attracts some of the most magnificent creatures with which we share our planet. Among them are Giant Sperm Whales that can grow up to 20 metres and weigh over 50 tons. These whales can be seen all year round making Kaikoura one of the most popular whale watching locations in the world.
Watch for whales, seals and dolphins on a full-day wildlife tour of Kaikoura from Christchurch. Enjoy views of surf breaks and vineyards as you cross the Canterbury Plains to Kaikoura Township, then visit a thriving colony of fur seals before browsing downtown shops. Explore the coast by catamaran on a whale watching tour, and try to spot giant sperm whales, endangered albatross and dusky dolphins. See the sun slip behind the mountains on the return trip to Christchurch for the conclusion of your tour. This full-day tour includes a scenic drive from Christchurch over the Canterbury Plains before arriving in Kaikoura. Once in Kaikoura, make your way to a lookout to enjoy the breath-taking views. Next, make your way around to a seal colony before heading into Kaikoura for some free time to explore and maybe have some lunch. Then board a modern catamaran for an exciting whale watch tour. This tour offers up-close encounters with the giant sperm whale. A typical whale watch encounter may include fur seals, pods of dusky dolphins and endangered wandering albatross. In addition to the sperm whale a number of different species of may also be seen, depending on the season, as they follow their migratory route. This unique marine experience also provides an opportunity to sight high-spirited Dusky Dolphins, the rare and endangered Hectors Dolphin, New Zealand Fur Seals and a wide variety of sea birds including the Royal Albatross.