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Whale Watch Kaikoura

An exciting up-close encounter with the Giant Sperm Whale at all times of the year!


  • 95% whale viewing success rate with an 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale
  • Discover Kaikoura on the water in our purpose built wildlife viewing catamaran.
  • Encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, pods of Dusky Dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross
  • Crewed by a friendly team of Skippers and Guides very experienced in interacting with the local Sperm Whales

We venture offshore over a deep undersea canyon that attracts an extraordinary abundance of marine life, the most famous being the Sperm Whale.

You will be viewing from our purpose built whale watching catamarans equipped with noise minimising engines, large outside viewing decks, spacious air-conditioned interiors and comfortable seating for those colder days on the water.

Whale Watch® is New Zealand's only marine-based whale watching company offering visitors an exciting up-close encounter with the Giant Sperm Whale at all times of the year. Our 95% success rate means we guarantee an 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale. Whale Watch tours are extremely popular so we advise to book early!

Giant Sperm Whales are the stars of the show and year-round residents. Depending on the season you may see migrating Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales. Kaikoura also attracts the largest concentration and variety of seabirds on mainland New Zealand!

Whale Watch vessels are crewed by a friendly team of Skippers and Guides very experienced in interacting with the local Sperm Whales. They have expert knowledge of Kaikoura's sea conditions and are fully trained in all aspects of safety.

Adult $150.00
Child $60.00 (3-15 years old)


  • Allow approx. 3.5 hours for the whole experience.


  • Whale Watch is located in the town of Kaikoura. Please check in at Whale Watch Office located on Whaleway Station Road.


  • Minimum age 3 years old.

Child Friendly

  • This experience welcomes families with children.


  • Duration: Time on the water is up to 2.5 hours however please allow up to 3.5 hours in total.

    Child price applies to ages 3 - 15 years.

    If your Whale Watch Kaikoura tour does not see a whale we will refund 80% of your fare.

    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.

    Whale Watch operate tours every day (weather permitting) excluding Christmas Day.

    If you are susceptible to motion-sickness Whale Watch offer Aqua Straps for hire or purchase. Whale Watch also sells natural active motion-sickness tablets but we are not permitted to sell medicatedoptions which can be purchased at the local pharmacy located in the town centre. Allour Whale Watch tours are graded with a seasickness warning announced over our PA system prior to tour departure.

    Please note every Whale Watch tour is a unique experience and the sightings will vary.

Authenticated Reviews & PhotosAll of our reviews are from people who have booked and paid for this activity thru Bookme

Authenticated Reviews & PhotosAll of our reviews are from people who have booked and paid for this activity thru Bookme


338 reviews

Showing all 338 authenticated Bookme reviews

Michael from New Zealand wrote on 16 July 2020

Amazing day out

Booked on the 10am tour and was a great experience, lucky enough to see three sperm whales and two humpbacks, for a considerable amount of time. The crew were great and kept everyone feeling informed and safe. Definitely recommend.

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Samantha Jenkins from New Zealand wrote on 06 April 2021

Lovely experience and wonderful crew, top notch

We all had a great time and enjoyed the experience throughly, from the lovely helpful and informative crew to the wonderful experience of sighting the sperm whale and the rather playful large pod of dolphins, would highly recommend 👌

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Lisa Cooke from New Zealand wrote on 15 November 2020

Absolutely incredible

An amazing team who love what they do, I saw an award for sustainable tourism, stunning surroundings and the chance to see seals, dolphins and a whale... wow! It was the most amazing experience and will be a treasured memory from this day.

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Natalia from New Zealand wrote on 28 September 2020

Bad experience

Unfortunately, we were not lucky. Waves were high, whales were hiding... I understand it’s difficult to predict, but I think this company could have prepared better. They could have traced the whales upfront. They could have explained that even strong pills against seasickness will not help after 2 hours in huge waves... I think at some point as good as everyone on our boat were seasick. The crew were searching for the whale. The whale just dived. And was expected back up in 45 minutes ? So, some 40 minutes sailing in the waves at high speed, then some 50 minutes waiting, while the boat is being thrown from one wave to another, ( by that time many many passengers were sick), then a scream - yes! We see it! Short but bumpy ride (even bumpier than before, and don’t forget, everyone is already sick ?), and - yes!! The whale! The whole 2 minutes, and then it splashed with his tale and dived again. Return trip was a hell, I was half unconscious. Youngest daughter fell asleep in an unnatural position, I had no power to help her. The oldest daughter was terrified by all neighbors passing their bags with vomit to the Health and safety lady ?? So. 2,5 hours of feeling very sick, for 2 minutes of whale watching. Not worse it. Refund of 60% is promised, we’ll see if we get it. I think they should do a better job at explaining the risks and cancelling the trip when it’s obviously doomed. And we are experienced tourists, been in many sea trips, also in NZ waters. This one was the worst.

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Shirley Wawatai from New Zealand wrote on 14 March 2021

What whales? Oh were the water spouts whales

Only saw water spouts and a slither of the back of the whale if you were lucky. While outside, the boat rushed to see a whale and it was very difficult to keep your balance. We were still moving when told to go inside and there was quite a swell so was trying to help my husband who uses a walking stick. I asked a lady to get one of the crew to assist me. Fortunately a young man helped my husband back to the cabin. I really wanted to give my husband a great experience. It was far from that.

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10:00 a.m.Thursday 13 July

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This award is evidence of a sophisticated tourism business that consistently exceeds visitor expectations. Their proactive leadership and management ensure the business’s focus on continuously improving their economic, social and environmental performance to create genuine, constantly evolving and sustainable tourism experiences.

This award recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand. It denotes exceptional customer experiences at the heart of everything the company does. This business is leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world class sustainable visitor destination.

When you see the Qualmark logo, your activity of choice is endorsed by New Zealand Tourism’s official quality assurance organisation and backed by leaders in the industry. It’s your trusted guide to iconic activities and experiences that are awarded for their exceptionally high level of quality, safety and sustainability.

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