- 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
Departure & Return
We will advise the pick up location if you are staying in an AirBnb or a private property.
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After booking, the operator will contact you about pickup time.
What To Expect
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.
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Minimum numbers apply. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation, if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund.
- Please note, infants under 3 years of age may not join the cruises but may travel on the light aircraft tours
- Once the tour has commenced only the unused portion of the tour will be refunded should the boats not sail or the planes not fly.
- If due to whale sightings or weather conditions the boat offers a partial refund, this refund will be passed on to our customers.
- If whale watch is undertaken by light aircraft and no whales are seen, no refund applies.
- A decision is made at 6:30am each day, based on local weather conditions, as to whether the tour will depart Christchurch or be canceled. If the tour is cancelled, clients are notified by 7:15am and no cancellation fees are charged. If the tour travels to Kaikoura and the whale watch cruises are canceled, whale watch plane tours are offered as an alternative. If clients do not wish to fly, or the plane tours are also canceled, a cash refund of NZD 120.00 per adult is given. Refund is issued on the day of the tour by the tour operator in Christchurch.
- As the wineries close at 5pm daily and on selected public holidays, a stop may not be possible. On these occasions no refund is applicable.
- Currently, the tour cost has been discounted by $15.00 per a person. Due to road conditions following the Kaikoura earthquake in 2016 it may not be possible on all occasions to include a winery due to the wineries closing times.
- Wheelchair accessible
- Stroller accessible
- Service animals allowed
- Near public transportation
- Infants must sit on laps
- Infant seats available
- Transportation is wheelchair accessible
- Most travelers can participate
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
- OPERATED BY Leisure Tours
- For a full refund, you must cancel at least 7 full days before the experience’s start time.
- If you cancel less than 2 full days before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
- Any changes made less than 2 full days before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
- Any changes made less than 6 full days before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
- For a 50% refund, you must cancel 3–6 full days before the experience’s start time.
- Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
- This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
- This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.
Learn more about cancellations.