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Kaikoura

Day Trips

Our most recommended Kaikoura Day Trips

Kaikoura: 30-Minute Whale Watching Flight

1. Kaikoura: 30-Minute Whale Watching Flight

Receive an informative briefing of the Sperm Whales and other wildlife of Kaikoura, ready for your 30-minute flight experience. Learn about its unique geology, and what you can expect to see during the flight. Spend a special half hour viewing these majestic creatures from a unique vantage point.  Head directly out over the Kaikoura Whale Sanctuary to start looking for Kaikoura's wildlife. This whale watching flight showcases the year-round whales and dolphins, as well as the stunning coastline and peninsula. Focusing on the mighty Sperm Whale, this is a once-in-a-lifetime flight to view these animals, as well as other whale and dolphin species that migrate through Kaikoura's waters.  All aircraft are high-winged, which allows each person their own window seat and optimal, unobstructed viewing and photography opportunities. Your tour finishes back at the terminal where there is a gift shop and refreshments available.

Kaikoura: 1-Hour Whale Watching Helicopter Tour

2. Kaikoura: 1-Hour Whale Watching Helicopter Tour

Spot sperm whales, dusky dolphins, and fur seals from above before making a summit landing among the towering peaks of the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Ranges on this 1-hour helicopter tour. The adventure begins with a short safety briefing from the pilot, as well as additional information about the year-round population of sperm whales and the unique underwater Kaikoura Canyon. Next, jump in the helicopter and head out over the Whale Sanctuary and Hikurangi Marine Reserve for a chance to view the pod of sperm whales. Taking on a bird's-eye-view maximizes time viewing the wildlife while not disrupting their natural behavior. Continue along the magnificent coastline of the Kaikoura Peninsula keeping an eye out for playful dusky dolphins and New Zealand fur seals. The last stop of the day will be the towering peaks of the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Ranges for an incredible alpine landing. Get out and walk around on rugged pristine land with breathtaking vistas of the mountains, peninsula, and ocean.

Kaikoura: 120 Minutes Ultimate Adventure Helicopter Tour

3. Kaikoura: 120 Minutes Ultimate Adventure Helicopter Tour

Begin your adventure are Kaikōura Airport where you will receive a short safety briefing from your pilot, as well as additional information about the year-round population of sperm whales and the unique underwater Kaikōura Canyon. As you head out over the Pacific Ocean you are surrounded on all sides by the gorgeous scenery of Kaikōura, with the coastal mountains as a backdrop. Slowly orbit the whales so you can see the whole animal from head to tail, minimising your impact on the animal while maximising your time and viewing. Soar back along the coastline keeping an eye out for any other animals that may be around, including the resident population of dusky dolphins and New Zealand fur seals, as well as any other whale species that may be migrating through including blue, humpback, fin, and killer whales. After completing your wildlife viewing, head for the Seaward Kaikōura Mountain Ranges. Fly along the coastline to see the impact from the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that changed the entire landscape of the coastal mountains and see the new Papatea Fault where it scars the land and runs out to sea. Fly inland along the Clarence River Valley and back up through the mountain range for a landing at the turquoise waters of the newly created Hapuku Dam Lake, which was created during the November 2016 earthquake. Enjoy the scenery as you fly back through the mountain range to land.

Frequently asked questions about Kaikoura Day Trips

What are other things to do than Day Trips that are worth visiting in Kaikoura?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kaikoura

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What people are saying about Kaikoura

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 6 reviews

We thought that Peter did an excellent job introducing us to whale spotting, watching and took time to explain whale habits, their environment and put us in good positions to take photos. We enjoyed the explanations around earthquakes and road restoration works and it was quite spectacular to land & stop for a very cold but spectacular photo on the top of Mt Fyfe. I wonder if pilots or ground crew have any particular tips to offer relating to photographing with telephoto lenses. Maybe high shutter speeds, Tv, auto ISO. The photos we took where good and reasonably in close but not as sharp as I hoped for. Pretty tricky with moving chopper, sea and whale I guess. Overall 10 out of 10. Thank you. Very memorable!

It was a fantastic tour with the pilot - sorry forgot his name. He is very good at flying and very friendly. We saw the huge whale, which is approximately the same length with the 23m boat, and heaps of dusk dolphins, and the pilot knew the whale so well and counted-down the exact time when it dived into deep water with iconic tail. The pilot also flew us to see the Kaikoura Earth-Quake fault-line, landslide and even the barrier lake. Really enjoy it. Thanks.

We were told no whales were to be seen and offered a full refund if required. We decided to fly anyway. Our pilot Mike found an orca for us but no other whales so he gave us an amazing flight over the snow capped mountains, it was amazing we had so much fun

Absolutely wonderful. Didn't see whales though not thru lack of trying! Amazing pod of dolphins! Such lovely people, loved every minute!

very friendly and professional team giving us an incredible sightseeing experience