Kaikoura & Whales

Guided Kaikoura & Whales Tour

Kaikoura – where the magnificent snow-capped, forest-clad mountains meet the Pacific Ocean – is one of the best places in the world for year-round whale-watching.

With Wildsouth Discovery, you’ll experience it all in style, from the comfort of your own private helicopter for either 45 or 60 minutes, or a fixed wing aircraft option – the choice is yours. Lookout for the Giant Sperm Whales, as well as Southern Right, Humpback, and Pilot whales, Dusky Dolphins and numerous species of seabirds, against the stunning backdrop of the mountains and ocean.

What's included

  • Private helicopter whale watching experience or fixed wing small group flight
  • Sight-seeing the wonderful marine and mountain scenery
  • Picnic morning tea and picnic afternoon tea / wine and cheese stop
  • Restaurant lunch
  • Easy guided walks, if desired
  • Group Size – Private tours for 1-10, larger private tours by arrangement

Tour Details

Originally an island, Kaikoura (which means ‘meal of crayfish’ in Maori) sits on what has, over time, become a rocky peninsula which protrudes out into the sea. Here, a complex marine system within deep ocean canyons provides an abundantly rich habitat for a multitude of protected marine mammals and seabirds.

Explore & Discover

On your journey north to Kaikoura, travel through North Canterbury and the beautiful rural wine region of Waipara before reaching Kaikoura on the Pacific Ocean.

After your helicopter or aircraft whale watch flight, enjoy lunch in an historic restaurant. Then visit a popular lookout with more spectacular views and photo opportunities, and visit a NZ Fur Seal colony. Before returning to Christchurch, you can take a walk on the Kaikoura Peninsula walkway or make a stop at a Waipara winery for a wine tasting. We recommend a scenic whale watch flight for an enhanced whale watching experience.


An option is to make your visit to Kaikoura a 2 day / 1 night trip which would include Hanmer Springs and its thermal hotpools. Overnight in Kaikoura at a superb boutique hotel (various options available), enjoy a private helicopter whale watch flight and walk the Kaikoura Peninsula. Next day, journey to Hanmer Springs and experience the thermal hotpools and then enjoy wine tastings in the Waipara wine region on your return to Christchurch.

Another option for the Day Safari is to return to Christchurch from Kaikoura on the Coastal Pacific™ train – one of the most picturesque journeys on New Zealand railways.

Explore & Experience Kaikoura

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