The world’s largest toothed predator

Discover the home of the world's largest toothed predator - the Giant Sperm Whale – along the coastal town of Kaikoura. Experience an up-close encounter with these majestic creatures up close while also learning about their biology, behavior, and conservation. Marvel at the deep blue waters aboard a modern catamaran boat on this year round attraction.

How to find Whale Watch Kaikoura

Whaleway Station Road, Kaikōura 7340

Whale history of Kaikoura

Kaikoura is a coastal town on the eastern shores of New Zealand and is rich in whale history. For hundreds of years, Maori have had a deep spiritual connection to the sea and the whales that live there. 

In the 19th century, European whalers arrived in Kaikoura, attracted by the abundant populations of sperm whales in the area. Progressively, the small coastal settlement established a whaling station in town which operated for a century until the mid-1960s. During this time, thousands of whales were hunted and killed for their oil and other valuable resources, leading to a significant decline in whale populations.

Today, Kaikoura has become a hub for sustainable whale watching, with visitors from all over the world coming to see the whales in their natural habitat. The town's unique geography, with a deep underwater canyon close to the shore, creates an upwelling of nutrient-rich water that attracts a variety of marine life, including sperm whales, humpback whales, and dusky dolphins.


Getting there

You can travel to Kaikoura and experience Whale Watching by booking any of the following trains, packages, and tours. Include tickets for Whale Watch Kaikoura when booking your great adventure through our Travel Centre.