Kaikoura Day Safari Tour

Whales, wine, mountains & sea

with the Whale Watch cruise


On this amazing day, you will experience scenically breathtaking Kaikoura and experience an excellent balance of eco-adventure and indulgence.

Sitting beneath the towering 2600 metre high snowcapped Kaikoura Mountain Ranges, Kaikoura is located on a rocky peninsula which protrudes into the Pacific Ocean.

Originally an island, the peninsula has since been joined to the mainland by steep plains built up of debris swept down from the mountains by rivers.

In Maori lore, the peninsula was the place where Maui braced his foot when he fished up the North Island and it was named the seat of Te Waka a Maui - Maui's canoe. The name Kaikoura means “meal of crayfish”.

In 1843, Captain Robert Fyfe built the first shore whaling station near where his house, built in 1860, still stands on its whalebone piles. Today, all marine mammals are protected in New Zealand and the whales are hunted with cameras instead of harpoons.

In the waters off the peninsula, a complex marine system provides an abundantly rich habitat for marine mammals and seabirds. The deep ocean canyons provide a home to an exciting array of sea creatures, including the Giant Sperm Whale. Whales live there all year round making this one of the best places in the world for whale watching.

Depart Christchurch and travel through the beautiful rural pastoral scenes of North Canterbury to Kaikoura, where the mountains meet the sea. A stop can be made to see NZ Fur Seals basking on rocks alongside the highway.

At Kaikoura, a whale watch cruise with Whale Watch Kaikoura is taken. On your 2 hour cruise, sightings can be made of Sperm Whales and Dusky Dolphins. Sightings can also include Southern Right, Humpback, and Pilot whales, as well as numerous species of seabirds.

Enjoy a café lunch in Kaikoura and then we will make our way to a lookout to enjoy spectacular views of this pretty seaside town, the majestic mountains and the beautiful Pacific Ocean. From here, a short drive is made to visit a NZ Fur Seal colony.

On your return to Christchurch, a stop can be made to enjoy some NZ wine and cheese.

Highlights of your day

  • The rural vistas of North Canterbury.
  • The coastal town of Kaikoura, sandwiched between soaring forest-clad mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
  • Whale watch cruise with Whale Watch Kaikoura.

Tour inclusions

  • Luxury, private small group tour
  • Travel by deluxe mini-coach
  • Fully guided and hosted with informative commentary
  • Delicious picnic morning and afternoon NZ wine and cheese
  • Kaikoura whale watch cruise with Whale Watch Kaikoura 
  • Cafe lunch in Kaikoura
  • Courtesy city accommodation pickup and dropoff.
  • Depart Christchurch at 7.15am and return approximately 5.45pm

Please note there is no hurry on this trip!

Download the Kaikoura Day Safari brochure.