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Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch provided by Leisure Tours

Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch

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Update from company: This experience has indicated that they are taking additional safety measures due to COVID-19.Read more
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R 3 574,16
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2 adults
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A note from Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch
Follow the safety guidelines as issued by the New Zealand Government and maintain good hygene and social distancing measures. Do not travel if you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms. If the city in which you are departing from is in alert level two, then please wear a facemask for all transport.
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Updated 20/09/24
Overview
The Hikurangi Trench, just offshore from the town of Kaikoura, draws sperm whales throughout the year and blue whales, pilot whales, humpback whales, right whales, orcas, and dolphins in season. Look for these majestic creatures from a boat with the help of specialist guides on this memorable day trip. Besides transfers, your tour includes a seal colony visit and a wine tasting (time permitting): Upgrade to add a restaurant lunch.
Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    Cathedral Square
    Or, you can also get picked up
    See Important Information for details
  • 1
    Kaikoura
    Stop: 3 hours
    See details
  • 2
    Whale Watch Kaikōura
    Stop: 3 hours - Admission included
    See details
  • 3
    Why Not Cafe
    Stop: 30 minutes
    See details
  • 4
    Peninsula Seal Colony
    Stop: 15 minutes
    See details
    Pass by
    Christchurch
  • You'll end at
    Cathedral Square
    Cathedral Square, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
    We will advise the pick up location if you are staying in an AirBnb or a private property.
    See address & details
+
Highlights
  • Look for sperm whales year-round and other whales in season from Kaikoura
  • Spot other marine life, such as albatrosses, with the help of dedicated guides
  • See New Zealand fur seals at a colony and taste wine at a local vineyard
  • Tour includes hotel transfers: Upgrade for a package with a restaurant lunch
Important Information
Departure Point
Cathedral Square, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
Duration
11h
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
Inclusions
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Live commentary on board
  • Whale watching tour by boat
  • Lunch (if option is selected)
  • Fur seal colony viewing
  • North Canterbury vineyard visit and wine tasting (time permitting)
  • Entry/Admission - Whale Watch Kaikōura
Exclusions
  • Gratuities
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Additional Info
  • 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 travellers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travellers
Cancellation Policy
If you cancel at least 7 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee. If you cancel within 2 days of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee. If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
55Reviews
2Q&A
Traveller rating
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Travel34855117471 wrote a review Aug 2020
3 contributions
Well organized, lovely friendly and helpful staff. Onboard videos informative. Great trip got what we expected even though a cold day and choppy sea. Only issue anxiety and fear experienced when the boat went out into open water and was rolling and bounding around quite a
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Date of experience: August 2020
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Response from Canterburyleisure, Manager at Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch
Responded 23 Aug 2020
I am pleased to learn that you had a great trip, sorry to hear that the sea conditions on the day were a bit rough, however, it would appear that you enjoyed your day regardless.
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Maťa K wrote a review Jan 2020
7 contributions1 helpful vote
Thank you very much for this great experience! Everything was excellent, our guide picked us up at our accommodation, went to pick other passengers and travelled to Kaikoura with one stop for toulet and we ecen had time to go to Kaikoura lookout for the great view of the town.
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Response from Canterburyleisure, Digital Marketing Manager at Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch
Responded 15 Jan 2020
Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review for your Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour. I'm really pleased that you had a great time throughout your day and with your driver/guide as well. I'll be sure to pass on your kind words to him. Kaikoura is an amazing location in New Zealand, particularly for those who want to learn about about New Zealand's unique marine life including Sperm Whales, Dusky Dolphins, New Zealand Fur Seals, Albatross, and more. I'm happy that you enjoyed every detail of this tour and got to see so much of our native wildlife. Thanks again and I hope you get to visit New Zealand again soon.
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Colin B wrote a review Sep 2019
London, United Kingdom8 contributions3 helpful votes
The tour was marketed to us as whales + wine tour. When we asked the tour guide why we didn't get to a winery he said that they hadn't done that for 3 years. When we asked the tour company afterwards they said that the tour ran out of time. It did not - we sat in a cafe for an
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Date of experience: August 2019
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Canterburyleisure, Manager at Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch
Responded 12 Sep 2019
We received a complaint via email from this group a few weeks back and fully investigated this matter. We explained to them that this tour was never marketed as a 'Whale Watch + Wine Tour' and never has been. The winery visit on the way back to Christchurch is subject to availability, and on all our websites we have made it clear that the winery stop is time dependent. The Whale Watch boats departure time can also vary too, as was the case on this day due to poor sea conditions, and some of our other passengers had lunch booked which meant that time in Kaikoura had to be slightly extended. Unfortunately, by the time we left for Christchurch, the winery was not open and hence we could not make the visit. We have spoken to the driver in question, who assured us that he did NOT tell the passengers that we no longer visit the winery, but instead told these passengers that we may not have time because of the boats departure times, rough conditions, and due to the some passengers opting for the flight option instead of the boats. All these factors combined meant that the winery visit was not feasible. With all that promptly explained, they still threatened us with a bad review on all social media sites if we did not give them a sizable refund, which we felt was both extortionate and unwarranted - hence why we have this unfortunate review!
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M&L wrote a review Mar 2019
1 contribution
We just wanted to say thank you to Jeanine for taking us from Christchurch to Kaikoura on 7th February 2019 for the whale watching tour. We were lucky enough to see a sperm whale and a pod of pilot whales on this trip. Jeanine was our guide, she was really easy to talk to and
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Date of experience: February 2019
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Response from Canterburyleisure, Digital Marketing Manager at Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch
Responded 24 Mar 2019
Thank you for the positive review. I'm glad to hear that you had a great time on the Whale Watch boat. Pilot Whales are not very frequent visitors to the Kaikoura peninsula (they tend to come through Kaikoura about once or twice a month) so you are really lucky to have seen them. And thanks for the kind words regarding your tour guide Jeanine. She is becoming one of our favoured drivers here at Leisure Tours and it's great to hear she's receiving so many positive reviews. I'll be sure to pass on your positive review the next time I speak to her. Thanks again and I hope you get the opportunity to visit New Zealand again soon.
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CassandraBlackSun wrote a review Mar 2019
Melbourne, Australia64 contributions65 helpful votes
Not impressed overall. The driver Rob, was good .informative and knowledgeable However what was advertised and what we got differed just a bit Advert offered a fully air conditioned coach. What we got was a squishy mini bus, where a 2 seater was barely big enough for 2 adults,
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Date of experience: March 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Response from Canterburyleisure, Manager at Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch
Responded 17 Mar 2019
Thank you for taking the time to submit your review, these reviews are important to us to ensure we meet and where possible exceed our customers expectations. Your comments with regard to the vehicle have come as something of a surprise. You travelled in one of our new 16 seater VW Crafters of which we have several, and all are 6 – 18 months old. The seating is coach seating with standard coach spacing, the vehicles are full air conditioned and the windows are UV treated and tinted (this is only apparent from the outside looking in, not the inside looking out). Up until last week we had carried 1000’s of passengers over the past 18 months in these vehicles and have received nothing but good positive feedback. Following you comments I have arranged to have some independent tourism consultants travel in the vehicle to obtain some further feedback, as it was my intention to put more of these vehicles into service. With regard to the lunch I can assure you we are not blatantly profiteering off this portion of the tour. The lunch is an add-on required by some of our overseas wholesale suppliers and for which we pay the restaurant NZ$30.00. Unfortunately for all wholesale supply we are contractually bound not to offer product on our own website at a cheaper rate than is sold internationally and as we have to pay commission on wholesale sales there are many occasions when we actually include the lunch at a loss. We attempt to get around this on our own website by offering our customers a 10% discount for multiple bookings and if Kaikoura with lunch is one of the tours booked this 10% discount virtually covers the entire cost of the lunch.
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About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Leisure Tours
nathant544
00
Superb day on the Waipara Wine Trail
Had a superb day on the Waipara Wine Trail Afternoon Tour from Christchurch. I would highly recommend this tour if
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Travel34855117471
00
Beautiful day
What a beautiful spot. Had the best fish n chips in a very long time. Wonderful shops to brows through. Everyon
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Robert T
00
Worth a look
Interesting kitchen area and a lovely outdoor area with a great vintage car. Friendly volunteers giving a great ed
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Jamtraveltips
00
Didn't really see a whole lot
Our full day, small group tour of Christchurch began in Akaroa and was given by Ian. It took us about an hour and
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Camper715744
00
Giants House must see
We walked to the meeting spot once off the ship and boarded a small van. The van held about 15 people. We drove u
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Sharon C
00
Waste of a Day
Although the bus left on time and we were aware of the travel time to Christchurch, we didn’t expect to have only
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LynW207
00
Akaroa & Surrounds
We were met ashore in Akaroa with a friendly welcome and to our surprise we were upgraded and we got to go to Chris
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amandamaaike
00
Winery Tour
I went on this tour with my mother and 3 year old son, and everyone (driver, winery staff, and fellow tourists) wer
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BobC_Florida
00
Great Wineries with Great People!
My wife and I had such a good time. We ended up becoming good friends with everyone else on the tour. Well worth th
Read more
TheAdmiralW
00
A great experience sort of
I have been on many different wine tours and this was my first in New Zealand. The organisers did a great job and o
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geoffreym628
00
Cruise trip from Akaroa
Chris was a very knowledgeable driver and guide. He must have needed throat lozenges after this trip as he never st
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ChristineH2707
00
Dunedin sightseeing
Ross was our guide. He was very knowledgable and helpful. Highly recommend this tour. Olveston House is amazing
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debbiesZ1413UW
00
Lord of the Rings half day!
Quite incredible! Our tour guide taught us a lot! Went to scenes where the movies were shot and the Weta Wow worksh
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Frank C
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3 day tour Auckland to Wellington
DO NOT USE LEISURE TOURS. We booked a three day tour from Auckland to Wellington and paid $1308 US dollars. Day one
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100kaylaw
00
Amazing
Our tour guide Keith was fantastic - a great sense of humour and super patient with our group. The wine tasting its
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Key Details
  • Duration: 11h
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Free Cancellation up to 7 days in advance
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Pickup offered
  • Languages Offered: English
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Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch
from ZAR 3,574.16*
Popular: Booked by 687 travellers!
Frequently Asked Questions about Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch