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Kaikoura Outdoor sports

Our most recommended Kaikoura Outdoor sports

Kaikoura: Whale Watching Flight

1. Kaikoura: Whale Watching Flight

Enjoy a panoramic whale-watching flight, with stunning scenic views along the spectacular Kaikoura coastline. Only from the air can you appreciate the huge size of the mighty sperm whale, a frequent visitor to the waters off Kaikoura. After a safety briefing and overview of your scenic flight, hop onboard for your whale-watching adventure in the skies. Every passenger gets a guaranteed window seat to enjoy maximum viewing of the ocean and its inhabitants below. On your 40-minute whale-watching flight, you may see sperm whales, dusky dolphins, humpback whales, blue whales, orcas, and other marine life. After finding whales enjoy a scenic flight of Kaikoura and the dramatic surrounding scenery, including snow-clad mountain ranges and turquoise ocean reefs. Whales are wild animals and sightings cannot be guaranteed. However, with 30 years of experience and extensive local knowledge, flights have a 95% success rate. Honest information on the likelihood of spotting a whale will be provided on the day.

Kaikoura: Half-Day Wildlife Kayaking Tour

2. Kaikoura: Half-Day Wildlife Kayaking Tour

Begin your adventure in the town of Kaikoura where you will meet your professional guides. Receive a short safety briefing and paddling lesson before being allocated all the necessary equipment for the tour. Head out on the waters of the beautiful ocean surrounding the city. Kayak along the Kaikoura coastline, where you will take in the magnificent views of sheer cliff faces, craggy rocks, and mountain ranges while searching for chance encounters with Dusky Dolphins and Blue Penguins. Experience the excitement of watching cute fur seals ducking, weaving, and diving around your kayak. During your tour, you will have the opportunity to paddle gently along with these beautiful animals as they swim around the Kaikoura Peninsula hunting for their favourite feed of octopus. This tour is suitable for all ages and abilities while operating year-round, and doesn't require any previous kayaking experience. Encounter a diverse range of wildlife on the New Zealand coastline and see some of the country's most beautiful animals.

Kaikoura: Dolphin Encounter Cruise

3. Kaikoura: Dolphin Encounter Cruise

Cruise along the scenic Kaikoura coast as you watch for dolphins. During the cruise, you'll be able to swim with the dolphins in their natural habitat or watch their antics from the comfort of the boat. Kaikoura is one of the best places in the world to encounter the Dusky Dolphins in their natural environment. The Dusky Dolphins are some of the most interactive and acrobatic species of dolphins, making them thrilling to watch and interact with. 

Kaikoura: Sunset Kayaking Tour

4. Kaikoura: Sunset Kayaking Tour

Join your guide as you kayak during sunset to experience the stunning glow of the seaward-facing Kaikoura Mountains. Have the chance to watch seals dive and maneuver around and under your kayak as the sunsets. Paddle with them as they swim around the peninsula hunting for octopus. Along the way keep an eye out for blue penguins or albatross and have a possible encounter with dusky dolphins. Your kayak is enclosed, safe, stable, and easily steered using a rudder. It's fast on the water, but still keeps you warm and dry. Your qualified and experienced local guide will teach you how to handle the kayak and paddle you through areas used years ago by local Maori and early whalers. Enjoy watching the light change as the day draws to an end.

Kaikoura: Seal-Watching Pedal Kayak Tour

5. Kaikoura: Seal-Watching Pedal Kayak Tour

Meeting point - Seal Kayak Kaikoura is based right next to the towns centre where you will meet your awesome tour guide providing you with all the gear you need for a safe and enjoyable experience, come early and try our delicious gelato or sorbet. After a short safety video your guide will then drive you to the best kayaking destination of the day (only 3-5 minute drive away) toilets will be available before heading out onto the ocean. A quick how to use and operate these awesome kayaks then off we go! Keep your eyes peeled as we never know what to encounter as we kayak through and around rocky outcrops viewing the cool New Zealand Fur Seals, don't be surprised if one of these special creatures swim right up to you. Blue Penguins and Albatross are a common sight on our tours. Our easy to use hands free kayaks are suited for all ages and ability's, Perfect for a family day out. Never used a kayak before? no worries! you do not require any previous kayaking experience. We look forward to meeting you and showing you the amazing sights and marine life Kaikoura has to offer.

Kaikoura: 30-Minute Whale Watching Flight

6. 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: Coastal and Alpine Scenic Airplane Flight

7. Kaikoura: Coastal and Alpine Scenic Airplane Flight

Enjoy a panoramic scenic flight, with stunning scenic views of the Seaward Kaikoura ranges and a birds eye view of the Kaikoura Peninsula. After take-off, we will climb to approximately 6000 feet to fly past the back of Mount Fyffe for some true mountain flying. Experience views of snowy mountain peaks, a waterfalls or a wild deer if you have sharp vision. Next, overfly Lake Hapuku, which is a direct result of the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. Your pilot will then descend towards the Hapuku river mouth and fly along the black sand beach towards the Kaikoura peninsula. Flying around the peninsula, you get to see that it is dotted with resident seals next to the turquoise ocean.

Kaikoura: 1-Hour Whale Watching Helicopter Tour

8. 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: Guided Family Kayaking Adventure

9. Kaikoura: Guided Family Kayaking Adventure

Hop into a kayak and paddle around the beautiful coastal waters of New Zealand for up to 2 hours. Take in the unique landscapes as you go or enjoy the thrill of getting right up close to New Zealand's unique marine life. Spot the curious fur seals swimming and diverse range of birds, fish, and more. Listen to a short briefing explaining how to gear up, paddle, and steer your kayak. Then with full confidence, embark on this adventure. The highly stable sea kayaks allow children to safely enjoy the kayaking experience with an adult paddling right behind them. Professional, qualified guides will remain close to you throughout the kayaking time. Take photos of the amazing mountainous region around you, absorb the sheer sublime rocks, and meet some playful New Zealand Fur Seals.

Kaikoura: Adventure Helicopter Tour

10. Kaikoura: 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.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kaikoura

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What people are saying about Kaikoura

This dolphin encounter was such a special experience, we saw what felt like a hundred dolphins, who were very playful and swam close to the boat. The cruise is run professionally, and all staff involved did such a wonderful job. They were warm and friendly, and consistently checked on the passengers to make sure everyone was happy and comfortable.

This was a FABULOUS experience!! Slow start to the day, but by the third, fourth and fifth dives we were surrounded by dusky dolphins. It was a once in a lifetime experience. A must do in Kaikoura.

Staff were very friendly and informative. They gave us lots of information before and on the flight. It was clear they were keen to find the whales too! Really enjoyed the experience. Thank you!!

Such an amazing experience swimming with *so* many dusky dolphins! Everything was very well organized and I would recommend this to anyone in Kaikoura!

Awesome whale watching experience!! Pilot and ground crew very nice and scenery spectacular. Beats getting bounced around on a boat!