Let Air Kaikoura show you, that "there is more to a whale, than just a tail".

Orca, Dec 2018

Whale Watching

Enjoy a panoramic whale flight, with stunning scenic views along the spectacular Kaikoura coastline. View the magnificent Sperm whales in their natural environment.

From the air, you can really appreciate the full size of the mighty Sperm whale.

You will also have an opportunity to see the playful dusky dolphins and other marine life on your flight. After we have found whales we will take you on a scenic flight of Kaikoura and the stunning surrounds that include the high Alpine snow-clad Seaward Kaikoura mountain range, and to the east, the deep blue Pacific Ocean.

Air Kaikoura is a small friendly Aero Club  which also provides flight training. Our pilots are also flight instructors and our team is enthusiastic about providing our customers with an experience of a lifetime.

Although no guarantees are possible, we do have a very high success rate and we are very honest about your chances of finding whales each day.

Duration:  30 minute flight time

Price:        Crazy Covid Winter Whale Watching Special!  From $119 per person!
Aircraft:    Gipps Aero GA8 and Cessna 172 - aircraft at pilots discretion, dependent on numbers
Location:  Flights depart from Kaikoura Airport, 627 Main South Road, Peketa, which is a 10 min drive south of  Kaikoura township on State Highway 1.
Check-in: Please call us on the day of your booking for a pre-flight weather check, if weather conditions look like

they may not be suitable. Otherwise, check in is at Kaikoura Airport 15 minutes prior to your flight.

Extended flight options available, from $129pp for 40 mins - just ask!

Maximum weights and minimum numbers do apply, all flights are weather dependent and at the pilots discretion.

- Meet the Team -

Kaikoura's Marine Mammals

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Sperm Whale

The Sperm Whale is the focus of the whale watching industry in Kaikoura. They can be found in the Kaikoura canyon year round.  June and July each year is the best time for multiple whale sightings.


Blue Whale

The Blue Whale is the largest animal to ever exist on Earth.  Over the summer of 2019/2020, Kaikoura had numerous sightings of Blue Whales, including groups of up to 8.


Humpback Whale

Humpbacks migrate up to 10,000 kms each year between summer feeding grounds  (cool waters like Kaikoura) and winter breeding and calving grounds (near tropical waters).  Most often seen in Kaikoura in the summer months.

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Dusky Dolphin

Playful Dusky Dolphins average 2m in length and in the summer months can be found in pods of  up to several hundred in Kaikoura. During the winter months they travel back and forth between Kaikoura and Admiralty Bay, in the Marlborough Sounds.

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Orca can be found all over the world although more commonly at the poles and in cooler waters. These constant travelers pass through Kaikoura waters every two to three weeks in pods or family groups.


Southern Right Whale

Southern Right whales were hunted almost to extinction in NZ waters.  700+ individuals have now been identified during continuing DOC studies.