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Whale watching in New Zealand

New Zealand has the fourth largest marine territory in the world and it's possible to spot different kind of dolphins and whales throughout the coast of New Zealand!

Most common whales to spot in the waters of New Zealand are bryde's whale and sperm whale, but spotting orca or sei whale is not unusual. But if you're super lucky, you can spot some rare species too, including humpback whale or even blue whale! In these cases, try to get a photo and report your sighting to the Department of Conservation.

Best places for whale watching


Kaikoura could be called as a whale watching capital of New Zealand. This little town on the east coast of the South Island is a place where you can easily see sperm whales all year round almost daily. Also orca can be seen from December to March and humpback whales in June and July. Kaikoura is home for other marine life too, for example dolphins, including rare Hector dolphin, and fur seals.

It's possible to view whales from boats but also from air if you choose the plane option. Click here for more information.

Sperm whale | ElementsWorld


The beautiful Hauraki Gulf is home of Bryde's whales and orca. Some rarer species to spot is sei whale, when they come to New Zealand to raise their calves. Whale spotting can't be any easier than hop on the boat at the harbour of the largest city in the country! More information here.

Bryde's whale | ElementsWorld

Bay of Islands

There aren't any tour operators for whale watching in Bay of Islands, but Bryde's whales and orca are frequent visitors in this gorgeous area. So keep your eyes open for these giant friends if you're kayaking or on a boat there, especially between May and July.

Orca | ElementsWorld

When you're crossing the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands, you can also see some whales!

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