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Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
April 29, 2010
From journal South Island - New Zealand
Auckland, United Kingdom
August 14, 2002
Kaikoura is one of the few places where you can go whale watching all year round - weather permitting of course. There's only the one tourboat operator - 'Whale Watch Kaikoura' so your choices are limited and the price is pretty steep, about $100 for a 2 and a half hour cruise. It was a cool experience though.
You need to check in early with the Tour office to confirm that the weather and sea conditions are okay and it takes a little while to get transported out to the boat. NB if you get seasick like me, speak up and you'll be let on first to get the best seats. And mint lifesavers really do help.
The Captain keeps track on the latest sightings and you'll go to a likely spot to wait for the whale to emerge. If you see what looks like an oddly shaped dark stick lying on the water - that's it you've seen your first whale. It does get better. Once the whale's done a bit of sun basking it dives back below doing the whole tail flick thing that you've seen in a hundred photos and is now happening right in front of you. If you're lucky the whale will lift its head up to have a look back at you. You really don't appreciate the sheer size of whales until you see them in the flesh.
As well as about 4 or 5 whales we saw hordes, or I guess it should be pods(?) of dolphins. At times they seemed to be putting on a performance especially for us. And I think I saw more dolpins in Kaikoura than I did on an actual dolphin cruise in Pahia.
The trip is expensive for a few hours out on the water but I was glad I went. How many times in your life do you get the opportunity to go whale watching?
From journal Backpacking tour around New Zealand