Kaikoura Stories and Tips

A potentially disastrous experience in Kaikoura and the other way to get to Kaikoura

Let me tell you what might have turned out to be a disastrous trip for my companions and me, but particularly for myself. We actually went to New Zealand for work, and were expected back to Wellington for an early Monday interview. Since our whale watching tour was to start later on a Sunday, I had contacted Soundsair on Friday to pick us up in Kaikoura and fly us to Wellington that Sunday. The captain informed me that all the spaces were booked, but that he could order a bigger plane to be brought out from Wellington, and promised to pick us up at Whale Watch Kaikoura.

When I called him before our whalewatch trip, he expressed total surprise that we wanted to be picked up. He told me that his pilot was making the last trip at 1:00pm, and we can be there or be square. When I told him my name and reminded him of our conversation, he burst out laughing. It appeared he had ordered a plane for Saturday, and was expecting us to call him the day before. I am sure he must have sworn at us for not showing, as he did not even ask us to leave a credit card number or anything. But being a New Zealander, he revved up his hospitality and did not let us down. He agreed to come and pick us up after the whale trip, and take us back to Wellington himself. The trip was on a five-seater, and miraculously, he had managed to unearth two more passengers. Thus, we flew slow, and got another look at the Kaikoura Peninsula from above, as well as dotted islands of Marlborough Sounds before landing in Wellington. All that service for less than $40 a person.

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