Kaikoura is a hub for marine wildlife in New Zealand. I have explored so much of the wonders of this beautiful little coastal town, having lived here for three months now. I have gone snorkeling with seals, swimming with wild dusky dolphins, spotted albatross, hung out with hundreds of seals at the local seal colony and today, had the fantastic opportunity to go on a private whale watching flight with Air Kaikoura.
Kaikoura lies directly above tectonic plates, meaning the coastal waters can get up to 3000 metres deep, the deepest coastline in New Zealand! This leads to an abundance of food for the entire marine food chain meaning that sperm whales that feed on local groper fish and humpback whales that feed on plankton can be spotted here year-round.
Air Kaikoura operates 40 minute flights in tiny little planes that zip around the Kaikoura coastline to watch whales. This is a fantastic way to view these animals in their native environment especially since from above you can actually view the entire whale (in comparison to the boat where you may only get to see the tail as they dive!). The flight was an incredible experience, from the moment we took off the tiny runway with just three of us aboard (pilot included) to the time we got to spend watching a sperm whale oxygenate before diving deep down to feed to flying over the Kaikoura peninsula in pure sunshine.