We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website and personalise content and adverts. By clicking 'Accept', you consent to the use of all cookies. To find out more about our cookie policy click here.



You’ve seen the iconic tail shot a hundred times, but no image can prepare you for the enormity of these magnificent creatures. Reaching up to 20 metres in length, Kaikoura’s resident sperm whales are the largest carnivore on the planet.

Kaikoura, a scenic 2 ½ hour drive north of the south island's largest city, Christchurch, is one of the few spots in the world where you can observe sperm whales up close. The largest of the toothed whales, they feed by diving deep into the ocean, rewarding you with that once-in-a-lifetime photograph! In Kaikoura, the resident population of sperm whales can be seen all year. Visit between December and March, and you may also be lucky enough to see orca (killer whales), while humpback whales can be spotted in June and July.

A variety of dolphin species can also be seen in the vicinity almost daily, dancing through the waters in pods as large as several hundred!

Because of the unique undersea landscape of Kaikoura, whales thrive here. The continental shelf abruptly dips into a series of deep undersea canyons and in addition, a warm northerly current collides with a colder southerly one. This causes nutrients from deep inside the water to rush upwards, benefiting everything from plankton and krill to dolphins and whales.

Whale watching cruises depart all year round, these modern catamarans are equipped with engines that create minimal noise, fantastic viewing platforms and special underwater microphones to track the whales up to 8 miles away. Alternatively, for a birds-eye view, choose a helicopter or light aircraft tour for an unbelievable view of these incredible creatures at their full, imposing length.  With an average spot rate of 95%, whichever way you choose to witness these majestic whales, it’s bound to take your breath away!

Contact us today and our Travel Consultants will be in touch to start planning your perfect bucket-list escape!

Enquiry Call Back
Place a quick enquiry with us
Why Choose Us?
 Inspirational Guidance, Impartial Advice
 Personal Travel Consultants
 Escapes Designed Exclusively For You
 Passionate About The Details
 Authentic Experiences, Unique Itineraries
 All Aspects of Your Holiday Covered
 100% Financial Protection
 Stress Free - Flexible Bookings


When do you want to go?

100% Privacy Guaranteed

We are an independent travel agency on a mission to make travel personal!  

To get things started, we'll need to ask you a few questions about your requirements and the type of experience you are looking for so we can create an escape that's perfect for you.

Complete the details below and we will give you a call at a time that suits you to get your search started!

When would you like to travel?

Benefits of using Sandalwood Escapes
  • ABTA protected & ATOL bonded
  • Part of Hays Independence Group
  • Tailored impartial advice
  • We support you at every stage of your journey
  • Available 365 days per year
  • 100% privacy guaranteed

This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply

Thank you. Your enquiry has successfully been submitted.

One of our Travel Consultant will be in contact shortly, however if you’d like to book a time that’s convenient for you, please click here

Let us know about what is important to you, please detail this below, such as:

  • The best day/time to contact you
  • The type of experience you are looking for
  • Your priorities for this holiday
Thank you, your info has been added.