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MietteMeg Jul 13th, 2003 12:33 PM

Whale watching by plane / helicopter. Any good???
Has anyone done a whale-watching trip by plane or helicopter in Kaikoura, and is it worth it? We have already booked a boat trip but we are now wondering whether we should also do an 'aerial' trip. We will be there in December.
Thanks for your help.

ALF Jul 14th, 2003 06:56 AM

I have never been on an aerial whale-watching trip, but it sounds like a terrible idea to me. A plane would be too far up to get a good view, and a helicopter would probably send the whale sounding if it got at all close.

A boat trip out of Kaikoura is great, and you are pretty much guaranteed that you will see a few whales, as well as dolphins, seals, and assorted shorebirds. They turn off the engines, and you can actually hear the sperm whales spout. I'm sure you can't do that from a helicopter!

Save the helicopter money for when you go to the glaciers, then take one up onto Fox or Franz Josef, where you can walk around at high altitude.

Tim_and_Liz Nov 19th, 2005 12:50 PM

topping... any other comments?

We only have 1 day in Kaikoura. We've already booked the 5:30am dolphin swim and feel that adding on a whale watching boat trip would be too much in one day.
Would it be worth the $$ to look for whales from the air after our dolphin swim? Helicopter or plane? Necessary to book ahead in January, or just see how we feel?

wlzmatilida Nov 20th, 2005 04:21 PM


I agree with Alf wholeheartedly on this Miette! (and Tim and Liz).

I've done whale watches in Monterey and feel that it should be done "up close and personal"....(I'd love to do the Baja trip someday where you go out in a Zodiac and are REALLY close).

While I love helicopter rides, I just don't believe this is suited for this type of viewing.

Tim and Liz..anywhere else you're going where you could catch them without trying to cram everything into one day perhaps?


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christellefv Nov 21st, 2005 02:16 AM

I've also often gone whale watching, in a boat, really up close, sometimes within 2 meters...! So for me an helicopter whale watch sounds awesome for the different perspective! But if it was one of my first times I would go by boat.

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