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“Kaikoura Helicopters, New Zealand-- Whale Watching”

Kaikoura Helicopters
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Kaikoura is world renowned for its whale watching – it also boasts some of the most spectacular scenery New Zealand has to offer. Helping you experience this is Kaikoura Helicopters, the most experienced aerial whale watching company in the world. We can have you lifting off from our centrally located heli – pads and within minutes be in the spectacular environment that plays host to the magnificent Sperm Whale. From the comfort of our helicopter, experience this ultimate vantage point, viewing the entire whale from head to tail. Our exclusive alpine flights allow you to get up close and personal with some of the highest mountains in New Zealand. Land at altitude amongst the stunning Kaikoura Seaward Ranges and encounter 360 - degree views of this unique and rugged coastline. We also offer scenic flights, heli hikes, heli picnics, heli rafting, heli biking, charters, nationwide transfers, weddings, hunting, film and photography, gift vouchers, and more! Flying everyday!
Reviewed January 26, 2013

Wow, what an amazing find.
I just got off my Ship, went to the tourism office. They took a deposit and off I went for a breathing Whale watching Helicopter ride. This company is par excellent! A darling bunch of girls were there to have lunch with Daddy. It made for a precious wait of just a few moments. They have four sparkling Helicopters. The entire family are affiliated with them. Lee, our pilot gave the most informative briefing as to what we were to see. And explained how perfect they can time the whales surfacing. We hovered over a huge Sperm Whale until it dove with tail waving goodbye. And then straight over to a school of Killer Whales. They communicate with Captions of other ships to give them a heads up as to where they need to be.
The extra time was appreciated. They even drove us back to the dock for our tender. What more can you ask for? Thank you all for a very interesting day in Kaikoura.

Thank Stephanie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaikoura H, Front Office Manager at Kaikoura Helicopters, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

Hi Stephanie, thank you very much for your lovely review. It sounds like you had an amazing whale watching experience with us. Seeing Orca passing through the area is exciting, we are pleased the added time allowed a good sighting of them too:) Yes, Lee's girls are just so cute, they will make brilliant wee members of the team one day. We hope you enjoyed your journey on the cruise ship and thanks again for your positive feedback. Regards from the Kaikoura Helicopters Team:)

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Reviews (108)
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81 - 85 of 108 reviews

Reviewed January 25, 2013 via mobile

We booked the boat for whale watching and it was cancelled due to the sea condition (far too windy today). We only have a day at Kaikoura but all tours were cancelled. We thought we should give it a shot even the price is relatively high, so we went on the helicopter. In fact, it was sunny but very windy, we were lucky enough to get on a heli.

We saw a sperm whale and loads of dolphins, we also landed (we choose a 45 or 50 mins ride which include one landing). the view was spectacular and stunning.

The pilot was communicating to someone to get the whale location which is good so we have more chance to see the whale.

Thank WY_KWAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaikoura H, Front Office Manager at Kaikoura Helicopters, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

Hi, thank you for your great feedback. Your coastal whale watch flight sounds awesome. Arn't the dolphins just amazing to see from the air - you really appreciate the size of the pod. It is good to hear you enjoyed the stunning vista's from our landing location too. Thanks again. Regards from the Kaikoura Helicopters Team.

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Reviewed January 23, 2013

We were short on time and wanted to try a different perspective as up until now we'd always been on marine cruises rather than doing it by helicopter. It was pricey but it was worth it particularly since whales only surface for 5 or so minutes before diving down for food. The company keep tabs of whales whereabouts via GPS so you stand a good chance of seeing one on your trip. We were extremely impressed with the knowledgeable and professional staff. I would recommend this trip - it s definitely a good way to see whales.

Thank ali3smith
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Kaikoura H, Front Office Manager at Kaikoura Helicopters, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

Thank you for your awesome feedback. Yes, flying on demand is definitely a huge advantage. We like to give our passengers the best possible chance of seeing a whale, so the ground work is very important:) We are lucky to have Sperm Whales diving reasonably consistently here in the Kaikoura Canyon. Thanks again. Kind Regards from the Kaikoura Helicopters Team:)

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Reviewed January 23, 2013

I had the most amazing time flying with Kaikoura Helicopters! My family and I were in Kaikoura for a couple of days and were hanging out to see some whales. We went on the boat which was good but does not compare to seeing these beautiful sea giants from the air. You can see the whole whale from head to tail and can relax without having to worry about being sea sick... The helicopters are very smooth and the pilot Aaron we had was very skilled and just a genuinly nice guy who was very informative and made us feel comfortable. We saw two Sperm whales on the surface and Aaron let us know when they were about to dive so we could get those magical photos of the tail! We then went and saw hundreds of playful dolphins jumping, flipping and racing each other. What a superb flight, we definately recommend it to everyone!!

1  Thank KyleGreggor74
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Kaikoura H, Front Office Manager at Kaikoura Helicopters, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

Thank you so much for your wicked review. We love your review title. Yes, we totally agree with you, there is no other way to see these amazing creatures of the deep! And to avoid a belly ache for the day, is an added bonus:) We are stoked to hear you all saw 2 whales and hundreds of dolphins. I bet you have some nice photos! I will pass your positive feedback on to Aaron too. Thanks again and best wishes from the Kaikoura Helicopters Team:)

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Reviewed January 3, 2013

We decided to take a helicopter flight to spot whales, instead of a boat trip, as we both get extremely seasick. We spoke to a very nice person at the office about this and he assured us that in the past year, they only had 1 victim of seasickness on board, that sounded promising!
We were a bit hesitant at first since it is quite a bit of money. In order to try and reduce the price for us, he suggested we wait half an hour to see if anyone else would rock up, in which case the price would be reduced. No such luck so we went ahead anyway. We met pilot Dan, who gave us a safety briefing and told us all about the whales and why they are so close to Kaikoura year round, very interesting!
We climbed on board and just as Dan was about to start the helicopter, the office person came running up to us and gave us a choice: we could go now or we could wait 10 minutes for a 3rd person to make their way over. If we were willing to wait, we would be refunded $260.00 for the both of us! Decision quite easily made! I really appreciated them trying to save us some money. Especially after we found out the 3rd person was definitely going to go, whether she would be sharing the helicopter with us or had to wait for a private flight. Awesome work guys!
Once on board we could all communicate via the headsets, which was great. Pilot Dan was in touch with the whale boats and a whale-plane, to make sure we had as much chance as possible to spot a whale. Not long into the flight we saw a massive sperm whale, it was beautiful! We flew over it a few times and got some amazing shots. Just as Dan was turning the heli around, the whale moved its tail up, Dan told us this meant it was about to dive deep and we should get photos quickly, since he probably wouldn't come up again for another 40 minutes. We were very impressed with Dan's knowledge of the whales and how he could 'read' their body language! After this we moved around a bit more trying to spot more whales, but no luck. Next we were off to spot a large pod of Dusky dolphins, it was amazing to see them splashing their way around and riding the waves. The view from the helicopter was great as the windows are very large so there is nothing obstructing your view.
After 40 minutes we flew back to the base and I can honestly say, even if you don't see any whales or dolphins, just the view of beautiful Kaikoura would be worth the trip!
We will definitely do this again!

Thank Martine N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaikoura H, Front Office Manager at Kaikoura Helicopters, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review. We are pleased we managed to find you a 3rd person. Our mixing and matching of passenger numbers tends to work really well. The whale in your photo looks huge. I bet Dan was just as excited as you were to see that whale surface. We are lucky we very rarely miss out on seeing one. Isn't it cool to see such large pods of dolphins too. I will pass your positive feedback on to Dan. Thanks again and take care from the Kaikoura Helicopters Team.

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