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“One of the best wildlife related thing I've ever done!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Wings Over Whales

Wings Over Whales
Ranked #5 of 27 Tours in Kaikoura
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Adventure through the skies and experience the true magic of Kaikoura. Wings Over Whales are a Qualmark endorsed visitor activity providing whale watching flights, scenic air tours and point to point private aircraft charter. The focus at Wings Over Whales is to deliver a friendly, high quality, boutique experience to all customers where the comfort and safety of each passenger is paramount. The company operate two aircraft; a 4-seater Cessna 172 as well as an 8-seater Gippsland Airvan. Both planes are high-winged allowing each passenger their own window seat and unobstructed views of Kaikoura’s marine wild life and majestic scenery. Wings Over Whales are situated at Kaikoura Airport, an 8km drive south from the town centre. Located in an inviting log cabin terminal, customers can enjoy great facilities with on-site gift shop, cafe and rest room facilities. In typical 30 minute flight you will see the majestic Sperm Whale preparing for his next dive and up to 500 Dusky Dolphins playfully swimming. Occasional sightings include Southern Right, Humpback, Fin, Sei, Brydes, Pilot, Southern Bottlenose and Blue Whales. Other, less frequent visitors to the area include Southern Right Whale, Orca and the endangered blue whale
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Stroller parking, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“One of the best wildlife related thing I've ever done!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2012

If I could give this 10 stars I would!! I have been to the Galapagos Islands, the Arctic and many, many more places and Wings over Whales rates in the top 3!!

From the moment I arrived I was given professional treatment with safety first but a huge dollop of enthusiasm too!

My pilot was both a superb pilot but an expert spotter too! We saw a sperm whale, a large number of dolphin and three orcas (killer whale) - one of which was a calf. The orcas had caught a shark and were playing with it to teach the calf how to hunt.

I can very highly recommend this trip and add that the cost is very reasonable.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank Kate K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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202 reviews from our community

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Brisbane
Level Contributor
75 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Beautiful scenery”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2012

We were originally meant to view the sperm whales by boat but it was too windy, so we went up in the plane. The views of the ocean & mountains were stunning. We only spotted two sperm whales very briefly before the dove for a feed, so the whale experience wasn't that great but that is the luck of the draw I guess. On other days you may be lucky enough to see more whales & orcas (so lucky!!!)

Helpful?
Thank Jasmine300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great experince, awesome views of the whale.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2012

Everything about the flight was amazing! From the moment we arrived we were treated fantastically.

Before we flew our pilot gave an excellent briefing on the whales and the surrounding area's ecology which was very informative.

I was a bit nervous about the flight but it was smooth and I was very relaxed. There where only the two of us + pilot and he was constantly telling us about the whale and its surroundings.

The highlight was seeing the whale...all of it, you can see it in its full majesty and comparing it to the 20m (the whale was longer!) boat beside it shows the full scale and beauty of it.

After seeing the whale, we headed around the bay and saw dolphins and seals and a view of the bays.

AMAZING!!!!

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
Thank Martin A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wings0verWhales, General Manager at Wings Over Whales, responded to this review, January 26, 2012
Hello Martin,

Thank you for your warm review.

Our briefing is both informative and interesting and forms an excellent foundation for our Whale Watching flights. I'm very glad you enjoyed your trip. From time to time we have first time flyers who are not accustomed to small aircraft but once they are in the air and feel how smooth the flight really can be they are soon put to ease.

It is excellent that you got the opportunity to compare the Sperm Whale to one of the boats - this is a brilliant way of appreciating the size of our resident whales.

The dolphins you would have seen from the air are the local resident Dusky Dolphins. They are very playful and live in quite large pods.


Once again, thank you for your review.


Regards,

John Macphail
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Coast
Level Contributor
61 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“More than just a tail.....”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2011

Six of us headed up in the plane. Spotted a whale quickly and circled round watching him/her surface a few times before diving again. Could see the whole whale beneath the surface! Great views of Kaikoura too. Really friendly staff!

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank jellybeanbee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wings0verWhales, General Manager at Wings Over Whales, responded to this review, January 26, 2012
Dear jellybeanbee,

Thank you for your fantastic review!

I'm am very pleased that you had such a successful flight and got the opportunity to share the experience with us. Viewing the Sperm Whale from the air is memorable - seeing the Whale dive is the icing on your holiday cake!

Warm Regards,

John Macphail
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
176 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“going the extra mile...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2011

we had only one day in Kaikoura, the weather was rotten, winds blowing in from the Pacific, rain chucking down...
with my wife being very prone to seasickness our only chance to see a whale was from the air...

heli flights did not go...

wings over whales were concerned about the conditions (visibility rather than safety) but after some sweet-talking agreed to having a go and after a safety brief and good intro to whales in NZ we went off
the flight turned out to be quite calm, despite the adverse conditions and poor visibility
there was no whale in sight for what seemed ages, but our pilot did not give up and we got to see a humpback and a sperm whale
overall a great experience especially for our 10y old son who could sit next to the pilot!

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank KatMaNe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wings0verWhales, General Manager at Wings Over Whales, responded to this review, January 26, 2012
Hello Katja, thank you for your review!

Your patience paid off and when the window of opportunity in regards to the weather opened up we went! I am very glad you got the chance to see a Humpback Whale as well as a Sperm Whale! It is an excellent opportunity for a young lad to sit in the co-pilot seat of an aeroplane as well!


Glad you enjoyed the flight!

John Macphail
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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