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Kaikoura Albatross Encounter

The aim of this adventure is to get up close to a diverse array of seabirds including petrels, shearwaters, shags, terns, gulls and the mighty albatross - these feathered giants have the longest wingspan of any bird!

Although famous for its resident whales and dolphins, Kaikoura's best-kept secret is its incredible diversity of pelagic (ocean-going) birds, the most famous of which is the enormous albatross.

In fact, up to 14 different species of albatross visit this area making it one of the easiest places in the world to get close to these incredible animals.

The action begins by boarding a comfortable boat (with an enclosed cabin in case of inclement weather) and heading out into Kaikoura's picturesque waters - often it takes just 15 minutes before you'll start to encounter the airborne locals!

As well as albatross (Northern and Southern Albatross are regular visitors), other large birds such as petrels, shearwaters, shags and even occasionally, some varieties of penguins show up too.

Your experienced guides will be happy to assist with identification and provide educational commentary throughout while answering all your questions.

Experience Includes

  • Albatross-orientated sightseeing cruise
  • Get up close to one of the world's largest and rarest birds
  • Complete guided commentary and helpful, informative crew
  • Light refreshments on board
  • Complimentary information pack on return
  • Transfer from base to the harbour and back

Experience Excludes

  • Optional gratuities
  • Food
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off


Daily, year round. Does not operate on Christmas Day.

Departure location

96 Esplanade, Kaikoura 7300.

Start times

9.00am and 1.00pm. There is an additional departure at 6.00am from November to April.


2.5 hours.

Terms & Conditions

  • Please follow the instructions on your voucher.
  • Children under 10 years of age must be accompanied by an adult on board at all times.
  • Management of Kaikoura Albatross Encounter reserve the right to restrict the age limit of those participating in the tour if sea conditions are such that it is not suitable for young children to participate.
  • Seasickness is not grounds for seeking a refund for the tour.
  • Albatross sightings or sightings of other specific animals cannot be 100% guaranteed.
  • All tours are subject to minimum numbers, the weather and dolphin behaviour on the day and at each tour time.
  • There are no special requirements to join a tour. All guests must be able to sit unaided, and board a vessel either from a jetty or using steep steps.
  • This tour operates with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 50 passengers.