Wildlife Encounter Kaikoura

Departing Christchurch aboard the Coastal Pacific, our overnight package will take you to the quaint seaside town of Kaikoura for an unforgettable day out with Dusky Dolphins and the world's largest seabirds.

Encounter Kaikoura Dolphins 1000x680

Discover mesmerising sealife:

Encounter dusky dolphins & the  world's largest seabirds

From $758* per person

*One night, based on share twin, travel 15 December to 3 May 2021, enquire today for other travel dates


Setting off in the early morning from Christchurch, your journey begins on the Coastal Pacific train soaking up the scenery. Then, in the afternoon you'll be heading out to sea to enjoy the world's largest seabird - the albatross. On day two you'll enjoy Dusky Dolphins as they captivate your heart with their acrobatic ability and energy.  Often described as the most incredible dolphin show you are likely to see. There is the option to swim with the dolpins, ask your consultant when booking this package.

Day 1: Morning

While you relax with Morning Tea aboard the Coastal Pacific, we'll be taking you on a journey across the mighty Canterbury Plains, where you'll see the Southern Alps dominating the horizon. We'll then weave through rural New Zealand, heading through Amberley and Waipara, past traditional farmsteads and frolicking sheep. From these flat pastures, we join the broad Conway River, following its course through a narrow forested valley as it flows into the Pacific Ocean. The final stage of this magnificent journey straddles the wild beaches of Oaro, before tunneling through the mountains and out onto the vast Kaikōura plains.

On arrival into Kaikōura, you'll be greeted and transferred to your accommodation where you'll be able to drop off your luggage, stretch the legs, grab a coffee/bite to eat before heading out on the Albatross Experience.


Coastal Pacific cruises along the beach near Oaro
Looking down over Kaikoura from the lookout


Day 1: Afternoon

After checking in to your accommodation, you'll have time to take a stroll around Kaikōura, perhaps enjoying a spot of shopping or a light lunch at one the many cafes.

Early afternoon, you'll check-in for your great albatross adventure. Be sure to wear seafaring clothes - flat-bottomed shoes, jacket, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen. The boats are filled with comfortable seating, but you'll want to be outside to meet these feathered giants with the longest wingspan of any bird up close!

Your Albatross Experience

An amazing sight to see - as these majestic birds soar and dive over stunning waters beneath endless sky.  Just a short fifteen-minute boat ride out from the Kaikoura coast, and you're in an entirely new world, where you'll discover a large variety of pelagic birds including albatross, shearwaters, petrels, penguins, gannets, skuas, terns and more. It's a feeling of total freedom and wonder.

You're on-board a boat designed just for this experience, giving you the best perspectives to watch and take photos. With a maximum of only 13 others on each tour, it's an intimate and special experience that brings you as close to the wildlife as possible. For those budding photographers it's a dream come true!

The onboard crew will help you learn about what you're seeing - or you can just stand back and let the wonder of nature overwhelm your senses. 


Day 2: Morning

Following an early breakfast at your accommodation and check-out, you'll head off to Dolphin Encounter to interact with the incredible dusky dolphins in their natural environment. There is also the opportunity to swim with the dusky dolphins (ask your travel consultant at the time of booking).

Dusky dolphins can be seen year-round in Kaikoura. Travelling in pods, you can usually see anything from several hundred to over a thousand dolphins.

The Dusky dolphins are easy to spot as their dorsal fin is not hooked and rather blunt. They are a bluish-black colour on the back and tail and white on the underside of the body.


Day 2: Afternoon

In the early afternoon, you'll be collected from your previous night's accommodation along with your luggage by a local guide and taken on a 2-hour tour of Kaikōura, visiting places of interest and learning more about this amazing town and its history. Venture out onto the rocks famously raised during the 2016 earthquake. Stroll around to Kaikōura famous seal colony. Head up to the viewpoint for dramatic 360° views of the town and the Kaikōura peninsula. Everywhere you go, stunning views of the Kaikoura mountains will dominate the northern horizon. There are few places on Earth that leave such a lasting impression.

After your guided tour, you will be returned to the Kaikōura train station where the Coastal Pacific will return to carry you back to Christchurch for the early evening. Relax and enjoy stunning views of the Canterbury countryside as the sun descends over the mountains. During the journey, you'll be treated to Dinner while watching the sun go down over Canterbury, with the option of buying additional drinks from the licensed cafe to say "Cheers" to a fantastic couple of days.



You can choose your accommodation from the following options when booking this package.

Kaikōura Boutique Hotel: 4-Star

Kaikoura Boutique HotelKaikoura Bourique HotelKaikoura Bourique Hotel

Kaikōura Boutique Hotel is located on the waterfront within walkable distance of the local shops and restaurants. Stylish and comfortable rooms, a dining room serving breakfast - and Pheonix Champagne Bar!

Offering super luxurious and stunning rooms with ultra-comfortable king beds, superior linen, bespoke furniture, stunning interior design, designer bathrooms, rain-water shower-head, New Zealand made luxury pamper products, 42" flat screen smart TV, mini bar, fridge, tea & coffee making facilities.

Room type: Junior Waterfront King


Anchor Inn Motel Kaikōura: 4-Star

Anchor Inn at duskAnchor Inn HotelAnchor Inn Executive Suite

The Anchor Inn Motel is a modern and stylish motel superbly located on the Kaikōura waterfront, with rooms enjoying magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean and the mighty Kaikōura ranges.

Within close proximity to the town centre and some of Kaikōura's best restaurants, you couldn't wish for a more convenient place to stay. All rooms offer outside seating, couches in lounge, dining table, kitchenettes, ensuite showers or baths and large screen TVs with 51 channel cable TV.

Room type: Luxury Ocean View King/Queen




The minimum age limit for children travelling on a Dolphin tour is 3yrs+, although Encounter Kaikōura maintains the right to raise the age limit depending on sea and weather conditions at the time of check-in. This decision is made by the skipper of the scheduled vessel.

During times of high demand, if the advertised package hotel is not available, a substitution of a similar standard hotel may be made to complete the package.

What's included:

  • Return travel on Coastal Pacific
  • COASTAL PACIFIC Morning tea
  • dolphin Encounter tour Kaikōura
  • albatross Encounter tour Kaikōura
  • 2-hour tour of Kaikōura
  • One night's accommodation
  • Breakfast at your accommodation
  • Transfers between train and accommodation



All enquiries

0800 872 467

Overseas:  +64 4495 0775

Option 4 •  Mon-Fri •  08:00 - 17:00

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