Day 238 on the Road
Seeing Kaikoura’s Whales from the Skies!
Today we are whale watching by plane in Kaikoura! If you like this video and want to see more epic 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then head on over to our awesome YouTube Channel!
Today we’re going to be getting a unique perspective of the sperm whales of Kaikoura from the sky.
So it’s a brand new morning at the Dusky Lodge here in Kaikoura and today we are heading to the airport not because we’re leaving but but because we are taking a flight over the whales it’s called…
Whales… Wings Over Whales.
Wings Over Whales!
Not Whales Over Wings.
Now that we’ve got the name confusion cleared out we are making our way to the airport where we’re gonna be meeting the team from Wings Over Whales. But first let us show you a little bit the airport it is completely whaled out. there is whale fluffy toys there are whale pillows there are those toys where you shouldn’t ask me where my finger is and there is even some more explanations about the life cycle of the whales including some cutouts of fake whales so we know exactly how they live.
For more about that, Edward, which is gonna be also our pilot is giving us an in-depth presentation about the whole life cycle of the whales and what do they eat. It’s absolutely fascinating but we’re here for the flight.
It’s really cool to get some information about the whales before the excitement of seeing the whales and get over excited and don’t retain any of it so once we’ve learned about the whale the local residents of Kaikoura we are then taking off into the skies for the start of our whale watching flight.
Before we even get to see any wildlife though we are amazed by the coastal views around Kaikoura. the water is vibrantly blue and we’re seeing black sand beaches and a really rugged and rocky coastline as well. And our guide, Edward, has said that the first person who spots a whale today he is gonna buying them an ice cream which of course means that he must be fairly confident that he’s gonna see one first. And sure enough right ahead of us we see the full length of a sperm whale in the ocean below.
It’s a really unique experience that I didn’t see coming. I thought we would just be seeing a few small dots over the water. Maybe a bit of water spraying but we get to see the whole length of the whale because the water is so transparent. It’s absolutely amazing to be able to make out a few of the whale parts like its fin and its teeth. We can see the blow hole we can see the whole tail. It’s absolutely fascinating.
Because the underwater Kaikoura canyon is such an amazing place to get so much food if you’re whale, Kaikoura is one of the rare places in the world where you can see whales all year round. And in fact you can see that many whales that there is almost every single species of whale in the world that have been recorded here except for only two.
Combine that with the fact that our pilot is super experienced and knows where to find the whales almost every single time of the day and we get to see so many of them. In fact, during this entire flight we get to see five of them and that is to the delight of me and Laura.
Considering these whales spend about 40 minutes fishing in the Kaikoura Canyon and only about 10 minutes breathing on the water’s surface it’s really amazing the amount of whales that we are seeing on this flight and that’s really thanks to the knowledge of our guide who knows how to time these flights well to see as many whales as possible.
Also throughout Edward is giving us commentary through a microphone into our headphones so we can learn more about these amazing sperm whales as we are flying over them for instance they are the animal with the largest brain in the world. They’re also the largest toothed predator because unlike the blue whale or the fin whale they are not filter feeders they actually have giant teeth.
We really didn’t know what we were getting into when we arrived at the Kaikoura Airport. We had really no idea what a whale watching flight would be and we didn’t know how much we were gonna be seeing, how many whales we were gonna be seeing and how in-depth the commentary would be. And in terms of expectations consider our expectations surpassed after that tour. It was absolutely amazing.
After seeing four whales around the Kaikoura Peninsula, we got to make our way back toward the airport and while doing that we got to see even more of the stunning rugged coastline of the Kaikoura Peninsula, as well as the awesome farmlands around. We even got an amazing view of the beautiful mountain backdrop that Kaikoura is known for.
It was an all round experience and within only an hour we basically got to see everything that Kaikoura had to offer and it was a great way to introduce ourselves to the sperm whales of the area because we’re gonna go onto a boat very soon to check them very very much up-close.
Do you want to open the door? With the keys that you have in your pocket. Oh hell that’s painful. That’s what I have to deal with everyday.