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Kaikoura heli whale watching tours return

30 November 2017

South Pacific Whale Watch is once again offering heli whale watching tours in Kaikoura after the region’s earthquake temporarily changed the company’s focus.

South Pacific Whale Watch started offering scenic whale watching tours just weeks before the November 2016 quake.

Immediately after the event the company’s focus turned to evacuating tourists and community members as part of the civil defence response.

Its pilots then supported local authorities and North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) with the Kaikoura rebuild.

Owner and pilot Daniel Stevenson says it is great to be offering whale watching tours again - now from a brand-new office in town.

Through working on the rebuild, he and the other pilots have been able to “tap into some amazing information from experts in the field of geology”.

“We are so excited to be open and to share our amazing heli experiences with the world.”

South Pacific Whale Watch Marketing Manager Hine King says the company has an amazingly diverse team, from a pilot with a background in heli fire-fighting and humanitarian aid relief to a marine ecology specialist.

Kaikoura is renowned as a biodiversity hotspot due to its offshore canyon which runs along the coast and plunges to a depth of three kilometres.

Stevenson says heli flights provide a unique perspective of the abundant marine life found in the area.

Along with sperm whales, sightings can also include humpback whales, blue whales, southern right whales, long-finned pilot whales, orca, common dolphins, dusky dolphins, Hector's dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and New Zealand fur seals.

  • South Pacific Whale Watch's office is at 72 West End, Kaikoura.
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