Bird Life

Sea Bird launches in front of kayakers on a tour with Kaikoura Kayaks NZ

New Zealand is the seabird capital of the world with Kaikoura being the best introduction to some of the seabirds that make New Zealand’s oceans and islands their home.

Kaikoura’s best kept secret is it’s incredible diversity of pelagic (ocean going) birds, with up to twelve species of albatross able to seen throughout the year.

Kaikoura has one of the greatest numbers of different types of seabirds within a small area than anywhere along the New Zealand coastline.

One of the reasons for such a large number of different types of seabirds in this area is a deep water trench (the Kaikoura Canyon), close inshore. Upwellings of cold nutrient rich water over the shallower coastal waters produce and sustain a dynamic food chain supporting a large variety of fish species, marine mammals and seabirds which is probably the best and most accessible pelagic birdwatching in the world.

Wandering, northern royal and southern royal albatross can be seen here, as well as many of the smaller albatrosses, including black-browed, Campbell, white-capped, Salvin’s, Chatham Island and Buller’s. A great albatross in flight against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains is always a memorable sight.

Kaikoura is also the best place to see Hutton’s shearwaters, because although they disperse around northern NZ waters and across the Tasman to Australia, they breed nowhere else on Earth.

From spring through to autumn, Hutton’s shearwaters feed in the waters around the Kaikoura Peninsula, and breed high in the Seaward Kaikoura mountains.

Often on our kayaking tours you can see large rafts of them on the water, preparing for a day at sea after flying down from their alpine colony or flying past in endless streams at other times. They also gather in thousands on the water close to shore in the evening, waiting to return to their colonies under cover of darkness.

Several other species of shearwaters are commonly seen, as well as prions, many petrels and other seabirds like little penguins, Australasian gannets, white-fronted and Caspian terns, and all three native species of gull.

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Vouchers available now! Choose one of our gift vouchers from the Booking Options.

Booking for a group? Group bookings cannot be made online - please contact us directly via phone or email if you are booking for a large group.

If you are having any issues booking online, please call us direct on 0800452456 or Int +64 21 462 889

You will need!

Long sleeved thermal top, Fleece, shorts or light pants e.g. quick drys, NO JEANS!
Sunglasses, cap, running shoes or sandals, drinking water, camera & towel.

If you have purchased a voucher then it is valid for 24 months from the date of the original purchase. To redeem the voucher, you need to book in advance by calling us on 0800 452 456 or by emailing paddle@kaikourakayaks.nz. You must also present this email with the confirmation number when prompted.

All kayaking tours depart from our base 19 Killarney Street Kaikoura off the water front "the Esplanade", 1 km from the Kaikoura Information Centre.

Look for a trailer full of kayaks and yellow street signs (:

Kaikoura Kayaks will endeavour to give you the best experience possible (:

Seal Kayaking

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Kaikoura Kayaks Sunset Tour

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Our Location

  • Address:Kaikoura Kayaks
    19 Killarney Street
    Kaikoura
    New Zealand

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