As part of a 1-week road trip around the south island of New Zealand, we arrived in Christchurch late at night on Christmas Eve, slept a few hours at a hotel, and then hit the road early the next morning to get up to Kaikoura for a whale watching/dolphin spotting tour.
Whale Watch Kaikoura has the best reputation in the area, so we signed up for their mid-morning boat. We got so much more than we paid for.
The hundreds of dolphins they see are pretty regular, and it was fantastic. We also saw a sperm whale.
In the distance, we saw what looked like a partial breech, so the captain steered that way. It turned out to be a family of 4 orcas, and this blew us away.
We followed them until time to turn back and return to the shop, swinging by the rocks to see some seals en route.
Seeing how fast and how far they swam in such a short time really puts into perspective how TERRIBLE places like Sea World are. These animals travel miles and miles in a day, not just a swimming pool for a home.
Orcas have always been my favorite animal, and I NEVER thought I’d see them in the wild just by chance. It was a dream come true.