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Kaikoura is best known for its whales and dolphins but surprisingly, it is the place to see the largest wingspan in the world as up to 12 species of albatross can be found along the coastline.
The other birds sighted include penguins, gannets, skuas, shearwaters, petrels and terns.
The tours operate all year round and usually last for 2½ hours. The Albatross Encounter vessel has been adapted to allow for maximum wildlife viewing opportunities and the passenger capacity is limited to 14 to allow for a more intimate tour and to ensure that the birds can be viewed in closer proximity.
Fantastic photo opportunities
The skippers have an excellent level of knowledge about the pelagic birds you will encounter so the tour is not just for the avid birder but for general wildlife lovers as well. The skippers will carry frozen chum (fishy bits) on-board and this will draw the seabirds in very close, offering fantastic photo opportunities.
For bird enthusiasts, Albatross Encounter can offer a 4 hour specialist tour, giving the chance to see some of the less frequently sighted birds.
"Can't thank you enough!"
Just wanted to let you know that the holiday was a huge success – your recommendations of where to go, what to see and do, and who to stay with, were spot on every time and we are in no doubt that if we had arranged the trip ourselves we would have missed out on a lot. Can’t thank you enough! Highlights for us: finding kiwis in the wild by torchlight, seeing the southern stars at Mt John Observatory, jet-boating up the Dart, the various nature walks (particularly with Fergus, what a delightful man) and generally driving on open, almost deserted roads surrounded by endless spectacular scenery. Oh, and the seven whales plus numerous albatrosses, penguins, etc. Mike and Mandy Grocott