New Zealand is quickly becoming a hotspot for the whale watching community, with several tour operators planning trips to the country’s coastal waters in search of the majestic creatures. But how are you supposed to find them if you don’t speak Portuguese?
To begin with, there are different species of whales in New Zealand, so you have to decide which kind of trip you want to take. There are the baleens, which are marine mammals that include whales, dolphins and porpoises. After all, New Zealand is a country that has grown to love and even produce commercials with Hollywood stars for the most part. That means that there are lots of whale related sites to visit while in the country.
You’re most likely to spot killer whales while taking a tour around the Bay of Islands. These marine mammals continually gather in the harbor of the country, seasonally feeding off the Auckland Islands. You can also tour the famous Sounds; these majestic creatures can be seen from the water when the Seas of New Zealand (the bays and sounds) are coated with bristles in the summer months.
If you want to see some minke whales up close, you can actually boat over to showcases and see them in person. Be sure to bring along a camera to capture the moment.
It’s been said that New Zealand has the best land based whale watching in the world, so you’re sure to want to watch these giants while vacationing in New Zealand. Once you’ve seen them close up they’ll surely be unforgettable.
Here are a few famous whales that you’ll find in New Zealand waters:
The majestic, long-necked and wings flapping whales are more than capable of dealing ignobly to larger vessels. Visitors to the Kaikoura Marine Park can even watch groups of humpback whales getting collective caught in gorges on the Kaikoura Peninsula.
While not many people are able to witness the birth of a baby afghan whale in their natural habitat, you can see their umbel rhythmic breathing during the Bay of Islands summer months. These months are considered the best time to visit this whale watching hot spot.
During the shoulder seasons in New Zealand, you can see the much-smaller-than-usual Bryde’s whale gliding through the seals on the coast of Hervey Bay. Bryde’s whales are also very elusive; they fade into the background while passing by Hervey Bay.
Visitors to the Kaikoura Coast can see the endemic New Zealand porpoise close to shore, too. While they tend to be most visible in summer, this species quietly cruises up the coast, giving up temporary sea home in the warm waters of the Kaikoura Peninsula.
The up-close approach of the whales is an incredible experience, just like it would be if you were actually there. But given the limited opportunities that whales have been given in New Zealand, you’ll want to plan your trip around baleen whales and the other marine mammals of New Zealand before planning to see any of the larger animals.
Of course, given the right circumstances, watching a baby whale seal a baby afghan whale is an incredible experience in itself. So if you’re in the right frame of mind, sitting in the right place at the right time, you will be able to witness the creation of joy – and maybe even ecstasy. If you miss the viewing spectacle of whales, the calm approach of a porpoise while paddling over the surface of Lake Tekapo, the flight of a majestic eagle over the edge of a cliff, or the complex social structure and dance of a bear meeting its mother, you may just be able to catch a glimpse of your next wave, as well.
The creation of joy and celebration around the arrival of a new baby is the purpose of a whale watching vacation. If you are lucky, you may be able to witness the birth of a baby or young whale. But there are other opportunities, too. If you are near a certain size or other aspect of the world, you can be certain that the marine life of that area is abundant and exciting.
Gruesome photographs are like leaves in the landscape. Once you’ve been through a few, you can’t help but be awed by the richness and beauty of life. And the end of the trip, whether to return to land or to travel to new land, is a typically endearing experience – particularly for children. They can’t wait to come home and fill in their formerly picture-filled rooms with more pictures.
But before going to sea, there are several other things to do while you’re on your whale watching vacation. Like the other whale watching activities, whale watching requires certain characteristics of your own particular strengths.