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“A short Whale of a time!”
Review of Wings Over Whales

Wings Over Whales
Ranked #4 of 28 Tours in Kaikoura
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Adventure through the skies and experience the true magic of Kaikoura. Wings Over Whales are a Qualmark endorsed visitor activity providing whale watching flights, scenic air tours and point to point private aircraft charter. The focus at Wings Over Whales is to deliver a friendly, high quality, boutique experience to all customers where the comfort and safety of each passenger is paramount. The company operate two aircraft; a 4-seater Cessna 172 as well as an 8-seater Gippsland Airvan. Both planes are high-winged allowing each passenger their own window seat and unobstructed views of Kaikoura’s marine wild life and majestic scenery. Wings Over Whales are situated at Kaikoura Airport, an 8km drive south from the town centre. Located in an inviting log cabin terminal, customers can enjoy great facilities with on-site gift shop, cafe and rest room facilities. In typical 30 minute flight you will see the majestic Sperm Whale preparing for his next dive and up to 500 Dusky Dolphins playfully swimming. Occasional sightings include Southern Right, Humpback, Fin, Sei, Brydes, Pilot, Southern Bottlenose and Blue Whales. Other, less frequent visitors to the area include Southern Right Whale, Orca and the endangered blue whale
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Baby buggy parking, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 23 March 2014

We did this trip in February with our 2 kids (aged 8 & 11). We, like others, had our Whale watch boat trip cancelled. We rang Wings over Whales who were happy to accommodate us and their price for the 4 of us compared favorably with the boat trip. Before we took off the pilot does a really good briefing about where we would fly, what to look out for and a short video about whales. We all thought that this made a great introduction to the flight. All seats are window seats and our 8 year old was thrilled to be invited to fly up font. During the flight we spotted 2 whales, 1 for a short time and the other for 10 /15 minutes. What impressed was that it was not just a fly past but the pilot was able to fly fairly slowly, in tight circles, low down so that we all got a really good view and then fly the other way round so that those on the other side also got a good view. The other advantage about seeing a Whale from the air is that you really get to see all of it and can appreciate just how big they are. We were only in Kaikoura for one day and this was our only opportunity to see whales - thanks to Wings over Whales we all left Kaikoura happy!

1  Thank Struan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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165 - 169 of 230 reviews

Reviewed 19 March 2014

1st March 2014. We were supposed to do the whale watch boat trip but rough seas caused our, and all subsequent, trip to be cancelled. There was a refund on offer but we would have had to claim back from our travel agent in the uk. We were offered the Wings over Whales option at no extra cost. Glad we took up the offer. Weview of the peninsula with snow capped mou collected by Josh, pilot, who was so courteous and made us feel at ease about flying in a light aircraft.
We were so lucky to see the resident Sperm Whale on the surface for quite a long time. Josh gave both sides of the plane an equal opportunity to see it. Lovely view of it when it finally dived. Josh then found a huge pod of dolphins and great views of them, alas the time ran out and we had to return but not before a great view of the peninsula and snow capped mountains beyond. All in all a fantastic, memorable trip. Thank you Josh and the folks at Whale Watching.

1  Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

We had chosen a day when the whales could easily be spotted. Unfortunately though, due possibly to the storm which came through the night before, all we saw was a pod of 4 beaked whales who dived within less than a minute of us spotting them.
Jess tried his hardest to find the whales but without success. He also had no help from the boats, as none had gone out due to the swell. He was clearly as disappointed as us - but that's nature and there is nothing that can be done about it!
I thoroughly enjoyed the flight and would love to go back for another try sometime.

1  Thank AvonReflectionsC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2014

Superb service. Very friendly, honest and professional. We really enjoyed the flight. Yes its short (30 mins) but everyone gets a window seat and they promise that if you see something they will turn so you can see from both sides of the plane.

We tried really hard. We all scanned the sea, they flew really low. I am convinced if they were on the surface we'd have seen the whales but they just weren't there. Yes we were really disappointed but I guess that's the chance you take. The flight was 30 mins and the whales can dive for 45 mins at least. Its the luck of the draw. On the way back though we saw a huge pod of dusky dolphins. We circled left and right so we could all see them Fantastic. OK not the whales we went to see but a superb experience.

Thank S V W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2014

Took to the skies on 4th January 2014. Very excited as had been wanting to whale watch for a number of years. Flight duration 30mins. The pilot tried his best but couldn't find us anything to see... other than the whale watch boats out on the sea. So very upset at seeing nothing. Perhaps should have gone on boat trip instead... that way i would have got 80% refund if no whale seen and also opportunity of seeing dolphins and seals?

Thank DawnW10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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