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Updated 10:45pm 03 December, 2021


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Welcome to Albatross Encounter

Meet nature's most extraordinary seabirds close-up on New Zealand's wild Kaikoura coastline.

Your Albatross Encounter

Welcome to our corner of the world, where majestic birds soar and dive over stunning waters beneath endless sky. Discover many species of albatross and pelagic birds on your Albatross Encounter tour, an unforgettable experience in one of New Zealand’s most breath-taking destinations.

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Your Albatross Tour off the Kaikoura Coast

A short fifteen-minute boat ride out from the Kaikoura coast, and you're in an entirely new world, where you'll discover a large variety of pelagic birds including albatross, shearwaters, petrels, penguins, gannets, skuas, terns and more. It's a feeling of total freedom and wonder.

You're on-board a boat designed just for this experience, giving you the best perspectives to watch and take photos. With a maximum of only 13 others on each tour, it's an intimate and special experience that brings you as close to the wildlife as possible. For those budding photographers it's a dream come true!

Our staff, on-board identification guides and souvenir information pack, will help you learn about what you're seeing - or you can just stand back and let the wonder of nature overwhelm your senses

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Meet our Kaikoura Seabirds

Within just a small area, you'll meet one of the greatest varieties of seabirds you'd find anywhere along the New Zealand coastline.

The list of seabirds sighted off the Kaikoura Coast include five species of great albatross, up to ten species of the smaller lesser albatross (commonly referred to as mollymawks), ten species of shearwaters, fifteen species of petrel, and several other species of seabirds such as shags, prions, penguins, gulls and terns.

“Simply Awesome!”

“Simply Awesome!”

“Totally unforgettable.”
“Bestest boat experience ever.”
“The highlight of our whole trip to New Zealand."

When you encounter Kaikoura seabirds, you will leave transformed. Share the experience.

Kaikoura: A wonder of land and sea.

Kaikoura: A wonder of land and sea.

Kaikoura is a place of extraordinary natural beauty and rich history. Emerging from mountains and lush farmland, the Kaikoura Peninsula is a stepping stone to the world’s greatest marine playground.

Albatross Conservation: It’s up to all of us.

Albatross Conservation: It’s up to all of us.

We’re committed to protecting Kaikoura’s albatross, environment and other marine life. Our tours are designed to operate with the least impact possible. When you tour with us, you can be confident the albatross and the environment won’t regret your presence.

Get a closer encounter

Get a closer encounter

You'll be amongst friends.

See More!

See More!

Albatross, shearwaters, petrels and more.

The trip of a lifetime

The trip of a lifetime

That doesn't take all day

We Care!

We Care!

Learn how to help the wildlife

Refund Guarantee

Refund Guarantee

We have a very high success rate

Savour delicious local fare and waterfront views at our beachside café

A feast for your eyes and your appetite

Seabirds come to Kaikoura to dine in the food-rich surroundings. Seems like a good idea to follow their example.

In our fully-licensed café, you'll enjoy great locally-sourced coffee and cuisine before or after your albatross tour. Our spacious dining area includes indoor and outdoor areas, so whether you want to soak up the sun or take a little time out, you'll find the spot for you.

See what's cooking in the kitchen
Find us on the Kaikoura beachfront, just an easy 2.5 hour drive north from Christchurch

We're based at our Encounter Kaikoura facility, located right on the beachfront at 96 Esplanade, Kaikoura. It's an easy walk from Kaikoura's central township and accommodation.

Kaikoura is Located on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand, midway between Christchurch and Blenheim.

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Caring for Our Natural Environment

Caring for Our Natural Environment

We are privileged to have the abundance of marine life here in Kaikoura and we don’t take this for granted. In 2009 we established the Encounter Foundation specifically to support organizations and groups that are actively working on projects that result in improving the health of the natural environment through conservation, education and research.

We donate a portion of each customer fare to the Encounter Foundation to support worthy projects which make an impact on ensuring our environment is preserved and treasured for future generations.

Thank you for enabling us to do this – your support of our business is making a difference in a very positive way.