Known around the world as a pelagic birdlife hotspot, Kaikoura is one of the best places in New Zealand for encounters with the noble albatross.
The vast offshore underwater canyon system just off of the Kaikoura coastline makes for hugely nutrient rich waters which in turn attract a plethora of marine life. Taking to the water with Albatross Encounter gets you an up close and personal viewing experience on a purpose built vessel with expert guides and only 14 passengers in total. The sheer variety of albatross found here is outstanding and as a general rule from the greater albatross family you should expect to encounter Gibson's wandering albatross, snowy wandering albatross, Antipodean wandering albatross, southern royal albatross, northern royal albatross while from the lesser family Campbell Island albatross, Sub Antarctic albatross, New Zealand white capped albatross, Salvin's albatross, Chatham Island albatross, yellow-nosed and Buller's albatross are in abundance.
However, this is just the start in terms of accessible birdlife and it is also entirely probable that you may see shearwaters such as Hutton's, sooty, Buller's and fluttering as well as diving, grey, Westland, Cape, white-chinned and giant northern petrels. Add to the list the fairy prion, black shag, pied shag, little shag, Australian gannets and blue penguins and you have an extensive array of superb pelagic life just 15 minutes offshore ensuring maximum wildlife viewing opportunities.