The Best Place And Time To See Whales in Auckland

If you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking an unforgettable adventure, Auckland offers a unique opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring presence of whales in their natural habitat. With its diverse coastline and abundant marine ecosystem, this city provides the perfect setting for whale watching.

In this blog post, we will uncover the best place in Auckland to catch a glimpse of these magnificent marine giants. Prepare to embark on a journey that combines the thrill of exploration with the serenity of witnessing these gentle giants as they gracefully swim through the Azure waters surrounding this captivating city.

Join us, whether you are a local or a visitor, in exploring the best places for whale watching in Auckland. Here, you will witness the wonders of nature and create unforgettable memories. Let’s delve into this unforgettable experience and encounter the incredible world of whales in Auckland.

When is The Best Time to See Whales in Auckland? 

January – Dec: Bottlenose Dolphin 

Jan – March, May-Dec: Bryde’s whale 

Jun – Aug: Blue Whale 

Jan – Dec: Common dolphin 

Jun – Aug: Dusky Dolphin 

Jan – Dec: Hector Dolphin 

May-Sept: Humpback whale 

Nov – Mar: Killer whale 

Jun – Aug: Pilot whale 

Jan – Dec: Sperm whale 

Mar – April, Aug – Sept: Migrating whales 


The Best Place To See Whales in Auckland

1. Bay of Islands 

In the months of May to July, the enchanting Bay of Islands becomes a frequented route for the majestic Bryde’s whale and orca. Additionally, an array of captivating marine creatures such as humpback whales, blue whales, and long-finned pilot whales can also be spotted in these waters.

2. Whale Island 

Whale Island, situated in the Bay of Plenty, serves as a haven for a variety of fascinating marine creatures, including common and bottlenose dolphins, orca whales, and pilot whales. This enchanting destination also offers the opportunity to witness the majestic presence of larger migrating whales such as the beaked whale and southern right whale.

In addition to its remarkable wildlife, Whale Island boasts tranquil waters, making it an idyllic location for diving and snorkeling adventures. As you explore the underwater wonders, prepare to be captivated by the serene beauty that surrounds you.

3. Marlborough sounds 

The Marlborough region, situated between the South and North Islands, offers a wonderful opportunity to witness the majestic presence of whales. Unlike the aforementioned locations, Marlborough has a historical association with whalers and whaling. However, today, it has transformed into a popular destination for people to marvel at whale sightings.

Between the months of June and July, when whales migrate through the Cock Strait, visitors can observe these magnificent creatures from a safe distance. Moreover, alongside the whales, one can also catch a glimpse of playful dolphins gracefully swimming. The chances of spotting a dolphin in Marlborough are impressively high, with a success rate of 90%.

4. Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

Orcas, commonly known as Auckland whales, frequent the waters of the Hauraki Gulf, making it an ideal location to embark on a whale-watching adventure. The Gulf Marine Park encompasses Auckland, spanning an impressive area of over 1.2 million hectares, which includes six marine reserves and 50 islands. This unique setting positions it as a favored destination for witnessing the majestic presence of whales in New Zealand.

A single expedition to the Hauraki Gulf offers an exceptional opportunity to encounter five distinct species of dolphins and whales, including the elusive Bryde’s whale. With fewer than 200 individuals of this rare species found in New Zealand, the Hauraki Gulf stands as the primary habitat to seek out these remarkable creatures.

5. Kaikoura 

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of whale watching throughout the year in Kaikoura. The presence of colossal Sperm whales is a constant delight, visible from the comfort of a boat or in a breathtaking aerial view from an airplane. Kaikoura’s location, blessed with nutrient-rich waters, draws dolphins and whales in abundance, making whale watching here an incredible experience with a remarkable 95% success rate.

Apart from the iconic Sperm whales, witness the majestic Humpback whales as they traverse the picturesque Kaikoura coastline during their annual migration. If luck favors you, be prepared to be awe-struck by the appearance of the remarkable Blue whale, the largest marine mammal on Earth, as it graces the area during its passage.