A collection of Frequently Asked Questions about Wings Over Whales
How long is each flight?
Whale watching flights and scenic air tours are typically 30 minutes in duration. We ask that passengers allow 1 hour to complete their experience as this includes a pre-flight safety and information briefing and enough time to take photographs should you wish.
Am I guaranteed to see a whale?
Kaikōura has a year-round Sperm Whale and dolphin population, as well as other frequently visiting whale species. We have a long history of operation and a fantastic success rate. Our pilots are trained to spot whales and are familiar with their surfacing and breathing habits. We ask our customers to understand that these whales are wild animals, free to roam in their natural environment. Because we have no control over their movements, whale sightings cannot be guaranteed.
Can I bring my children on the flight?
We welcome all ages on Wings Over Whales flights. Each child will be fitted with a head set and life jackets if necessary. Infants aged 0 to 3 years of age generally fly free of charge based on weight, provided they are seated on a parent or caregiver’s lap. We also have toys and colouring in to keep little ones occupied at the terminal. Children under the age of 12 must fly with an adult.
What if the weather is bad on the day of my flight?
We recommend phoning ahead if you foresee weather being an issue or would like to check the weather conditions before your flight. Rain isn’t normally an issue for our pilots, however if on the odd occasion we are unable to fly due to high winds and poor visibility, we can reschedule your flight. Alternatively if rescheduling your flight is not an option, we can refund your ticket price.
I don’t like flying...Is there another way to see the whales?
Flying is a great way to see Kaikoura’s marine wildlife- it is incredibly safe, offers superb viewing and is perfect if you have limited time available. If flying really isn’t your thing then the Whale Watch boats are another wonderful alternative.
Are you wheelchair accessible?
We are located in a fully wheelchair accessible building and are able to take those with limited mobility on all flights. Contact the team to discuss any issues.
Can you cater to larger groups?
Yes we can cater to larger groups. Our two Gippsland Airvan accommodates 7 passengers each comfortably, each with their own window seat. Usually with larger groups we recommend booking in advance so that we can then organise the flights so that they run consecutively, in groups of 6-7 people per flight based on weights.
Our terminal is spacious and customers are welcome to enjoy drinks and refreshments or browse reading material if there is any waiting time.
Is there a refund if I don't see a whale?
Due to whales being wild animals in their natural environment South Pacific Helicopters and Wings Over Whale cannot guarantee a whale sighting. For this reason no refunds are given on completed flights. We do offer a second tour discount so please talk to the team if you would like to discuss this option.
What is the best time of day to see the whales?
The sperm whales in Kaikoura are found year-round feeding on the rich waters flowing through the underwater Kaikoura Canyon. They typically follow a pattern throughout the day of diving down to feed, then returning to the surface to breathe. There is no specific time of day that is better or worse to see the whales.
How can I get to the airport if I don't have a car?
We offer complimentary shuttle service from the town centre, which needs to be prebooked in advance. Contact the reservations team by phone or email to book the shuttle.