Albatross Encounter Kaikoura


18 Rankers Reviews

7 Face-to-Face

4 Bird Watching

6 Kaikoura

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Good shot!
Just another day at work
Good shot!
Feeding frenzy


Get up close and personal to the largest wingspan in the world!

The Albatross Encounter is a boat based tour taking you to visit up to 14 different kinds of albatross. You will be amazed at how close you get to the largest wingspan in the entire world!


Feature Value Info


Encounter Kaikoura

Commercial organisation


South IslandKaikoura RegionKaikoura


  • Bird Watching


Showing 8 reviews of 18.

Jacky's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Albatross encounter skippered by Gary. What a great afternoon. Gary was informative and made the trip so much fun. We were lucky to spot dolphins and a seal but the birds were truly amazing and so entertaining. Great value for money.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

batzi's avatar


Ranking: 7/10

I joined an Albatross Encounter Tour on 03/02/2012 6am with two other people. The conditions very quite good early in the morning and we had very good views on different Albatross species, Westland Black Petrels, White-chinned, N Giant Petrel and more. A nice addition was a flock of Dusky Dolphins. Mr. Melville was a friendly and knowledgeable guide.
Reasons for "just" 7 points: It was a pitty that I had to drag all the information about the birds out of Mr. Melville`s nose, because he didn`t explain almost anything about the fascinating ecology of seabirds or their identification. And he knows without doubt very much about the birds! That was definetly a crucial lack of the tour, because it is essential to educate people in order to improve the conservation of those threatened bird species.
Furthermore it is a quite expensive experience for 2,5 hours birdwatching.
Sebastian, Germany

Reviewed about 10 years ago and experienced in February 2012

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pepette31's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Recommended for anyone who wants to see albatross up close. I really enjoyed the tour, there were only 3 of us on the boat with the skipper and we saw lots of different species plus as a bonus Hector's dolphin.
Two reasons why I didn't put 10/10 :
* the price is quite expensive and the tour doesn't last 3 hours as indicated but rather 2 hours.
* using chum (bait) does garantee great birding, but it makes me wonder if it's not a bad habit for the birds, which probably have changed their feeding behaviour due to these tours.

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

Albatross Encounter Kaikoura responds:

Many thanks for your review! It’s great to hear you had a wonderful time and recommend the tour. I am sorry to hear your tour lasted only 2 hours as that is rather unusual. The tour should be 2.5 hours in duration. Can I please ask, where did you see the tour advertised as 3 hours?

There is certainly no evidence to support the belief that providing chum for the birds influences their behavior. The pelagic birds are consistently feeding around and following the fishing boats in search of food. Pelagic birds are typically a scavenger type of bird which is demonstrated by their behavior when near to fishing boats. We encounter a variety of species and varying numbers of albatross, some of which are identifiable by bands on their legs. If our tours had such an influence on their habits then I am positive we would be seeing the same birds day after day, which is certainly not the case.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact us at Many thanks.

Cheryl & Ged  Knight's avatar

Cheryl & Ged Knight

United States

Ranking: 9/10

Expensive but worthwhile if you want to see seabirds. Small boat and small group - so very good. Guide very knowledgable, enthusiastic. Saw all the birds we hoped to see.

Reviewed over 11 years ago

Wendy's avatar


United States

Ranking: 10/10

This pelagic birding trip surpassed all expectations with really great views of so many species of albatross and mollymawks, petrels, shearwaters, etc. The memories of all those sightings will remain with me for a long time and the opportunities for photography were extraordinary. Many thanks for such a wonderful experience. Wendy, USA

Reviewed over 11 years ago

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PaulJames's avatar


United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

This was an experience I was really looking forward to and one I wasn't disappointed with. Everything clicked into place - good weather, a flat calm sea, only three people on the boat and loads of birds. We saw seven species of albatross and had quite exceptional views of all of them. I've been on pelagics in Australia, South Africa and Peru but this was the best yet. I could have stayed out there all day!

Reviewed almost 12 years ago

Tim Smith's avatar

Tim Smith

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Superb 6am dawn + 5 different types of albatross. We were the only 2 on boat (but the maximum would have been 10).

Reviewed about 12 years ago

Peter Brown's avatar

Peter Brown

United States

Ranking: 8/10

Went on the albatross encounter and, as promised, saw several species of albatross. Birds were lured right to back of boat with bait. Boat was a little small which made viewing difficult & there were no bathrooms.

Reviewed about 12 years ago