Whales of Auckland's Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand

Whales can be seen during any season of the year in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf - much to the delight of tourist and locals alike.

Bryde’s whales

The mighty Bryde’s whale is resident to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park which means that they can seen in the area year-round. An endangered species in New Zealand, there are less than 200 of these animals living in Auckland’s waters.

A baleen whale (meaning they don’t have teeth but long keratin fibres!), the Bryde’s can be seen feeding on different types of food – krill, plankton and fish.

Sei whale

Sei whales are a migratory species found in most of the world’s oceans and seas. Reaching up to approximately 15m, they have a similar size and appearance to the Bryde’s whales. Similarly to Bryde’s, they also have a short dive time of approximately 5-10 minutes – great for whale watching!

Pygmy blue whale

One of the largest animals that have ever lived on the planet, the pygmy blue whales found in New Zealand are thought to live here year-round. The blue whale sightings in the Hauraki Gulf are increasing with 2018 being one of the best years on record.

Humpback whale

Famed for their frequent acrobatic displays, during migration seasons (start and end of Winter) there are chances to see humpback whales as they travel through the Hauraki Gulf. Humpbacks were targeted by whalers both in New Zealand and Antarctica but their sightings are slowly increasing as the population starts to recover.

Southern right whale

Southern right whales when seen, are often in shallow water and can be seen resting, feeding and playing. Similarly to humpback whales, southern right whales were targeted by whalers as the ‘right’ whale to hunt. Sightings of these unique looking whales are also increasing as their post-whaling numbers increase.

Over 22 species of marine mammal have been seen in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, so there are many different species you could see out on the water.

The chances of seeing a dolphin or whale during your visit to Auckland may increase by heading out on a whale and dolphin watching trip.

Tours leave daily and year-round direct from the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland’s CBD. To find out more information, head to www.whalewatchingauckland.com

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