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    March 13, 2018

Whale Watching Tour

Humpback Breach in Cook strait



Only Available to limited Numbers. 30 passengers per tour : Exclusive Tour 

Limited availability during winter, only during Annual Whale Migration 

New Zealand's First Whale Migration Tour!

Age Range : 16 - 95 


From May to August is a Fantastic time to go looking for whales in the Cook Strait as it is the annual migration of the Baleen Species of Whales 



1st May 2018 until 20th August 2018!


  • Humpback Whales (can be up to 15 per day)
  • Southern Right Whales
  • Fin Whales 
  • Blue Whales 
  • Orca 


Depart from Picton to Perano Whale Station for an immersive Experience 


We cruise to the historic Perano Whaling Station through the calm, beautiful and majestic Queen Charlotte Sound to the Tory Channel, seeing a variety of marine wildlife on the way. The Perano Whaling Station is the only restored whaling station in New Zealand. You will be able to see and touch actual machinery used during New Zealand’s whaling era.


You will experience a specially commissioned audio visual presentation that tells the stories of the whaling era in the whalers' old recreation building. See how whalers and their families lived and worked back in those days at this beautiful but isolated location. How they changed from hunters to conservationists and became part of the Department of Conservation Whale migration survey for 10 years. 


You will have time to wander the station to touch and feel the artefacts, go into the station working floor and actually touch the winches and machinery. Measure out a whale and hear the stories and read the Department of Conservation information on display at their facility. You will get a real feel of what it was to be a whaler 2 centuries ago.


In addition you will see a display on current whale research; learn about the increasing migrating whale population and the Cook Strait Whale Survey. During the 2015 season, 140 Whales were recorded in 30 days. Every year more Baleen Whales migrate and you can be one of the limited number of people able to observe this.


NEW !  Yealands Wine and Sealords Mussels available on Tours ( tasting ) 

We are working with Other Sustainable Local Iconic Businesses to provide the BEST that Marlborough can offer.

             World Ceataceen Alliance (WCA) Partner!

We are the First SMART DOC Operator to also become a WCA Partner to help promote Ocean Conservation on a Global Scale. 


Head out into Cook Strait to Look for Whales 


Get your own set of Binoculars and Whale ID cards and help to find a Whale onboard our fully covered and stable vessel. We stay inshore within 2km of the coast line as this is where the whales travel.


Experience what it is like to see migrating Baleen Whales as they travel on the surface in this whale hotspot. This area historically is where whaling began in 1829 as it was prolific and is the best place in New Zealand to see migrating whales over the winter months. This area had 10 operational Whale Stations as it was so prolific in Whales .

Now the Whales are coming back to their traditional migration route directly passed the old Perano restored Whale Station at Tory Channel entrance.


This is your oppurtunity to experince our New Zealand hisotry and our focus NOW on Ocean Conservation. 



            What an incredible and TRUE Kiwi Story! 



            Don't delay book today !



Conditions Note :  Going out into Cook Strait is subject to acceptable weather conditions assessed on the day from the Whale Station. If NO whales sighted then a $20 refund given. 


Departures :          0800 - 1300  or 1230 - 1730 (early departure returns to Ferry dock if required) 

Days          :           Sundays and Wednesdays. Other days possible for group booking over 10 passengers 

Starting     :           1st May  and Finishing 20th August 

Price          :           $145 per passenger 

Booking    :            info@e-ko.nz     Phone :  0064 3 5738040


A fantastic opportunity for a limited number of people to fully immerse in a Whale experience during an annual migration, see and feel the history, see the Conservation in action and go out to sea in a boat looking for the migrating giants travelling on the surface close to shore.

Customer Review ;

Trip advisior - 5 Star *****

19 Jun 2017Reviewed by ClarePinder1
What a great trip out to see migrating whales in Cook Strait. When we got into Cook Strait I wondered how we were going to be able to see any whales as the area is so vast. But Paul had it covered with whale spotters up the hill and they saw two large whales quite quickly. They surfaced about 8 times close to the boat. What an awesome experience. We also went to the old whaling station which was great background information. Put this on your list. But they only migrate in winter so book in quick.

Face book - 5 Star *****

Coral Smith reviewed E-Ko Tours — 5 star

Absolutely brilliant, we were blessed enough to see 2 hump back whales .The Perano whale station Is a must if your into our local history.????


Face book - 5 Star *****

Cathy Leov reviewed E-Ko Tours — 5 star
June 19 · 

We had a fantastic time yesterday - we saw whales! (and dolphins and furseals and all sorts of sea birds)



Commonly seen on this tour

Bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins

(Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphins are found throughout the world's oceans (except for extreme polar latitudes) and are frequent visitors to the Marlborough Sounds all year long. These dolphins move into the Sounds in large social groups, consisting of groups ranging from 2 - 60 individuals!

New Zealand Fur Seal

New Zealand Fur Seal

(Arctocephalus forsteri)

Population: about 200,000, half of which are in Australia.
Found on: rocky shores throughout mainland New Zealand, the Chatham Islands, and the Subantarctic islands, as well as parts of Australia.


Fur seals and sea lions are distinguished from other seals by their external ear flaps and hind flippers which rotate forward, allowing them to move quickly on land.

Departure Information

  • Duration

    4-5 hours
  • Briefing Time

    Viewing Only - 30 Minutes before tour departure


No 1 Wellington Street Picton
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  • Whale Watching Tour in Picton
  • Whale Station Experience
  • Whale Tour in Cook Strait
More Info

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Conservation Initiatives

Here at E-Ko Tours we are proud to follow the Marine Mammal Protection Act 1978 and the Marine Mammal Protection Regulations 1992. These ensure the marine mammals of New Zealand are protected and that their conservation is a top priority. Our interactions with the marine mammals of the Marlborough Sounds adhere to all regulations and our conservation focused tours are designed to educate and raise awareness about conservation in the Marlborough Sounds.