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  • E-Ko Blog  
    Hector's Dolphin in the Queen Charlotte Sound
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    Photo of the Week March 31st

    E-Ko News
    Author: E-Ko Tours
    March 31, 2018

Whale Station Experience

Hump Back Whale Cook Strait

The E-Ko Whale Station Experience

Briefing times: 08:15

Trip duration: 4-5 hours

Price: Adult $99 Child $55 Infant $30

Only for group bookings of 10 or more passengers


This experience starts at New Zealand’s National Whaling Centre where you will learn about the history of whaling in New Zealand which was from 1827 – 1964.


Then 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 whaler's old recreation building. See how whalers and their families lived and worked back in those days at this beautiful but isolated location.


You will have time to wander the station to touch and feel the artifacts, go into the station working floor and actually touch the winches and machinery. Measure out a whale, throw a harpoon into a target and sharpen a knife on the original stone wheel! 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.


When we return to Picton Harbour you have the option to walk a short distance with us to the Picton Whaling Museum where you can see hundreds of artifacts from the whaling era and hear the stories that surround them. In addition we will introduce you to a REAL whaler who lived and worked during that historic era. You will be able to actually ask him about his first hand experiences working and living at the station. (Available subject to good health )

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!

Orca or killer whales

Orca or killer whales

(Orcinus orca)

Orca, actually the largest of the dolphin species, are an amazing sight to see! As with the bottlenose dolphins, we never know exactly when they will visit or for how long they will stay. When the orca are in, they are generally very busy feeding on skates and rays near the bottom.

Departure Information

  • Duration

    4-5 hours
  • Briefing Time

    Viewing Only - 30 Minutes before tour departure


Wellington Street Picton
View Map View Map


  • National Whale Center Tour
  • Perano Whale Station experience
  • Cruise the Marlborough Sounds
More Info

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.