Thomas Bywater looks to the seas surrounding us in search of New Zealand's whales

A startling diversity of whales grace the oceans of New Zealand year round. Though actually seeing them requires a huge amount

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Winter: Humpback and southern right in Southland and Otago

Spring: Return to Kaikōura in the quiet season

Summer: Orca in the Hauraki Gulf

Autumn: First migration through the Cook Strait

A guide to responsible whale watching