New Zealand’s Ultimate Marine Experience

Whale Watch Kaikōura

Whale Watch Kaikoura is one of New Zealand’s top attractions, bringing nature, culture, history, adventure, and breath-taking scenery together into one spectacular experience.

Whale Watch Kaikōura is one of New Zealand’s top attractions, bringing nature, culture, history, adventure, and breath-taking scenery together into one spectacular experience.

An iconic attraction. A stunning location. A rich and compelling story. Sounds like something right up our alley. So we jumped at the chance to work with Whale Watch, first on a new app and website, and then on their digital marketing.

Listening To Their Needs

We first met Whale Watch Kaikoura at TRENZ, an industry travel and trade event. Lisa Bond, their marketing manager, was on the hunt for a new developer.

That certainly sounded like us. But our first step wasn’t to tell her about what we could do, instead, we asked what she and Whale Watch needed. And that’s what made the difference for her—that our team took the time to get to know her and what she needed as a marketing manager, and responded based on that. We both realised pretty quickly that we were a good match for each other. So we started on our first collaboration.

Enhancing the Guest Experience

We started on an educational app. It helps guests identify individual whales: teaching them about what they see, so they can understand how truly special it is. It’s been a big success, enhancing the Whale Watch guest experience and giving them the information they need to tell their own stories later. Even the local school uses it to teach children about their environment.

A great start. But the bigger and more exciting challenge was to come.

An Online Experience To Match The On-water Experience

Let’s be honest: the unique majesty and thrill of the Whale Watch experience can only be fully appreciated in person. But that was the challenge we were set when we were asked to create a new website and e-commerce platform. To do justice to that on-water experience, and to bring it to life on a person’s device as much as possible.

That meant immersing the visitor in the whole package. The visuals are an obvious start, and the website has no shortage of inspiring and inviting imagery, selected from Whale Watch’s exceptional image library.

But Whale Watch also wanted to share the stories of the area and the tangata whenua, and their relationship with the mountains, the sea, and the underwater life. It’s something that had been missing before, and without it, the visitor just can’t appreciate the full Whale Watch experience.

So we took what we’d learned, and we learned even more. And the result is a website which showcases the visuals, showcases the stories, but also grows online bookings and delivers on clear KPIs.

It also provides a much better experience for the visitor. The user interface and content is simpler, and vital tools such as the cruise status and sailing schedule are displayed front and centre. This key information also shows up on screens in the Whale Watch booking centre, and is automatically delivered to regional partners, reducing demand on the Whale Watch team.

An Ongoing Partnership

The partnership hasn’t stopped there. Whale Watch recognises how important it is to keep a website operating as well as, or better, than it did on day one. So we provide SEO support and reporting on an ongoing business, ensuring that the website is serving customers well and achieving Whale Watch’s goals.

And we’ve also partnered with them on their digital marketing, including AdWords and social media. That work has been a big success, delivering them higher conversion rates than what they’d had before.

We enjoy working with Whale Watch. They’re already a success, so the challenge is to help them succeed even further.

And we love the way the Kaikoura community works together. They’ve always been a very proactive, positive community that supports each other, and it’s an honour to be part of that.

traffic year-on-year

71% increase

new visitors year-on-year

61% increase

app downloads


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