Dolphin Encounter

Kaikoura is famous for marine mammals and birdlife and is regarded as the best place in New Zealand to view whales, albatross and to swim with dolphins. The Dolphin Encounter tour offers swimming with the dusky dolphins but if swimming is not for you, watching from the comfort of the boat is equally as special an experience. Tours operate three times a day in the summer months at 5.30am, 8.30am and 12.30pm and two times a day in the winter months at 8.30am and 12.30pm. Swimmers are provided with a full wetsuit, snorkel, mask and fins and only need to bring their own swimsuit, towel and small gear bag for their clothing, to take on the boat with them. Previous snorkelling experience is recommended but is not essential.

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Opening Hours

Business hours
    Tours 3 times daily in Summer, 5.30am, 8.30am and 12.30pm. Winter (May to September) trips twice daily, 8.30am and 12.30pm.
Months of operation
    All Year
  • Proximity to airport:
    We are 2.5 hours from Christchurch International Airport.
    Proximity to town:
    Kaikoura is 2.5 hours from Christchurch and 1.5 hours from Blenheim.

Pricing & Conditions

This tour is conducted in the open ocean and swimmers must be able to swim and preferably have had previous snorkelling experience. This will ensure that the experience is as enjoyable as possible. A medical disclaimer form must be completed for each swimmer and be available prior to departure. The age restrictions are 3 years and over to watch and 8years and over to swim. The tours require suitable weather and sea conditions to operate. Seasickness can be a problem so best to come prepared.