Dolphin Encounter

Swimming with or watching the dusky dolphins which are regarded as the most acrobatic of all dolphin species is a "must do" experience while in Kaikoura. Pods of dusky dolphins ranging in size from 100 to 1000 are typically found all year round.

$90.00 - $170.00
$45.00 - $155.00

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  • Qualmark: Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Activity
  • Qualmark: Enviro-Gold


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.

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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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Get directions

Physical address

Dolphin Encounter , 96 Esplanade, Kaikoura, Christchurch - Canterbury, New Zealand.

Opening times

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 months of the year

Facilities and Features

Proximity to airport:
We are 2.5 hours from Christchurch International Airport.
Proximity to coach terminal:
800 metres.
Proximity to town:
Kaikoura is 2.5 hours from Christchurch and 1.5 hours from Blenheim.

Pricing and Conditions

Adult $90.00 - $170.00
(14 year(s) and under)
$45.00 - $155.00
Age restriction:
Other charges:
Watching the Dolphins is $90.00 NZD per adult and $45.00 NZD per child, Swimming with the dolphins is $170 NZD per adult, and $155 NZD per adult.
Further pricing information:
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.

Language support

  Written Spoken
Chinese (Simplified) YES YES
French NO YES

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