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Dolphin Encounter

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Address: 96 Esplanade, Kaikoura 7300, New Zealand
Phone Number: 03 319 6777
Website
Fee: Yes
Activities: Swimming with dolphins
Description: Swim with the dolphins in their natural environment or watch their...
Swim with the dolphins in their natural environment or watch their acrobatic displays form the comfort of the boat.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 553 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 504
    Excellent
  • 35
    Very good
  • 9
    Average
  • 2
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
Magical experience - unbeatable!

My friend and I went on this trip expecting it to be good, but it was absolutely fantastic! It surpassed all our expectations. The abundance of dolphins in their natural... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 26, 2015
Sarah M
,
London, United Kingdom
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553 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015 NEW

My friend and I went on this trip expecting it to be good, but it was absolutely fantastic! It surpassed all our expectations. The abundance of dolphins in their natural environment, and the privilege to swim with them, was a really special experience. The guides on the boat are fantastic, very knowledgable and put the animals welfare first at all... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Epsom, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
26 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2015 NEW

These guys didn't feed the dolphins or do anything to entice them to us. I don't like tours that bribe the animals. We had to entertain the dolphins - if they weren't interested in the noises and movements you made they left you alone. If you looks interesting they came and swum around you! :-) Their environment - their choice... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015 NEW

I'm so glad I decided to do this excursion! I love the sea (I'm a diver) and have always wanted to swim with dolphins in the wild. We really lucked out with our experience. We went in the morning (which was spectacularly sunny, with calm winds - perfect) and found the dolphins very quickly. We had a huge pod (of... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
3 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2015

Our group almost didn't make it out due to weather, but the staff kept offering hope. At the last minute, and after a group vote, we made the decision to go. After a quick orientation, we zoomed to the boat and took off quickly to beat the incoming weather system. The seas were pretty rocky, but we made it to... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
22 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2015

This is a must do for Kaikoura. Well worth the money. I went in May which is fairly chilly and the wetsuits keep you comfortably warm in the water. Didn't feel cold at all. They also provided a prescription mask inclusive in the price which is great as I can see very little without my glasses. I had never snorkelled... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2015

Had an absolutely amazing time swimming with the Dolphins in kaikoura. The staff were all so helpful, even putting on a special trip when earlier trips were cancelled. Well worth every penny.

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USA
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2015

One of our highlights of our NZ trip. It takes a while to get going (everyone needs to watch a video, everyone needs to get into a wetsuit); then depending on where the dolphins are it may be a 45 min trip on the boat. But then the fun began. We jumped in and were surrounded immediately by dolphins who... More 

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Wellington, New Zealand
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
15 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2015

Our swim with the dolphins far exceeded my expectations. A very well organised operation – we sped through the process at the office as the dolphins had been spotted down the coast and the weather was deteriorating. Didn’t watch the orientation video but still felt that we got a comprehensive briefing which covered all safety concerns. Gear was good quality,... More 

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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2015

So, first things first, you are heading out into the open ocean, seasickness is a possibility if the ocean conditions are right so TAKE APPROPRIATE PRECAUTIONS! Bring anti-nausea meds and if the sea is rolling take them far enough ahead that they take effect by the time you are on the boat. The entire Encounter process is a well oiled... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2015

This is the second time I've done the Dolphin swim, the first time was six years ago. Since then the business seems to be even busier. This doesn't seem to have detracted from the friendly, helpful and passionate staff and the business appears to have strong roots with the local community. The whole process is very smoothly run and very... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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Shanghai, China
New Plymouth, New Zealand

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?