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“First time swimming with dolphins and sailing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Explore Group - Unique Experiences in Bay of Islands

Explore Group - Unique Experiences in Bay of Islands
Corner of Marsden & Williams Roads, Paihia, New Zealand
+64 9-402 8234
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Ranked #20 of 38 Activities in Paihia
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Owner description: Combine a morning encounter with dolphins on our Swim with the Dolphins cruise and an afternoon sailing the legendary maxi yacht Lion New Zealand...
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“First time swimming with dolphins and sailing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

We had such a great day with these guys! It was so worth doing the combo - seeing and swimming with the dolphins in the morning (though they kept swimming away from us) and then sailing afterwards. Some really nice scenery and the guides were really nice. My friend Laura and I loved Emma and she knew so much we just bombarded her with questions about all the marine wildlife, she pretty much answered everything. The swim was really cold, but you warm up after all the chasing of dolphins you do. They swam under us a couple of times which was pretty breathtaking!

Sailing was good fun, Tom the guide was a laugh and we made friends with the rest of our crew which was great. Gonna miss "The Grinder" from Canada!

Thanks for a great day guys!

Jenni and Laura

Visited November 2012
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12 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
1 review
“A Day in the Bay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2011

My girlfriend and I booked the historic, 'Cream Run' cruise with Fuller Great Sights and had an awesome day out on the water in the Bay of Islands. Apart from the frequent dolphin sightings, informative tour guides, and lovely, untouched beaches, the highlight was definately going for a snorkle to collect green lip mussels and kina with one of the crew Lawrence. Only wish the lunch break was longer so that we could of enjoyed the island paradise longer instead of having to rush back to the boat.

Visited November 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Unforgetable Day”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2010

We had a truly fantastic day with Explore NZ which will stay long in our memories! The staff are very friendly, knowledgeable and very professional. If there is marine life around the Bay of Islands these guys will find it. We immediately found a pod of bottlenose dolphins when we left Paihia. The dolphins were very curious and appeared to enjoy riding the bow of our boat, aswell as playing beneath and around our boat. It felt like we could almost touch them. The pod had a number of baby dolphins so we were unable to swim with them. However, this was the next best thing. Sadly we had to leave this pod and we moved further out into the Bay. It was here that we also found a large pod of common dolphins, who also greeted and played/hunted around our boat. We also saw a sun fish and flying fish. On our return to Paihia we also found another pod of adult bottlenose dolphins, which allowed us the opportunity to swim with them. With the expert crew advice of the Do's and Don'ts of swimming with dolphins we were able to spend approx 20 mins with them. This was an unforgettable experience, as they curiously checked us out/swam with us. Sadly we had to leave as by NZ law they have a 'lunch break' and so did we. We were dropped off at Urupukapuka island for our bbq lunch. I was very surprised to find that the bbq was very good with a wide selection of meats and vegetarian food available. Very tasty and just what was needed after a tiring swim with the dolphins. In the afternoon we boarded the 80ft Lion New Zealand maxi yacht, which Sir Peter Blake raced in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht race. The crew were again very professional and friendly and we were able to have a hands on approach to maximise our experience, if we so wished. Sadly there was not very much wind initialy. However the crew interacted very well with you during this time to keep spirits high. Later in the day the wind picked up and we had 'teak in the water' which was another memorable experience. I was also allowed to steer the yacht during this exciting phase. Awesome day!!! We would thoroughly recommend either of the trips especially when combined!! Simon and Caroline, England.

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