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“MUST DO!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Seal Swim Kaikoura

Seal Swim Kaikoura
58 West End, Kaikoura, New Zealand
+64 3 319 6182
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Ranked #2 of 32 activities in Kaikoura
Type: Water sports, Tours
Attraction Details
Brisbane, Australia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“MUST DO!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

These guys know their seals and they know how to look after you and will always try to keep their customers happy.

The day before we went on this tour they had to cancel as the visibility was not good. We were booked for a 9.30am tour and they gave us the option to change this to a later booking as they weren't that happy with the visibility but were willing to take us out and offer a 50% refund if we weren't happy, however our tight schedule meant we were going!

One thing you should all know - even if you aren't a swimmer, don't let that stop you from doing this tour. You are put into a 5mm wet suit, booties and hoodie - this alone will keep you afloat - mask, snorkel and fins, all equipment of good quality. Once in the water, if you are still uncomfortable (or let them know before you're in the water) and they'll give you a floating board to use. My mother (in her 60's and can't swim) was looked after brilliantly by "Dad". He ensured that she enjoyed her time in the water and even got her to put her head under to see the seals swimming closely around her - that's some feat!

Firstly, we went to an area of rocks that were fairly close to Kaikoura and known for seals but there were few there on our visit, so they took us a little way off to where they know of another colony, this was ~15mins further boat journey, sure enough there were seals for us to swim amongst.

The seals are not afraid of us swimmers, in fact they totally ignored us and went about their business, twirling round and round, cleaning their whiskers, rubbing their skin against the rocks and generally looking like they didn't have a care in the world. At times it was us that had to get out of the way of the seal as they obliviously twirled beside us.

We were in the water for quite a while (about 1.5hrs) and didn't get back on the bus till 12.20pm. Back at base, we had a hot shower, so remember to take your towel.

An excellent tour and well worth it!

Visited March 2013
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137 reviews from our community

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English first
Vienna, Austria
1 review
“Nature Lovers Dream”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

We took the Seal Swim and it was great! The water is rather cold, but you get good equipment and once you are in the water with the seals you will forget about the cold any ways. The staff is very experienced, friendly and friendly. If you bump in marine live other than seals they will take their time to stop tell you about it and let you take pictures. In my opinion a must do trip.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“One of my highlights of New Zealand”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

This trip was heaps of fun. The seals took some time to join us in the water, but when they did, it was amazing. It's too bad the trip is weather dependant, but they will advise you when best to go. I didn't have any snorkeling experience, but found it quite easy to keep the seals in sight most of the time. And last of all, it's pretty darn cheap compared to anything else in Kaikoura.

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Stevenage, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Brilliantly run exhilaration!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

Not only is the experience magnificent but the team who run it are so professional. A trip not to miss.

Visited February 2013
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Basildon, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Unique Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

Saw this when researching things to do in Kaikoura and thought this would be a unique experience - I wasn't wrong. I didn't realise how playful seals are when you get in the water with them. They love to swim close to you, sometimes straight at you looking you in the eye.

Seal Swim Kaikoura is a small family business (Dad Graeme, Son Matt & Daughter Vanessa), located in the main shopping street in Kaikoura. Initialy couldn't find them but I hadn't noticed the large seal on top of the shop!!! After being checked in by Vanessa I was fitted for my wetsuit by Matt (they will store any valuables/bags at the office) and then he drove us to the boat where we met Graeme. Graeme was very knowledgeable about the seals and was ready to try several locations to ensure we had the opportunity to swim with as many seals as possible.

My wife was able to come as a spectator (small charge).

On our trip we were lucky to find a location with 10+ seals all happy to swim with us. This was a fantastic experience and I would highly recommend Seal Swim Kaikoura.

Visited February 2013
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