We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great trip, great crew” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dolphin Watch Ecotours

Dolphin Watch Ecotours
The Waterfront, London Quay, Picton 7220, New Zealand
+64 3-573 8040
Website
Improve this listing
Certificate of Excellence 2014
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: We provide award-winning, conservation focused and scenic wildlife cruises through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. Those looking for the thrill of a lifetime can join us for a Swim With Dolphins experience or our fully guided tours also explore Historic Ship Cove or Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary. A clean green paradise of bush and sea full of natural beauty, history and wildlife, all waiting to be explored and experienced with a Qualmark Enviro-Gold certified cruise operator.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Bratislava, Slovakia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great trip, great crew”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We were lucky to spot the dolphins quicky and got to water four times - each time interacting with dolphins. What I want to praise especially is the attitude crew. We had two kids with us, our 8 year old son went to swim but after two rounds got really cold. The captain spotted this quickly and the crew was extremely helpful, warming our son up with water and giving him warm drinks. We really appreciated their attitude and professionalism.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

125 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    102
    14
    8
    1
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Palmerston North, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

This weekend I went on a dolphin viewing trip with my two young sons (2 and 4 years). The kids were too young to swim, so I stayed on the boat with them. Wow...what a great trip!!! The boys loved it. We were lucky enough to see Hector dolphins and a huge pod of Orcas! The Orcas came right up to the boat and were able to view them for about an hour. This has got to be some of the best marine wildlife I had ever seen. The day before we went on a whale watching trip out of kaikoura but I enjoyed this trip much more. It felt more customised, and personal...not a big tourist trap. The staff were all really friendly and down to earth. We had a marine biologist in the boat with us, and the captain even let my son help drive the boat. He's still talking about it. Hot chocolate, biscuits, and kids activities on the boat helped make this trip pleasurable - I know it's uncommon for kids this young to be on the trip, but the staff went out of their way to make it work. THANK YOU! I would highly recommend swimming with the dolphins (although we technically didn't swim) with this company. Beautiful scenery, and no seasickness, as you are in the sheltered waters on the sounds.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Hello Dolphin”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

A very responsible tour operator. These guys observe the dolphin pod behaviour before you can go in the water. I really liked this as I was worried about being intrusive in the dolphin environment. We saw lots of dolphin. Also we had the skipper, two tour guides and two marine researchers on board. I guess you don't always get that, but certainly any question could be answered. Picton is also really pretty so it's a great trip to do after the inter-islander. Don't just pass through! (Blooming chilly in November tho).

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Wonderful trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

This was a great trip and we were excited to finally see some dolphins on our run back to Picton. The tour we did was much more of a bird watching tour, but we still enjoyed it. It just would have been nice to fully understand the trip. We would have liked to have know that we needed solid walking shoes for the island tour.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Wow - Amazing Everything”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

We have just got back from our tour and it has given us the most unforgettable memories and such an amazing experience..

This is a really professionally run tour with an excellent balance of providing an experience but respecting its surroundings and the wildlife.

The team are really friendly, fun and have very in-depth knowledge of dolphins, the surrounding area and other wildlife. Other local tour operators also help the team out phoning or radioing through when there are dolphins in the area increasing your chances of seeing them.

We opted for the swim and were lucky enough to swim with a pod of around 50 bottlenose dolphins.

The team are really careful about when you enter the water, monitoring the dolphins behaviour before allowing you to swim with them. This is good as you get a chance to take some pictures too.

We had 4 separate swims with the dolphins and saw so many of them each time. At no stage do you jump in to the water on to the dolphins. You are placed in the water a good distance from the dolphins and it is up to them to see if they want to come and play - they came and interacted with us. We liked this as it didn't feel like we were imposing on their environment too much.

The team keep you warm by filling up your wetsuit with warm water and bringing you tea and coffee and cookies. They take pictures also and publish these on Facebook for you to download.

The wetsuits are really buoyant so it is great for nervous swimmers. We loved it as it was in the calm waters of the sound.

We can not recommend these guys enough!!

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Dolphin Watch Ecotours also viewed

Picton, Marlborough Region
 

Been to Dolphin Watch Ecotours? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Dolphin Watch Ecotours, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.