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Dolphin Encounter

Features Animals
Closed Now: 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Open today: 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM

Dolphin Encounter
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  • Excellent92%
  • Very good5%
  • Average1%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
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Swim with the dolphins in their natural environment or watch their acrobatic displays form the comfort of the boat.
Closed Now
Hours Today: 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
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Suggested duration: More than 3 hours
96 Esplanade, Kaikoura 7300, New Zealand
+64 3-319 6777
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Reviews (1,235)
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All reviews wild dolphins swim with the dolphins hot chocolate new zealand amazing experience wet suits open ocean underwater camera once in a lifetime cold water safety video the staff were great bucket list biscuits got sick waiting list highlight of our trip
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1 - 10 of 1,068 reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago

Outstanding experience, absolutely incredible being so close to a dolphin and having that interaction with it spinning round in a circle. Making noises to attract them. Water was very cold however you are to mesmerised by the dolphins to notice. Saw lots of babies and...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank Wilfamalam
Reviewed 4 days ago

We had the best time on this trip - saw huge numbers of dolphins and they were in shallower water on a sunny day, so you could see them swimming below you really clearly. The staff are amazingly efficient in getting you all kitted out...More

Date of experience: February 2018
Thank Alyson B
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Swimming with wild dolphins in the ocean... It was as amazing as it sounds. We saw 100s of dolphins and swimming with them was unreal. The staff were all really friendly and helpful. The equipment provided was good quality and in good condition. Don't even...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank rockriffroger
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Saw a pod of 100's of dolphins. Got in the water with them 5 times. Seeing the dolphins in the water was incredible. However, I am a strong swimmer and have done plenty of snorkeling, but actually found it quite overwhelming in the water with...More

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Helen H
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Still on an absolute high after our swim with the dusky dolphins this morning! We were on the 5.30am boat, and despite the waves/swell being ‘moderate’ (meaning it was fairly choppy on the boat and in the water for swimming), it wasn’t hard for us...More

Date of experience: January 2019
1  Thank lisaloumarshall
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Had a fantastic day seeing how these wonderful creatures swim and play. We didn't have the opportunity to swim with them but we were not disappointed by just watching them. We saw 100's of dolphins doing flips and swimming along the side of the boat....More

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank v_naish
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

NEVER expected this much fun in 55 degree water! I could only book the zero dark thirty tour, but no matter, dolphins evidently arise earlier than humans and they showed up for the party. Very professional organization with amazingly chipper staff. Equipment in great shape...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank eskom01
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

One of the highlights of our 2 month holiday in New Zealand! Great equipment (wetsuit, snorkel). It was cold, so a good wetsuit was needed. Friendly guide on the boat. Clear explanation before and during the trip. Hot drink on board. Small group. We could...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank 1989matthiash
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

From the get go this was an amazing experience, If you are a swimmer like us they set you up with all your wet suit, snorkel and flippers. You then go into a briefing video on what happens on the tours, safety etc then head...More

Date of experience: January 2019
1  Thank Keisha E
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We went on the earliest tour of the day which was an early start but well worth it! The tour is very well organised and you can see why it is so popular. We were very quickly given our equipment and shown an information video...More

Date of experience: December 2018
1  Thank 886AndrewR
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Questions & Answers
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September 12, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from 737elizak | Reviewed this property |
We saw some whales from the dolphin boat but I don’t know if that Halle a every time. The dolphin swim is worth it
September 12, 2018|
Response from DolphinEncounter | Property representative |
Hi there, thanks for your enquiry; great to hear that you are planning a visit! We are not permitted to view whales on our tour so to swim with dolphins and view whales you would need to do our tour and a trip with Whale... More
January 12, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from DolphinEncounter | Property representative |
Hi Melissa Not sure how we missed your question sorry! The answers you have received are spot on - book as far ahead as you are able! :-) April is quite a busy time of year and tours are often waitlisting. Also that... More
Travel Forum Posts
Manila, Philippines
South Island in 13 days - August (1 Replies)
Hi everyone, I will be travelling to South Island with my 2 friends. We will be flying from Auckland to Christchurch mid August arriving at 9AM and returning from Queenstown to Australia at 6PM, around 13 days in total. Here is our itinerary so far: CHC - Kaikoura via CHC (3D 2N) -Dolphin encounter or whale watch, Kaikoura peninsula walk, sightseeing CHC - Mt Cook (3D 2N) -Tekapo, The Church of the Good Shepard, Hooker valley, (Mueller Hut ?) via Wanaka - Franz/Fox (2D 1N) ...More
June 04, 2017|
Response fromzhuhai2007|
I find your numbers confusing. You seem to have more days than nights whereas, esp travelling by bus, the days will mainly be taken up with travelling leaving very little time for sightseeing. How do you plan to get to some of the activities/walks without a car? Mueller Hut will be snow-bound and not easy to access without serious snow/ice experience. Have you thought about starting with the West Coast to avoid backtracking: 1. CHC 2. Chch to Kaikoura (2N) 3. Full day Kaikoura 4. Return...More
abby l
Houston, Texas
Whales & Dolphins in one day? (1 Replies)
Is it possible to do the Dolphin Encounter in the AM and a whale watching boat/flight in the PM? Is it redundant?
February 19, 2018|
Response fromzhuhai2007|
The whales are much further out while the dolphins can be quite close inshore. Obviously you might see dolphins from the whale-watch boat or flight but not likely vv.
Mumbai, India
Whale Watching or Dolphin Encounter ?? (1 Replies)
Hi, We ( myself, wife and 5 year old kid) will be visiting Kaikoura in early November this year. We don't plan getting into the sea but would be keen to see the Whales and Dolphins. Would it be better to go for the Whale Watching tour or stay aboard during the Dolphin Encounter trip ? Cheers,
September 02, 2011|
Response fromMazza-Mru|
Not sure what you mean by "getting into the sea", certainly not with whales anyway. We went on the Whale Watching tour and can't praise it highly enough, saw three whales and hundreds of dolphins. Have to say though that the sea was rough that day (March this year), from what we heard it often is so I would think very hard about taking a child on such a trip.