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Dolphin Watch & Nature Tours

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Address: Picton 7220, New Zealand
Phone Number: +64 3-573 8040
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Today
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Description:

We provide award-winning, wildlife and conservation focused scenic wildlife...

We provide award-winning, wildlife and conservation focused scenic wildlife Tours through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds.

Those looking for the thrill of a lifetime can join us for a Swimming With Dolphins or Viewing 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.

The only local operator able to actively search for Dolphins and we provide marine biologists as professional guides on all our Tours.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 175 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 147
    Excellent
  • 17
    Very good
  • 8
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Dawn Chorus - Blumine Island.

Chartered a cruise to the island. Skipper Tristram was very knowledgeable and patient. Pointed out King Shags and Hector ' s Dolphins. Dropped us off on the island to explore for... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Edward S
,
South Australia, Australia
via mobile
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175 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Tonbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
110 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

I booked a birdwatching tour but was told the day before that as I was the only passenger it would be cancelled unless more booked. By midday the following day it was still probably not going so I got a refund and went on the post boat instead. Not as expected in high season.

Helpful?
Thank Supergranbee
TikitheKiwi, General Manager at Dolphin Watch & Nature Tours, responded to this review

Kia Ora , Thanks for your response. Sorry we were unable to run the special Bird Watchers Tour in the afternoon just for you, there was a cancellation. Happy you enjoyed getting a full refund. We offered you at the time an alternative: The new special Sunrise Tour at 0730. Birders looking for New Zealand's rarest Bush bird and the... More 

South Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Chartered a cruise to the island. Skipper Tristram was very knowledgeable and patient. Pointed out King Shags and Hector ' s Dolphins. Dropped us off on the island to explore for two hours.Had island to ourselves. Saw Weka and Orange-crowned Parakeet. This trip was $200 ahead and we we were two passengers. Complementary tea,coffee and biscuits on board.

Helpful?
Thank Edward S
Morristown, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We signed up to swim with dolphins in their natural habitat. It's not a contained water activity, it's trying for an opportunity to fit in with their surroundings. We had a lovely and informative boat ride and saw some Hector's dolphins up close from the boat. Since they are endangered we were unable to swim with them. We didn't have... More 

Helpful?
Thank Ann Z
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
50 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

There are other operators that run tours in the Marlborough Sounds, but E-Ko tours are a much more personal way to view the marine and bird life in this area. A maximum of 12 customers on the boat means that you are much more involved in what you see and you can interact with the crew as much or as... More 

Helpful?
Thank Susan S
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Staff Kea and Jack were informative and nice and skipper Mark made the trip enjoyable too. We saw Hector's Dolphins that were playful and cute. There weren't many though, only 4 or 5, and one of them was a baby! We also saw NZ Fur Seals and a group of Blue Penguins. We stopped at Ship Cove for a short... More 

Helpful?
Thank Rainbow S
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We took a birdwatching tour, when we boarded they say wildlife tour ?!?! We made a tour during about 4 hours, and during at least 2.5 hours we were full speed with the boat (not really ecological), to see shags, fur seals, from really far during 30 seconds hector dolphin, make taxi for two other tourists which were on an... More 

Helpful?
Thank Cbachman
TikitheKiwi, General Manager at Dolphin Watch & Nature Tours, responded to this review

Thanks for your valuable feedback. You sound like the perfect candidate for our Sunrise Tour which I believe you were offered as a Specialist Birdwatchers Tour. This does cost a little more and provides an all-day two predator free island experience for keen Birdwatchers. The boat you were on picked up two keen Birdwatchers whom had just seen the rarest... More 

Bern, Switzerland
Level Contributor
130 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We did a swimm with dolphins tour and had the chance to swimm with them 3 times for a couple minutes. To us it was an excellent experience and the service provided by the operator was very good If you are on a budget, remember that you can book this tour online at the webseite "book me" and save money

Helpful?
Thank dave303
Sydney
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We walked into Eko-tours hoping to secure a booking for the Dolphin Swim. I'd already looked at the website and noted the sessions on the dates we were in Picton were booked out. I thought why not try and talk to them and I'm glad we did! The staff at Eko-tours went above and beyond to help us. They added... More 

Helpful?
Thank coconut_ice01
Bendigo, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Wow! We encountered a sunny day and still waters of the Queen Malborough Sounds. Our tour had about 15 participants, a guide and the owner driving the boat. We all squeezed into our wetsuits on land and then boarded the boat. The trip out through the sound was magical. First we found Hectors Dolphins. These are small and cute as... More 

Helpful?
Thank MrsDavey88
Taupo District, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2016

It was just perfect!! the cruise team is very friendly they are passionnated,respectfull and very happy to share their knowledge about wildlife. the boat is very confortable, there is no too many people , they offered us cookies,hotdrinks, you can also use binocular to help them to find dolphins.We were more than Lucky to see one little kiwi on motuara... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Alexia R

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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?