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“Crew very friendly and knowledgable”

Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari
Book In Advance
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$125.98*
and up
Auckland Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruise
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Experience the diverse wildlife and stunning scenery of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. See wild marine mammals and seabirds living in their natural habitat. Explore amongst volcanic islands with beautiful views of sandy beaches and hidden coves. You’ll also get to learn from the marine researchers on board working to protect the whales, dolphins and their fragile home. Be inspired by the research conducted alongside you on our high-tech boat and enjoy an expert education from our friendly crew. Every passenger contributes to these important research and conservation efforts, just by coming on board. *4.5 hr eco-adventure in the beautiful Hauraki Gulf Marine Park *GUARANTEED marine mammal viewing – or come back for free! *Every ticket helps contribute directly to marine mammal conservation *Watch & learn – expert commentary & interaction with our on-board marine research scientists. *Incredibly convenient – departs daily from the Viaduct Harbour in down-town Auckland city.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Lockers / storage, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed July 9, 2013

When we initally got on, they told us that it was a safari and they weren;t getting any help from other sources (e.g. coast gaurds or helicopters) so they said that they would give everyone a complimentry ticket if we didn't see any dolphins or whales.
It took a while for us to see them but we saw two types of dolphins and we hung around and got some great photo's and the dolhpins enjoyed playing with the boat and chasing it.
Unfortunately we only saw the top of one whale. He didn't fell like playing games but the crew asked if everyone was happy to stay an extra half a hour to see if we could get closer, everyone agreed and we did in the end.
The hot drinks and soup were very reasonable, they also served snacks and alcohol.

Thank Sandra8286
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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827 - 831 of 912 reviews

Reviewed June 30, 2013

We booked the dolphin and whale safari when we were in Auckland. We found a deal online as they wanted $180.00 and we paid $60.00 per person we left the dock 35 minutes after the scheduled time. It was a very cold day when we went, after 4 hours of looking a blue sea water we only saw 4 dolphins and they were found in the first 30 minutes of the trip. By the end of the trip we found some dolphins and the captain of the boat asked over the loud speaker if very one was happy to stay and watch and if there is any one who needs to be back at the dock by 5.00pm. We signaled the captain who then over the loud speaker procced to public humiliate us and informed the whole boat that due to the fact thatwe needed to be back at 5.00pm we would have to leave right now. We did ask when we left the dock that due to us having to wait 35 minutes for a journalist group would this affect our trip the STAFF stated NO. Clearly this was not the case. Also they stated they had a cafe which in my opinion is not a cafe but a microwave to heat frozen pies. Most of the time the staff were friendly and helpful but that one incident ruined the trip.

4  Thank Hayley637
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2013

My 11-year-old son and I had a great time on this trip!

Nice boat, not over-crowded, it was fun standing up at the very front, enjoying the breeze. The boat meandered around for a couple hours, and then suddenly -- dolphins dolphins dolphins! They were a blast to watch, at least 20 of them for like the next hour, swimming with the boat, darting around (they're very quick), jumping out of the water, wow!

OK, we didn't see any whales, but we had such fun with the dolphins we didn't care.

The crew provided lots of interesting info, answered questions, had a good sense of humor, and even let my son sit up front with them a bit, showed him things and answered his questions, which he loved.

We spent a month travelling around New Zealand and Australia, and this was definitely one of the highlights.

3  Thank SpunkyDawg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013 via mobile

Had a good trip out on the water. The staff were great. There was enough room on the boat for everyone to see dolphins, but we didn't get to see any whales. But the crew did try and find some. The whole trip was 4 and a half hours long. The Captain was very entertaining.

1  Thank Kirvet7481
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Summary:
For 160NZD, you get a 4.5-hour cruise around the Hauraki Gulf in search of whales and dolphins. However, with wild animals there's always a large amount of luck involved since you can't make them hang around and wait for you...

This isn't a trip for the impatient or for those who aren't fond of dolphins or whales. Depending on the time of year, it would take a while before you run into either, and if you have no real interest in marine life then it won't interest you much.


Slightly longer review:
It wasn't a great time of year for whale- or dolphin-spotting and I honestly almost gave it up as a lost cause and sheer bad luck almost 3 hours into the trip but then the crew saw a dolphin pod some way off! We were all rewarded with almost half an hour of dolphins gambolling in the water under and around the boat. Didn't see any whales, but as I never really expected to see the whales I wasn't too disappointed. (I think one's enjoyment of this trip depends heavily on expectations...)

There weren't too many people on the safari when I went - maybe about 20 in all. As the boat could probably hold about three or four times more than that, we all had a lot of space to ourselves and I think everyone got a good view of the dolphins.

Thumbs-up to the crew, who tried their very best to locate something for us to see that day. The crew were also knowledgeable and I enjoyed learning little bits of trivia about the marine life in the Hauraki Gulf. The water was very very calm, but the sea life was also very very evasive. We saw plenty of small penguins, but of course that would have meant nothing if we hadn't seen dolphins or whales. So when the dolphins showed up, it was a real treat!

Thank yuinc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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