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 afternoon out”

Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Auckland Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruise
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari make it easy to experience the astonishingly abundant wildlife of the beautiful Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Our 4.5 hour marine eco-safari offers guaranteed Whale and Dolphin viewing year-round, departing direct from the Viaduct Harbour in down-town Auckland. But we offer so much more than just Whale and Dolphin watching. The privilege of operating daily within this world-class conservation area has inspired us to establish New Zealand's only research-based marine mammal experience. Working closely with the Department of Conservation and local Universities we successfully combine up-close and personal viewing of Whales, Dolphins and Sea-birds with important Marine Biology research conducted on-board. This allows passengers the chance to encounter, understand and above-all help protect this incredible resource of marine life. There's no need to travel far to have a truly world-class wildlife adventure. With over one third of all the world’s marine-mammal species seen within the area the amazing Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is one of the best places on the entire planet to see whales and dolphins, and it’s right on Auckland’s doorstep! • 4.5 hour Eco-cruise on Auckland’s beautiful Hauraki Gulf Marine Park • GUARANTEED Marine Mammal viewing – or come back for free! • Incredibly Convenient – departs 12:30 daily from the Viaduct Harbour, down-town Auckland City. • Watch & Learn – Expert commentary and Interaction with our on-board Marine Research Scientists • Highly Recommended - TripAdvisor 'Certificate of Excellence' 2013, 2014 & 2015 • Relaxed & Comfortable – 65ft luxury catamaran holds up to 100 people, with fully licensed cafe/bar. • Perfect for Groups - Private charters, special group rates and catering options available.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase
Dorset, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great afternoon out”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2014

This was a fantastic experience and well worth the money. The staff were knowledgeable and friendly and the captain had a very good sense of humour. We learnt so much about the wildlife and ecosystems. Didn't see any whales but saw plenty of birds, dolphins, little penguins and a sea turtle. A must on your to do list!

Visited February 2014
Thank Maria L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

806 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
32 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Whale of a time!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2014

Three of us friends went on this safari on 13 Feb. It was simply wonderful. Anybody who has an appreciation for marine wildlife should go on this trip. It was well worth the 160NZD fee. The staff were knowledgeable and the commentary was lively and informative. I was also struck by how passionate they were for the marine life of NZ and it really translated to their professionalism. They went all out to assist everybody and guide them to get great views of the marine life. We were very lucky because even if the waters were choppy on that particular day we managed to spot Bryde's whales and dolphins ( in part due to the staff's determination to find these creatures). On board there is a reasonably priced cafe in case you need a bite ( the whole trip can be around 4- 5 hours from the Auckland Viaduct to Harauki Bay so you may get hungry). Pack sunscreen, decent footwear and water proof clothing and be ready for an awesome afternoon :)

Visited February 2014
Thank Midori1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nantwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent magical trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2014 via mobile

Fantastic experience. We were lucky that we booked on a calm sunny day, if not a little too hot, but there were plenty of warning to have hat, sunglasses and sunblock etc. Be warned, use a hat that ties on or you will loose it, if on the deck.
The staff were very friendly from booking the ticket to the end of the trip. Very informative, but light hearted commentary throughout the trip.
Seemed a long time out and a long journey back but when we finally got to where the dolphins were we did see a group estimated to be in excess of 200. Plenty of photographic opportunities for the real enthusiast or just the snap shot photographer. We didn't see any whales, but were aware that nothing is guaranteed as these creatures do as nature intends and are not the puppets of man.
We were also lucky enough to come across a small pod of bottle nose dolphins on our way back.
Be aware that although the tour is advertised at around 4 1/2 hours this can vary slightly due to sea conditions and how far they travel to give the customer the chance to see what they have paid for.
We will remember this trip well after our return to the UK and for many years to come. One of the highlights of our holiday.

Visited January 2014
Thank Scoutray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“One of the best sea safaris”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2013

Had gone for this Whale & Dolphin Safari on 11 Dec with my daughter & 15 months old granddaughter.
Ended up seeing about 500 dolphins altogether in six- seven sightings, as well as four whales in three different sightings.
The five hour voyage itself was fantastic, with crew member Rob providing an interesting, lively, humorous, yet a very apt commentary all through, besides undertaking great efforts to ensure we got to see as many sea mammals as possible.
A trip of a lifetime. A must do in Auckland.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank Kuldip S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
110 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Magical Experience. 3 whales and 300 dolphins.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2013

We had a fantastic safari and saw so an incredible amount of wildlife, we were blessed to cruise with a pod of 300 dolphins and spent about 45 minutes with 3 whales, including a Bryde's whale, native to the Hauraki Gulf, that came right up to the boat. Magic!
I highly recommend this cruise.

Some tips:
We also found some coupons in a few free tourist guides that we picked up from the airport and hotel lobby and they entitled us to claim a free lunch with each cruise ticket at a very nice restaurant (Danny Doolan's) on the wharf. Make sure you take enough booklets for each member of your party as it is one free lunch per coupon.

The boat is very new and clean. There are indoor ( big comfy sofas) and outdoor seats and the seats out on the bow give you the best view. They warn you that you will get wet there but we didn't mind a bit of seaspray, just bring a waterproof jacket. Make sure you use a hat and lots of sunscreen if sitting there though.

Simple food and drink are available for purchase on board.

Visited November 2013
Thank ElanSingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari also viewed

Auckland, Auckland Region
Auckland, Auckland Region
Auckland, Auckland Region

Been to Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing