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.

“Best trip in Kaikoura!”
Review of Dolphin Encounter

Dolphin Encounter
Ranked #1 of 27 Tours in Kaikoura
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Swim with the dolphins in their natural environment or watch their acrobatic displays form the comfort of the boat.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best trip in Kaikoura!”
Reviewed May 2, 2013

We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children who did the dolphin watching from on board the boat. We found everyone from the receptionist to the on board staff extremely helpful. Staff managed to help us with the kids (life jackets, best places for them to watch from, etc) while still catering to the needs of the more adventurous swimmers.

We would definitely reccommend this trip for both families and adventure seekers.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Anthea S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,006 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    915
    65
    16
    6
    4
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Taupo
Level Contributor
108 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“A must do”
Reviewed May 1, 2013

On the spur of the moment my wife and I decided to do the dolphin encounter, the sea was flat so that was a major influence. This is a must do, to be able the share the waters with these magnificent creatures is something that doesn't happen every day. Its not expensive to do and if you want to include swimming with them - go for it. It wasn't my thing to have a swim but I really enjoyed watching the interaction of the dolphins with the swimmers. A fantastic 3 hours spent even if I am not a seafarer.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank BrianTaupo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunshine Coast, Qld
Level Contributor
55 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Experience of a lifetime”
Reviewed April 24, 2013

Wow....where do I start? From the moment we arrived for our 8.30am tour flustered from a harrowing drive from Hanmer Springs, the staff just made us feel so relaxed and were so friendly and professional. We were outfitted with good quality equipment that fit well. There was a short drive to the boats by bus and the group was split into two separate, modern, comfortable vessels. This meant that there were only ten swimmers on our boat in total. Well, luck was on our side and we were blessed with perfect conditions. There was no wind, the water was like glass and crystal clear and there was snow on the mountains. The dolphins were only minutes away. We spent 50 minutes surrounded by friendly, cheeky dolphins that came at us from all directions. It was amazing. The more noise we made through our snorkels, the more dolphins we would attract. I'll never forget spinning in circles eye to eye with these wonderful creatures. They were even jumping over our heads. I normally really feel the cold but I was warm the whole time we were in the water. The crew pulled us out of the water and we cruised over to another massive pod. The pod we left seemed offended and chased the boat. We got back in the water for another fifteen minutes or so. Back on the boat the crew were waiting with hot chocolates and cookies. There were hot showers and they were happy to take photos of us. Hubby and I only had towels the size of a tea towel so the staff kindly supplied us with a blanket and the top deck so we could change into dry clothes. We were given the added bonus of cruising out to see the albatross. What a day...it exceeded our expectations.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Jalaky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Exceeds you expectations!!”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

Dolphin Encounter was incredible. We swam with a pod of approx 100 dolphins and were in the water for about 30 mins, which doesn't sound a lot but is plenty. The dophins swim around you, just inches away and dive if you do - you just need to keep them interested in you.

Staff were great and all kit is provided including seasickness tablets which was good as it was a rough day. If you're not sure, do this, it's amazing and you will not regret it. One of the highlights of my NZ trip.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank RRUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
131 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Amazing experience”
Reviewed April 19, 2013 via mobile

We went out at 8.30am on a fairly rough morning and it was still wonderful. Do make sure though that you take seasickness precautions beforehand (see below). I was more than happy not to swim but to watch the dolphins, the seabirds and the swimmers as well as look at this beautiful coast. Swimming in a rough sea is hard work, so you need to be fit.
Wet suits etc are provided by Encounter and they even have a warm water hose to warm you up when you've finished your swim. Dolphins everywhere. I have never seen so many. All the crew were fantastic - helpful, informative, encouraging, positive and on the watch all the time for their passenger safety as well as enjoyment.
The cafe is excellent too.
Seasickness: Encounter sell herbal remedies based on ginger which do make a difference (I've used them before). We bought acupressure bracelets from the chemist and ate several pieces of crystallized ginger before we went, on the advice of a friend. The combination worked really well for me.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Lynette L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Dolphin Encounter also viewed

Kaikoura, Canterbury Region
Kaikoura, Canterbury Region
 
Kaikoura, Canterbury Region
Kaikoura, Canterbury Region
 

Been to Dolphin Encounter? 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