0800 733 365

Today's Weather in Kaikoura

Book Online

Encounter Foundation

Vital Tour Information

Open Ocean Experience:

You must realise that this tour is an open ocean experience and in order to swim with the dolphins you should be confident in the open ocean and it is an advantage to have had previous snorkelling experience.  Please note that our crew do not enter the water on our tours.

Season and Tour Times:

Tours operate daily and have a duration of approximately 3.5 hours.  Dolphin location can sometimes mean the tour may be extended.

Tour Times:

            Summer (Nov-April):           5:30am 8:30am 12:30pm

            Winter (May-October):         8:30am 12:30pm

Report Times:

Please note that report times can vary from those specified above.  Please ensure you check your report time when re-confirming your booking details the day prior.

Medical Disclaimer Form:

All swimmers participating in the Dolphin Encounter tour are required to complete a medical disclaimer form before joining the trip, it is ideal if this can be done in advance.  Please find the form attached as an editable pdf. This form is designed to work with Adobe XI, so if you have this version you can complete the form electronically and email it straight back to us using the email button at the end of the form (to upgrade your adobe reader click here). If you do not have this version of Adobe then you can print the form, complete it manually and bring it along with you on the day, or you can complete it at our office when you arrive to check in.

Asthma and Respiratory Conditions:

If you are asthmatic or have a respiratory condition and are prescribed an inhaler, you will be required to have your inhaler with you on the day in order to participate on a tour.


Adobe Acrobat DocumentDisclaimer Form
Adobe Acrobat Document, 534 KB



Group concessions with DIRECT BOOKINGS ONLY. Please contact us for more information.


Private charters are available by prior arrangement, subject to availability at time of request.

Age Policy:

In order to swim with the dolphins, children must be 8 years or older.  The minimum age limit is normally 5 years of age. However, with the agreement of the skipper and crew; if conditions are deemed suitable, children under the age of 5 years, but no younger than 3 years, may be permitted to take the tour.  Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Please Note: Adverse sea conditions can result in these age limits being changed prior to tour departure.


The Dolphin Encounter tour is an open ocean experience and even with the help of medication there is no guarantee against seasickness. Note: Seasickness is not a reason to seek a refund for the tour.


For those suffering from motion sickness we advise that you purchase seasickness medication and take this before your tour. Please check the opening hours of the Kaikoura Pharmacy if you are wishing to purchase seasick tablets from there.

Things to Bring:

All passengers should bring warm clothing and camera and a bag. For those swimming with the dolphins you will also need your swimsuit, towel and gear bag (to take clothing on the boat) Note: Towels are available for hire from the Encounter Kaikoura reservations desk.

Minimum Numbers:

In order to operate, all tours are subject to minimum passenger numbers.


Naturally all tours are dependent on suitable sea and weather conditions. Please visit the the New Zealand Metservice website to check for the latest updates.