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Updated 10:04PM 29 October, 2020


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Welcome to Dolphin Encounter

Where a whole world of marine adventure awaits, come and explore it all with us.

It's your choice at Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura

Dolphins are some of nature’s most extraordinary and captivating creatures. And they’re even more amazing close-up. Immerse yourself in their world with Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura, an unforgettable experience in one of New Zealand’s most breath-taking destinations.

Swimming with dolphins is a life-changing experience

Imagine: you’re in the open ocean, the stunning Kaikoura coast in the distance, the cares and concerns of the world even further away. There’s just you, the sky, and gentle, lapping waves. Until the dolphins come.

Joyful, social dusky dolphins, frolicking in their natural environment. Together, you’ll leap and dive through the water, feeling the incomparable thrill, adventure and joy of being truly free. Once you experience your time with the dolphins, you’ll never forget it. Secure your encounter today. People come the world over for this opportunity. Make sure you're one of them.

Book your Dolphin Swim

Dolphin-watching aboard our purpose-built vessels

The boat cuts through the gentle Kaikoura waves, gliding towards a wide horizon. The air is alive with the salty tang of ocean spray, but you’re dry and warm, safe onboard with your fellow dolphin watchers.

The sound of the engines falls away. And then, there they are.
Dozens, hundreds of dolphins, leaping, flipping and jumping in a one-time-only acrobatic spectacular. As they leap, so does your heart. As they move with an unrestrainable joy, so does your smile.
Be there for an unforgettable encounter.

Book your Dolphin Watch
“Simply Awesome!”

“Simply Awesome!”

“Totally unforgettable.”
“The highlight of our whole trip to New Zealand."

When you encounter the dolphins, you leave transformed. Share the experience.

Kaikoura: A wonder of land and sea.

Kaikoura: A wonder of land and sea.

Kaikoura is a place of extraordinary natural beauty and rich history. Emerging from mountains and lush farmland, the Kaikoura Peninsula is a stepping stone to the world’s greatest marine playground.

Dolphin Conservation: It’s up to all of us.

Dolphin Conservation: It’s up to all of us.

We’re committed to protecting Kaikoura’s dolphins, environment and other marine life. Our tours are designed to operate with the least impact possible. When you swim or tour with us, you can be confident the dolphins and the environment won’t regret your presence.

New Zealand’s best dolphin tours

We’ve been sharing unforgettable dolphin encounters with people from all corners of the globe for nearly 30 years.

Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura is New Zealand’s first company to offer swimming with dolphins. Since then, we’ve built up an unmatchable level of experience, knowledge and insight about dolphins, and the best ways to encounter them in safe, humane and environmentally-friendly ways (not to mention exciting and joyful!).

We’re proud to have introduced many thousands of visitors to the uniqueness of our local environment, and the abundant and diverse marine life that inhabits this very special piece of New Zealand.

Learn More
Get a closer encounter

Get a closer encounter

You'll be amongst friends.

See More!

See More!

Dolphins, penguins and more.

The trip of a lifetime

The trip of a lifetime

That doesn't take all day

We Care!

We Care!

Learn how to help the wildlife

Refund Guarantee

Refund Guarantee

We have a very high success rate

Kaikoura’s Dusky Dolphins

Joyous. Social. Acrobatic. Delightful. Kaikoura’s dusky dolphins are heart-warming characters you’ll remember forever.

They’re the most acrobatic of the dolphin species, so be ready for the best dolphin show on earth-because Kaikoura is one of the best places on the planet to encounter them in their natural habitat.

Meet the Kaikoura Dolphins

The Dolphin Encounter tours operate from the Encounter Kaikoura site which is located at 96 Esplanade in Kaikoura. The building is clearly visible and has a large customer car park available for your vehicles to park safely while participating on our tours.

There is also a café which makes it quick and easy to grab a bite to eat and a drink while waiting for the tour to depart and also a gift shop to browse through too. The outdoor courtyard has plenty of seating available and is a pleasant place to spend some time taking in the beautiful views of the ocean and the Kaikoura mountain range beyond.

The Encounter Kaikoura site is a short, 5 minute walk from the town centre and is close to many of the waterfront accommodation providers on the Esplanade.

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Caring for Our Natural Environment

Caring for Our Natural Environment

We are privileged to have the abundance of marine life here in Kaikoura and we don’t take this for granted. In 2009 we established the Encounter Foundation specifically to support organizations and groups that are actively working on projects that result in improving the health of the natural environment through conservation, education and research.

We donate a portion of each customer fare to the Encounter Foundation to support worthy projects which make an impact on ensuring our environment is preserved and treasured for future generations.

Thank you for enabling us to do this – your support of our business is making a difference in a very positive way.