Book your Encounter Now

Risk Disclosure


Dolphin Encounter is an adventure activity providing swimming with or watching wild dusky dolphins in their natural habitat.  This boat-based tour takes place in an open ocean environment along the Kaikōura Coast and as such there are inherent elements of risk involved.

Risks include but are not limited to:

    • exposure to sometimes rapidly changing sea and weather conditions (we often operate in rain and/or wind and swell)
    • exposure to extremes of temperature both sun and cold
    • the physical demands required of boarding a vessel both from land and the ocean (including steep jetty and/or trailer steps) and then maintaining balance once aboard, sometimes in changing sea conditions
    • swimming in the ocean is a very exertive activity requiring a good level of physical fitness and stamina; all swimmers must have the upper body strength to pull themselves back on board the vessel after their swim
    • open ocean swimming is very different from swimming off a beach or in a pool, and there are often elements of swell and current to navigate and a good level of swim confidence is recommended
    • the swim is a snorkel experience, and we provide all gear and equipment, including a winter weight (5mm 2 piece) wetsuit that will keep you afloat, with additional buoyancy aids available on request. Previous snorkelling experience is recommended and we provide snorkelling lessons aboard each tour
    • possible medical issues or injury, examples include but are not limited to; slips, trips and falls, sea sickness, hypothermia, asthma attacks(triggered by temperature), heat exposure and excessive fatigue/exhaustion
    • whilst the mammals we encounter are not considered predatory to humans, this activity takes place in the open ocean in close proximity to wild animals – we are responsive to, and operate on the wildlife’s terms

The New Zealand WorkSafe Adventure Activity Register does not inlcude activities for which a Maritime document is required and we are fully compliant with Martime New Zealand's Operator Safety System

Dolphin Encounter has been safely and ethically operating for over 35 years;  we have a highly qualified, trained and expert crew and we will take all reasonable and practicable steps to brief you of anticipated conditions specific to your tour before departure, and to ensure your safety once aboard.