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Updated 10:59PM 28 November, 2021


Light air at 3.6km/h

Today's Scheduled Trips

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Swim with Wild Dolphins

In their own environment.

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COVID-19: New Zealand (excluding Auckland) is at Alert Level 2.  WE ARE OPEN and operating in line with government and public health guidelines

Swimming with dolphins is a unique and sought after activity often being described as a life-changing experience; creating the most special and heart-warming memories of any activity.

There is a limit of just 16 swimmers on each vessel with plenty of additional space for watching. We have three dolphin swimming vessels and are able to operate up to three tours per day. Please book your dolphin swim seats as soon as you can. There is no shortage of seats available for watching the dolphins so advance bookings for watching is not so essential. Both swimmers and watchers travel on the same boat.

Please book as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment.

Find information and tips on how to prepare for your tour.


Our guide on how to interact with wild Dusky Dolphins

The Dolphin Encounter tour is focused on respecting the dolphins in their natural environment

While the dolphins will come very close to you we don’t recommend that you try and touch them but rather, the best idea is to swim with your arms at your side. If you reach out to touch them this will usually cause the dolphins to move away. The dolphins are curious and we encourage swimmers in the water to make some noises, for example, singing a favourite song or making a dolphin like noise through your snorkel can attract the dolphins close to you.

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What do others say about their encounter?

""Totally unforgettable.""
""Bestest boat experience ever.""
""The highlight of our whole trip to New Zealand.""

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

Kaikoura Dolphins

The types of dolphins you can expect to see.

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Photos and videos from previous tours!

Dolphin Conservation

Protect our very special environment.

Fantastic Local Fare

Coffee and dining at our café, right on the waterfront

Key things to know before your tour

Check out our top tips before the adventure!

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Contact us for further details or click below to make a Dolphin Encounter reservation

We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

Dolphin Encounter Swim



15 years and upwards



8 years to 14 years inclusive

Dolphin Encounter Watch



15 years and upwards



5 years to 14 years inclusive

* (Please note this pricing is valid to 30 September 2023)

Oct & early Nov Dolphin Encounter Tours are scheduled daily at 8.30am.

Mid Nov-Apr Dolphin Encounter Tours are scheduled daily at 8.30am and 12.30pm.

In winter (May-Sept) tours are scheduled once daily at 10.00am 

For everything you need to know about your tour click here.


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.