Watching Kaikoura's dusky dolphins has a uniqueness all of its own.
The opportunity to join the tour as a watcher provides spectacular viewing of these acrobatic and energised dolphins. Also witnessing the interaction between swimmers and dolphins is a fascinating experience and could quite accurately be described as the most incredible dolphin show you are likely to see.
Watchers and swimmers travel on the same boat so if someone in your group prefers to watch rather than swim, this is not a problem as all guest will travel together.
The boats are specifically built with optimum viewing in mind and have upstairs decks as well as walk around bows to enable you to capture the perfect images.
Kaikoura is renowned for an abundance of wildlife and we do have a very high success rate of locating the dusky dolphins. If for some reason we are not successful in locating the dolphins (due to such things as deteriorating weather conditions) you will receive a refund. All our tours are subject to a minimum operational cost.
The Dolphin Encounter tours are approximately 3.5 hours duration and the time spent on the ocean will be approximately 2.5 hours.The length of time spent swimming with the dolphins can be up to 40 minutes but this depends on the travel time to the dolphins, the sea conditions of the day and the dolphin behaviour at the time of the tour.
Tours operate daily at 5.30am (sunrise tour), 8.30am and 12.30pm
Three tours per day operate in the high season (November to April) and two tours per day operate in the low season (May to October). The best time of day to do the tour is either 5.30am or 8.30am if possible. The reasons for this are that the sea conditions tend to be calmer in the day and the dolphins can be more interactive, but the number of dolphins does not usually vary too much from tour to tour.