Whale and Dolphin Safari in Auckland

Self drive
Fitness level low
Intensity level low
See all photos
5.01 review

Highlights & inclusions

Marine animals spotted on more than 90% of trips
4.5 hour Eco-cruise in Hauraki Gulf Marine Park
Expert commentary and interaction with Marine Scientists
Year round encounters with incredible wildlife
Enjoy spectacular views of Auckland landmarks
Specifically designed for the sea conditions in the area
or 4 payments of $45.77 with more info
Free cancellation up to 24 hours prior to experience

Select travellers & date

Select Travellers
Fri, Jul 19, 2024

What you can expect

Join the **Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari** for your opportunity to encounter dolphins, whales, sea birds and penguins! On this 4.5 hour dolphin and whale spotting tour, you'll join your friendly marine guides aboard the Dolphin Explorer, a luxury purpose-built catamaran, and travel from Viaduct Harbour to the expansive Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, one of the most biologically and geographically diverse marine parks in the world. In fact, almost a third of the world’s populations of the southern hemisphere marine mammals have been indentified in this marine park. So, keep your eyes peeled for plenty of marine life sightings!

On past safaris, guests have viewed dolphins on over 90% of the trips and whales on 75% of them. Further, as you cruise along on your 4.5 hour tour, learn about the park’s interesting culture and history from your friendly and knowledgeable guides. A great escape from the city!


What you need to know

  • 4.5 hour Eco-cruise on Auckland's beautiful Hauraki Gulf Marine Park
  • Guaranteed marine mammal viewing (or get a free trip)
  • Expert commentary and integration with an on-board Marine Research Scientist
  • Food and drink is not included however can be purchased on-board. A small range of snacks, hot food and drinks are available. Alcoholic beverages are also able to be purchased on-board.
  • Breath-taking encounters with marine wildlife, including rare and endangered species
  • Experience the Gulf from the most comfortable and stable whale watching vessel in New Zealand
  • year round encounters
  • Interact with marine biologist hosts and participate in research
  • Spectacular views of Auckland landmarks
  • Specifically designed for the sea conditions in the area
  • Fully licensed bar and light snacks available for purchase
  • Marine mammals spotted on more than 90% of trips
  • Cruise, commentary, culture and history of Auckland's Hauraki Marine Park
  • Duration - 4.5 hours
  • Operates all year around, except Christmas Day. The boat may from time to time be out for scheduled maintenance.
  • Check in at 10am. Check in closes at 10.15am
  • Vessel departs at 10.30am and returns at 3pm.
  • Check in at the New Zealand Maritime Museum - 175 Quay Street, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland City
  • Viaduct Harbour is located at the western end (left as you are looking at the water) of Quay Street in down-town Auckland. Upon arrival by foot you will need to look for the Voyager Maritime Museum entrance on your right.
  • There are a number of car park buildings close to Viaduct Harbour. The closest is ‘Downtown Car Park,’ which is situated at 31 Customs St West, Auckland. It’s only a quick 5 minute walk from the departure point. Car parks rates are $15 for up to 5 hours, and a $17 maximum daily fee.
What To Bring
  • Warm clothes
  • Shower-proof jacket
  • Sun hat & sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Personal medication (if required)
  • Sea - sickness medication (should be taken prior to trip)
Additional Information
  • Weather
  • Unfortunately we are completely weather dependent and do on occasion have to cancel our Safari due to rough sea conditions. This is usually due to the wind (the Whales and Dolphins don't mind the rain) and is made completely with the comfort and safety of our passengers in mind. If we do have to cancel the call is made as close to 9am as possible. Our reservations team then start contacting all passengers with the aim of contacting everyone before 10am. Please ensure that at the time of booking, you mention a phone number that you will be contactable on in New Zealand. If you are un-able to reschedule, a full refund will be made available. Marine-mammal Guarantee
  • We are extremely fortunate to enjoy resident populations of both Whales and Dolphins year-round. After almost 15 years of heading out to the Hauraki the crew are also pretty good at spotting them! We see Whales on around 80% of trips and Dolphins on close to 95% of trips, so the chances of not seeing anything are pretty low (but it does sometimes happen). We're so confident with our viewing rates that we GUARANTEE that you will see either Whales or Dolphins, or you can come out again for free until you do. This offer has no expiry date, so if you are leaving the country the next day you can still use the voucher next time you visit NZ, no matter how long later it is (our record is 13 years!) We are dedicated to offering an extremely good value-for-money experience and even if we do see some mammals but our Skipper isn't happy with the level of interaction we will still issue everyone complimentary vouchers to come back again for free - we'd prefer to make sure everyone gets to spend quality time with these awesome creatures!
Booking Information
  • Confirmation in the form of a tour voucher will be received at time of booking
  • Upon completion of purchase, please print the voucher and present on day of the experience
  • Vouchers can also be presented on your mobile device for this attraction
  • Availability was accurate at the time of booking however, is subject to change due to circumstances out of our control
  • For your information, complete Tour Operator Information including contact details is included on your tour voucher
  • We strongly suggest reconfirming your booking with the tour operator within 24 hours of making your booking and prior to making other travel arrangements

Recent reviews

51 review

This was a great opportunity

This was a great opportunity, unfortunately the weather was not the best on the day. It was quite rough to the point lots of the passengers were sea sick. The skipper was very informative and provided lots of information on what was happening and how they were looking for signs of the dolphins and whales. He was obviously passionate about the marine life and conservation of the area. Boat is modern and clean, well maintained. Crew are all very friendly and helpful. A limited selection of food, drinks and ice creams were available on board for purchase. We saw dozens of birds, a few pods of dolphins. But unfortunately, despite a number of days around us seeing them, the whales did not come out to play, which was a bit disappointing. We were a little disappointed by the day as we didn't see as much as we had hoped for. However this was no fault of the company and was just the luck of the day.

Rebecca almost 9 years ago

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  • We have an approved Science Based Target
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