Dolphin Encounter Swim

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Highlights & inclusions

Up-close dolphin encounters in Kaikoura
Expert wildlife guides and informative commentary
Option to swim with playful Dusky Dolphins
Spectacular coastal and mountain scenery
Learn about dolphin behaviour and conservation
Dolphin Encounter has attained the Enviro Gold Qualmark rating
or 4 payments of $52.90 with more info
Free cancellation up to 24 hours prior to experience

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Select Travellers
Tue, Jul 23, 2024

What you can expect

Looking for an unforgettable adventure in Kaikoura, New Zealand? Look no further than Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura! Get up close and personal with these wild marine animals on a 2.5 hour dolphin swim Kaikoura experience. Not a swimmer? You can still participate in the tour by choosing the spectator option instead!

Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with the pods of Dusky Dolphins that call Kaikoura home. Along with the experienced and knowledgeable guides, you will embark on a scenic boat ride out to the open ocean onboard a purpose built vessel. The curious Kaikoura dolphins are usually interested in the boat and you may be treated to dolphins displaying their acrobatic abilities both above and below the water! If you have chosen the swimming option, now is your chance to jump into the water and swim alongside these incredible creatures!

Kaikoura is renowned for its marine life, and the dolphin encounter is a must-do activity for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. The dolphins in Kaikoura are known for their curiosity and love of human interaction, making this experience truly unique and unforgettable. As Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura tours involve interaction with wild dolphins, their presence is never guaranteed,. However, due to the abundance of wildlife in the area, Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura do have a very high success rate for seeing dolphins.

For the dolphin swim Kaikoura activity, it's important that you feel confident swimming in the open ocean, and having previous snorkelling experience is a plus. Floatation devices are available to use upon request and the expert Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura guides will provide you with all the necessary equipment and safety instructions for an enjoyable experience.

Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to connect with wild Kaikoura dolphins and create memories that will last a lifetime. Book your dolphin encounter Kaikoura experience today and get ready for an adventure like no other in the stunning waters of Kaikoura, New Zealand.


What you need to know

  • 2.5 hour Kaikoura dolphin encounter tour
  • Informative commentary from expert guides
  • Swimming with the dolphins or spectating from the comfort of the boat
  • Snorkelling equipment & wetsuits
  • A high success rate for seeing dolphins!
  • 8:30am - October and early November
  • 5:30am, 8:30am and 12:30pm - Mid November to April
  • 8:30am and 12:30pm - May
  • Once daily in Winter at 10:00am - June to September
  • The time on the boat at sea is approximately 2.5 hours depending on the location of the dolphins.
  • Generally if the dolphins are interactive the swim time can be from 20 to 40 minutes.
  • 96 Esplanade Kaikōura, Canterbury 7300 New Zealand
Departure Location
  • This tour departs from 96 Esplanade, Kaikōura (within an easy 10 minute walk from the town centre)
What To Bring
  • Wear warm clothing and sensible footwear
  • bring sea sickness medication with you if you are prone to motion sickness. Sea Legs (medication) and ginger tablets are available at reception.
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • small bag which is able to accommodate your clothing on board the boat.
  • sunblock and a sunhat
  • If you have forgotten to bring your swimsuit, we have a limited number of swimsuits available for hire, so please enquire at the check in counter.
Additional Information
  • Go Pro waterproof video cameras are available for hire for an additional cost. If you have your own Go Pro there are a variety of accessories available for hire too.
  • Minimum age for dolphin swim is 8 years (kids must be accompanied by an adult swimmer & the minimum age can be increased at captain's discretion if the conditions are not suitable)
  • Minimum age for watching is 3 years (this can be increased at captain's discretion if the conditions are not suitable)
  • Dolphin Encounter's vessels are purpose built & fitted with boat shower hoses and toilets. The cabin is heated and blankets are available onboard each vessel. There are changing rooms and hot showers at the operating base
  • Due to the seasonal nature of this operation, there is a heavy demand for these tours throughout the busy tourist season - November to April. It is recommended that bookings be made well in advance during this period
  • Encounter Kaikoura boasts an on-site cafe with great coffee, beautiful food & breathtaking views. Cafe Encounter is open for breakfast, lunch & casual dining throughout the day. The cafe is fully licenced, so why not pop in & sample some local beers & wines, our homemade baking & other tasty treats before or after your tour
  • All tours are subject to suitable weather conditions. Please note that the sea conditions can change very quickly along the Kaikoura coast at little notice
  • If you are susceptible to motion sickness we recommend taking medication prior to your trip. It is recommended that you visit a pharmacy ahead of your tour. If this is not possible, Encounter Kaikoura have some options available at tour check in
  • Minimum numbers required for tour to go ahead
Cancellation Policy
  • Change your booking up to 24 hours before the start time of your experience​
  • Changes are not permitted within 24 hours of your experience​
  • Late arrivals or no shows may result in you forfeiting your experience
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
  • Mobile Vouchers are accepted! - 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

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Our Promise

  • We are committed to sustainability
  • We have an approved Science Based Target
  • We use third party verified standards
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