Dolphin Encounter have pioneered dolphin swimming in New Zealand. Their tours have been developed for those wishing to enhance their understanding of dolphins in their natural environment. Dusky dolphins inhabit the coastal waters off Kaikoura all year round, making Kaikoura a unique place in the world where wild dolphins can be encountered every day, weather permitting.
The opportunity to go out and watch the dusky dolphins from boats, gives visitors wonderful views of these spectacular and acrobatic dolphins. Visitors can choose to dolphin watch or swim.
- Tours have a total duration of approximately 3 hours and a complete guided commentary is given throughout the tour.
- Visitors will sometimes be lucky enough to see other marine mammals such as orca (killer whales), pilot whales, New Zealand fur seals, and Hector's dolphins.
- Boats are fitted with hot deck showers and toilets for passenger comfort and have covered areas for protection against the elements.
- Things to bring on the tour are a gear bag, warm clothing and camera, plus plenty of film.
- The larger boats take 16 swimmers and up to 20 watchers, however the company's permits allow only up to 14 people in the water at any one time.
- Due to the seasonal nature of this operation there is heavy demand from November to April and bookings should be made well in advance.