New Zealand Dolphin Experiences

New Zealand Marine Wildlife Experiences

New Zealand is considered one of the cetacean (whales, dolphins and porpoises) watching hot-spots in the world. Given that at least 35 of the 80-odd different species can be found here, it is no wonder it has earned such a reputation.There are various marine wildlife experiences in New Zealand.

Here are a list of the best…

Whale And Dolphin Safari – Auckland

Open configuration optionsConsidered one of the most biologically and geographically diverse marine parks in the world, 22 species of marine mammal have been identified in Aucklands Hauraki Gulf, that’s almost 1/3 of the entire world’s marine species. Join our luxury 20m (66 foot) high-speed comfortable catamaran designed specifically for viewing marine wildlife in this unique area. It is not uncommon to see first hand feeding frenzies involving sea birds, whales and dolphins or even to see small pods of dolphins and onboard there are Marine Research Scientists to interact with on-board. This 4.5 hour eco-cruise is a must do when visiting Auckland.

Dolphin Swimming Bay Of Islands

Open configuration optionsMake the most of this opportunity to swim and interact with New Zealand dolphins in their natural environment. We seek out the many playful dolphins that live within the sheltered pristine waters of the Bay of Islands and jump into the warmest waters in the country and snorkel with these inquisitive creatures – an experience you will never forget! The crew has an intimate knowledge of dolphin behavior, and with limited people onboard it means that this is a very up-close and personal experience. You are given the option of wetsuits & snorkelling gear and are instructed on how to behave while interacting. Hot showers are available for use after swimming.

Dusky Dolphin Viewing / Swimming Kaikoura

Open configuration optionsDusky dolphins are resident in the coastal waters of Kaikoura and large groups of several hundred to over 1000 dusky dolphins are present all year round making Kaikoura a unique place in the world where wild dolphins can be encountered every single day. Found travelling in pods of up to several hundred strong and being one of the most delightfully exuberant characters of the Southern Ocean,  encountering them in the water in their own environment is a really great opportunity that must not be missed.

Swim With The Hectors Dolphin – Akaroa

The Hector’s dolphin is the smallest oceanic dolphin in the world with the female adult only reaching about 1.2 metres (4 foot) long and weighing approximately 47 kilograms ( 103 pounds), while the males are slightly smaller and weigh about 10 kilograms (22 pounds) less. Take a scenic cruise exploring the beautiful, sheltered Akaroa harbour. You’ll experience a rich variety of marine life including the unique and playful Hector’s Dolphin and the rare Little Blue Penguin. The seascape is dominated by towering volcanic cliffs teeming with marine birdlife. If you wish, you have the opportunity to swim with these tiny rare dolphins – the only place you can swim with hectors in the world.

Whale & Dolphin Cruise Marlborough Sounds

Join in the search for dusky dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins and rare Hector’s dolphins that frequent the majestic Marlborough Sounds.  The waters of the Marlborough Sounds and Cook Strait are nutrient rich and group sizes here range from 5 to 500 dolphins!  Whether watching a group quietly cruising along or marvelling at their high leaps, back-flips, somersaults and side-slaps during social bouts, dolphins are sure to please all.  Along the way, we’re likely to see NZ fur seals, a variety of seabirds (like blue penguins and Australasian gannets) and may even be fortunate enough to encounter orca and migrating or feeding whales. If conditions are right, we’ll place swimmers in the water for the adventure of a lifetime!  Viewing dolphins in their underwater world is truly a magical experience and one not soon to be forgotten.  Wetsuits, fins, masks and snorkels are provided.  If you’re not keen on swimming, then you can remain onboard and view the dolphins from above.

Whale Watching Kaikoura

The spectacular marine playground of Kaikoura is one of the only places in the world where you can view the mighty Sperm Whale. Growing up to fifteen metres in length, Sperm Whales are the largest of the toothed whales and can be seen in Kaikoura year-round. The deep canyons just offshore allow these huge creatures to dive deep in search of Giant Squid, their favourite meal. The beautiful Humpback Whales can be seen on their migration path north along the East Coast of New Zealand during June and July, and Orca’s (killer whales) are commonly spotted during the summer months. While whales have been spotted along the entire coast – including in Auckland Harbour and the Bay of Islands – Kaikoura is one of the best places in the world for reliable sightings. Choose from whale-watching boat cruises or a spectacular scenic flight.

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