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Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura

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Dolphin Encounter

from NZD$95.00

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Swim with Dolphins in Kaikoura

Prices & Options Currency Converter

Dolphin Swim:

  • adult NZD$180.00
  • child (8-14yrs) NZD$165.00

Dolphin Watch only (no swim):

  • adult NZD$95.00
  • child (3-14yrs) NZD$55.00

Latest Questions about Dolphin Encounter (Kaikoura)

Hi we will be at Kaikoura on the 8 December and would like to do the swim but just wondering how cold is the water going to be at this time of year.


Heya, The average sea temperature in Kaikoura in December is about 14.9 degrees Celsius.

Comment by: Alicia - Everything New Zealand on 17th Sep 17 at 21:32

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do you provide life jacket for swimming with dolphin and snorkelling?

thanks so much


Hello So, 

Thank you for your question. 

The operator does not provide any life jackets due to the fact the wetsuit they provide is very buoyant. This will keep you afloat, also a life jacket keeps your head above the water and all of the dolphin action is beneath the service. So this would impair your ability to enjoy the experience to the fullest. 

You may be able to request an additional buoyancy aid on the day in the form of a polystyrene noodle. However this will depend on the boats equipment on the day and the sea conditions. 

Kind regards
Alicia Coyne

Comment by: Everything Travel Group on 11th Jul 17 at 15:18

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Hi .
What age can you swim with dolphins.
Thank you


The minimum age for swimming with dolphins in Kaikoura is 8. Children under 8 and over 3 are welcome on board the boat (dolphin watch) but must be supervised at all times by a parent or guardian.

Comment by: Everything Travel Group (Callum) on 25th Oct 15 at 10:20

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We are planning a trip to Kaikoura in November and would really like to swim with the dolphins. Unfortunately I don't swim very well but would I be able to wear a lifejacket so I could participate?

Kind regards



Hi Jessica, you don't have to be a great swimmer to go swimming with the dolphins in Kaikoura however you do have to be confident enough to be in the open water without hanging on to anything. The wetsuits are very thick so they act as a buoyancy aid so you can't sink with them on. There is also additional buoyancy aids such as float boards and noodles which you can use in the water. As long as you feel comfortable enough swimming a short distance away from the boat then you will be fine. Please be aware there are no guides in the water and instead they are keeping watch from the boat. 

Comment by: Everything Travel Group (Belinda) on 27th Sep 14 at 12:02

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I've just booked a Dolphin Encounter swim with you in early Jan 2015 and have a few questions.

I've never worn a wet suit before. Can you please tell me what to wear underneath for warmth and comfort. I was thinking of shorts and a T shirt but don't want to make the wet suit difficult to get on.

Also, does your boat have any cubicle to change in privacy?

Do you include flippers with the wet suit?




Hi Trevor, for the Dolphin Encounter you will be provided with a two piece 5mm wetsuit, mask and snorkel, flippers and a hood. Under your wetsuit you just need to wear your swimwear and nothing else.
It is easier if you wear your swimwear underneath your clothes on the day of your dolphin swim and you will be given time to put your wetsuit on. 

Comment by: Everything Travel Group (Belinda) on 10th Sep 14 at 17:00

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How do I get this encounter from Christchurch


Hi Barb. It's about a 2 hour drive from Christchurch to Kaikoura or there is a train that goes there and back. If you are thinking of booking the train please check the Kaikoura dolphin encounter availability with us first to make sure there is space for you on the date you wish to travel.

Comment by: Everything Travel Group (Callum) on 16th Feb 14 at 12:20

Hi, Is there any suitable season for dolphine watching? because i heard in winter season its hard to see more dolphine

Comment by: Madushika Fernando on 10th May 14 at 17:25

Hi Madushika. Luckily in Kaikoura there is a resident pod of Dusky dolphins that can be found just off the coast all year round so no matter what time of year you are visiting Kaikoura you will be able to see and also swim with dolphins.

Comment by: Everything Travel Group (Callum) on 11th May 14 at 12:15

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What guarantees do you have that we will swim with the dolphins and if we don't, what deal do you have.


Hi Steven. In Kaikoura, you swim with and watch wild dusky dolphins and its not possible to ever guarantee their presence. However, Kaikoura is renowned for its abundance and consistency of wildlife and once on the water we do have a very high success rate of locating the dusky dolphins. If for some reason you 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. This means that if the boat actually goes out and you get a tour but dont see any dolphins then you will be refunded all but $40 per person. If you are booked on a Dolphin Swim and you spot dolphins but dont get to swim with them then you will be refunded the swim portion of the cost which is $80. This time of year it is extremely rare not to see any dolphins as they are very active close to shore.

What date were you considering booking this for? There are only 13 swim spots per trip so I would recommend booking quite a long way in advance.

Comment by: Everything Travel Group (Callum) on 28th Dec 12 at 14:04

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My Daughter & I are booked in for a Swim with the dolphins on Monday 02 July at 12:30pm. We arrive into Kaikoura on the train at 9:54 and we are staying at the Anchor Inn Motel. I was wondering do we have time to drop our luggage off at the Motel or can we leave it somewhere at your centre & then we can just grab our luggage when we get back & then walk down to our Motel? If you can tell me what is the correct thing to do. Thanks Sharon


Hi Sharon, if your train arrives in at 10am you will have plenty of time to drop your gear at your Motel as it is only 2.5kms from your accommodation and your check in time at Encounter Kaikoura isn't until 12.15pm.

Comment by: Everything Travel Group (Belinda) on 19th Jun 12 at 17:50

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Hi my name is melissa, i am travelling with my friend to Kaikoura on the 12th september 2012 from Australia to swim with the Dolphin and were enquiring about available times to go on the cruise and swim with them.
We are hoping to do it at 12.30pm on the 12/09/12 or 8.30am on the 13/09/12.
we need to know asap as we are booking our flights this week and desperately want to do this dolphin encounter! thanks so much


Hi Melissa, you can go on the Dolphin Encouner in Kaikoura either on the 12.30pm departure on the 12/9 or the 8.30am departure on the 13/9. There is plenty of space at this time for those departures so it's just whatever you would prefer. 

Comment by: Everything Travel Group (Belinda) on 16th Apr 12 at 15:28

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