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Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura

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Highly Recommended

Dolphin Encounter

from NZD$95.00

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Swim with Dolphins in Kaikoura

Prices & Options Currency Converter

Dolphin Swim:

  • adult NZD$175.00
  • child (8-14yrs) NZD$160.00

Dolphin Watch only (no swim):

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

Genuine Customer Reviews powered by Feefo

Service rating:

Wings over whales pilots were friendly, informative and views were spectacular.

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The dolphin encounter experience in the water was incredible. Felt safe and staff were wonderful.

Reviewed 21-Mar-2018

Service rating:

Wonderful staff and amazing experience. Very efficient and professional experience.

Reviewed 24-Jan-2018

Service rating:

One of our booking forms stated a departure time which ended up being the checkin time but a second form was correctly marked

Product rating:

Both of us ended up being extremely sea sick on the dolphin encounter which could have been prevented if we had been advised to purchase (on the booking form) motion sickness tablets from the local pharmacy prior to sailing. This would have added to our comfort and pleasure. It would have been useful to have staff check my wetsuit headgear and goggle fitting before entering the water at least at the beginning. Mine was not fitted correctly and so really hindered my participation, enjoyment and comfort. Overall still a good experience aided by the extremely personable, friendly and professional staff.

Reviewed 25-Feb-2016

Service rating:

Wonderful family service from the Swimming with Seals team

Product rating:

It was actually the Seal Swimming and it was brilliant. We didn't really have many expectations as we had originally wanted to go on the Dolphin Encounter but are really pleased we ended up doing the Seals. It was a very personal and intimate experiences as opposed to the big tourist boats of Dolphin Encounters

Reviewed 12-Jan-2016

Service rating:

The booking was not very efficient, we received different documents with different dates on which was very confusing

Product rating:

The trip was excellent. A truly lovely experience
The only suggestion I would have is whether they could have some way of identifying people I the water (?coloured wristbands perhaps) so you can share your experience directly with friends and family

Reviewed 08-Jan-2016

Reply from Everything Travel Group

Hi Clare. Thanks for taking the time to leave your feedback. I do apologise for the initial confusion with your Kaikoura dolphin swim booking. The booking process is normally very smooth and efficient however during the crazy New Year's period where most of the boats are booked up many weeks in advance it can be a challenge finding suitable availability, especially for a group of 8. I am glad that you enjoyed the dolphin experience. It is truly magical being in the water with such majestic creatures. I have also passed on your excellent suggestion on to the crew. Safe travels home.

Callum Goodall
Everything Travel

Posted 08-Jan-2016

Service rating:

response quickly and effectively


Reviewed 26-Sep-2015

Service rating:

Staff were very good instructions were good and clear desk staffexcellent and friendly

Product rating:

an experience of a lifetime the crew were excellent very informative and easy to talk to and to swim with that many dolphins what an experience AWESOME!!!!

Reviewed 14-Mar-2015

Service rating:

Everything was very easy, good customer service would highly recommend.

Product rating:

I would rate this as excellent but unfortunately due to engine problems on the boat we were unable to swim with the dolphins. They were very apologetic and we received a full prompt refund. Was very disappointed but we were lucky enough to see dolphins. The staff were brilliant and tried everything to fix the problem but to no avail. Will definitely be back to do this again.

Reviewed 11-Feb-2015

Service rating:

It was a brilliant day out. The team were very nice

Product rating:

Dolphins are my favourite animals, it was nice to see them in their natural habitat.

Reviewed 26-Jan-2015

Service rating:

The service was excellent. The staff were very friendly and had a great sense of humour.

Product rating:

Swimming with the dolphins was one of the best days of my life and I am 53 years of age!!!!!!!!!!! The friendly and informative crew were exceptional and they kept taking us to pods of dolphins as the dolphins took off from us. Thank you so much for this awesome experience. I recommend everyone do it!!!!!!!!!

Reviewed 23-Jan-2015

Service rating:

I had no trouble checking in when I got to the dolphin encounter but it helps if you print out your voucher!

Product rating:

I had a great time swimming with the dolphins. It was a perfect day and there were dolphins everywhere! I was on a waiting list to actually swim with the dolphins and the staff was very helpful in getting my fitted for a wetsuit last minute and making sure my trip was the best!

Reviewed 12-Jan-2015

Service rating:

Managed to get us tickets for Dolphin Encounter at short notice

Product rating:

Fantastic experience swimming with wild dolphins. Do it if you can!

Reviewed 27-Feb-2014

Service rating:

No hickups....all went well......thanks

Product rating:

Really friendly guys and Gals.....no drama....kids loved it.

Reviewed 26-Jan-2014

Service rating:

The booking went alright, it allworked smoothly.

Product rating:

We really enjoyed swimming with the dolphins, it truly was a very special experience. At Dolphin Encounter, the staff were very well organised, it all ran very smoothly to get the whole group kitted out and on our way to the boat. At sea, they really did their best to give us a great time. Very helpful, very knowledgeable staff. Many thanks!

Reviewed 22-Jan-2014

Service rating:

very helpful

Product rating:

The girls were fascinated by the dolphins, the staff was friendly and very helpful.

Reviewed 21-Jan-2014

Service rating:

super nice, kind and professional staff.
it was the first time, that all the promises fulfilled and even more.

Product rating:

Reviewed 04-Jan-2014

Service rating:

Ok nothing spectacluar

Product rating:

Unfortunatly the dolphins were way offshore, the water cold and the weather was rough, none controllable by the event organisers. The staff were welcoming, knowledgable and helpful.

Reviewed 03-Dec-2013

Service rating:

The service was excellent.

Product rating:

I would have rated this excursion excellent had I not experienced sea sickness (motion sickness). None the less, I highly recommend this excursions just remember to take the medication Dramamine if your prone to motion sickness. It was quite magical swimming among these highly intelligent creatures.

Reviewed 01-Dec-2013

Latest Questions about Dolphin Encounter (Kaikoura)

hi me and my husband want to swim with the dolphins in april this year but I will be 26 weeks pregnant and can imagine being quite big would I still be able to participate and fit a bump into a wet suit

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Are you open Boxing Day?

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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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