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Kaikoura - Dolphin Encounter (Watch Option)


Get up close and personal to Kaikoura's incredible resident dusky dolphins in their stunning natural environment!


  • Discover wild dusky dolphins in their natural element!
  • Learn about and enhance your understanding of dolphins
  • Highest success rate in NZ for locating and viewing dolphins
  • Amazing photo opportunities from the spacious vessel
  • A magical experience of a lifetime!

Encounter Kaikoura is a friendly and enthusiastic business dedicated to providing our customers with a magical experience of a lifetime!

We operate picturesque tours along the spectacular Kaikoura coastline and give you the option to swim (please see other booking option)* and interact with wild dusky dolphins or watch their playful acrobatics in the open ocean from the comfort of our boat.

Dolphin Encounter®, pioneered dolphin encounter tours in Kaikoura New Zealand in 1989/90 and have developed their tours for those wishing to enhance their understanding of dolphins in their natural environment, providing a truly unique experience!

Tours scheduled daily: We close just one day each year - Christmas Day!

Please note this booking option is for watching only, and although you will be on the same boat as swimmers you will not have the option to swim. If you would like to swim with the dolphins, please check out our swim deals: Kaikoura - Dolphin Swim Tour

Adult $110.00
Child $70.00

What's included

  • Return transfers between the base and harbour
  • Light refreshments on board (ginger cookies & hot chocolate) - conditions permitting
  • Blankets on-board (for colder months)
  • Complimentary information pack on return from the tour


  • Approximately 3.5 hours (approx 2.5 on the water)


  • Meeting Location: Encounter Kaikoura at 96 Esplanade


  • Check in: Please call the team to reconfirm your booking and tour operation the day prior and to receive your check in time for the following day. Please report to 96 Esplanade, Kaikoura on the day.

    Please Note: Return times are not guaranteed.

  • Child Age is 5 - 14 years. Sea conditions on the day need to be ideal for children to participate on this tour. Children under 5 years are not permitted on this tour. The skipper reserves the right to increase the age limit on the day if they believe the conditions warrant this decision.

    Please note: Our tours operate in the open ocean and we are subject to sea conditions and weather on the day of the tour. All tours are also subject to minimum numbers to operate.

    Encounter Kaikoura vessels have ample seating and an onboard toilet. There are also blankets on board should these be required in the colder months.

Available Bookings from 14 Aug to 20 Aug 2022

Change Dates

All prices are shown in NZD ($)

Sun 14 Aug
Mon 15 Aug
Tue 16 Aug
Wed 17 Aug
Thu 18 Aug
Fri 19 Aug
Sat 20 Aug

Bookings close in 11 hours...

  • Adult$110.00
  • Child$70.00

  • Adult$54.90 Less than 6 at this price!
  • Child$70.00

  • Adult$110.00
  • Child$70.00

  • Adult$87.90 Less than 6 at this price!
  • Child$70.00

  • Adult$110.00
  • Child$70.00

  • Adult$110.00
  • Child$70.00

Authenticated Reviews & PhotosAll of our reviews are from people who have booked and paid for this activity thru Bookme

Authenticated Reviews & PhotosAll of our reviews are from people who have booked and paid for this activity thru Bookme


207 reviews

Showing all 207 authenticated Bookme reviews

angelab23 from New Zealand wrote on 11 January 2021

Worth every cent

The staff were so friendly and they made the experience so enjoyable - they were educational but not in a preachy way and the Dolphins were incredible

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From Kaikoura - Dolphin Encounter (Watch Option)

Thanks so much for your review and so glad you enjoyed the tour :-)

Phyllis Belworthy from New Zealand wrote on 26 October 2021

Above and beyond

The best experience ever. The staff were absolutely brilliant nothing was too much trouble. They went out of there way to ensure I had the best experience ever. I can not thank them enough. Beautiful fine sunny day, warm with lots of playful dolphins. Definitely recommend them

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From Kaikoura - Dolphin Encounter (Watch Option)

Lovely to read your review! Thank you! So glad you had such a great trip! :-)

sandie from New Zealand wrote on 11 June 2022


Wow! What an amazing experience. This is something everyone needs to experience. Truly magical. Kate was amazing as were all looking after us on board. My grandchildren loved their adventure ❤️

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Lynley Mcgregor from New Zealand wrote on 29 May 2022


Such a great trip, I highly recommend

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From Kaikoura - Dolphin Encounter (Watch Option)

Fabulous! Thanks Lynley! :-)

Catherine from New Zealand wrote on 21 April 2022

Dolphin encounter

The day could not have been better, still clear water, around 300 dolphins in the bay. Knowledgeable guides, and excellent equipment.

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From Kaikoura - Dolphin Encounter (Watch Option)

Whoop sounds awesome Catherine! Stoked you enjoyed your experience! :-)


10:00 a.m.Thursday 13 July

Spaces Left


    Child *

      *This option must be made together with another price type.

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