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Kaikoura - Dolphin Swim Tour

Take the opportunity to interact and swim with the incredible dusky dolphins of Kaikoura!

Take the opportunity to interact and swim with the incredible dusky dolphins of Kaikoura!


  • Swim with wild dolphins in the ocean!
  • Enjoy watching these fascinating mammals in their natural habitat
  • Exhilarating experience not to be missed

Having the highest success rate in New Zealand to both locate AND swim with dolphins, the friendly team at Encounter Kaikoura will provide you with a not to be missed bucket list experience!

Dusky dolphins are one, if not the most interactive and acrobatic species of dolphins in the world and they frequent Kaikoura year-round! Join the team aboard a comfortable vessel for a picturesque tour along the spectacular Kaikoura coastline.

Meet these incredible wild animals in their natural environment, and enjoy their spectacular acrobatics in the open ocean.

Make memories to last a lifetime and book today!

Swimming with the dolphins is an exhilarating and exertive experience and those who book to swim should be relatively physically fit and be confident swimmers in open water. Snorkeling experience is an advantage though not essential as lessons can be provided onboard.

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

Swimmers and watchers join the same tour, and if you would prefer to stay dry and watch these amazing mammals from aboard the boat, please check out the deals on our Watch Tour:

Kaikoura - Dolphin Watch Tour

Adult $230.00
Child $215.00

What's included

  • Return transfers between the base and harbour
  • All gear including full body wetsuit, snorkel, mask and fins (extra floatation aids and prescription masks available on request)
  • 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.

    Our vessels have ample seating, an onboard toilet and a hot water boat shower. There are also blankets on board should these be required in the colder months. At base there are changing room facilities with hot showers for after the tour.

    Please Note: Return times are not guaranteed.

  • Child Age is 8 - 14 years for swimming and we recommend that children are confident swimmers in open water.

    Towels, Go Pros and Go Pro accessories are available for hire.

    Please note: If showing as closed - the swim WILL be SOLD OUT. This is a very high demand product. Bookme recommendation is to book well in advance - or book the great deals on DOLPHIN WATCH on bookme.co.nz. 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. Sea conditions on the day need to be ideal for children to participate on this tour. The skipper reserves the right to increase the age limit if they believe the conditions warrant this decision..

Available Bookings from 19 Jul to 1 Aug 2024

All prices are shown in NZD ($)

Change Dates
Fri 19 Jul
Sat 20 Jul
Sun 21 Jul
Mon 22 Jul
Tue 23 Jul
Wed 24 Jul
Thu 25 Jul
Fri 26 Jul
Sat 27 Jul
Sun 28 Jul
Mon 29 Jul
Tue 30 Jul
Wed 31 Jul
Thu 1 Aug

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


294 reviews

Showing all 294 authenticated Bookme reviews

Stefan Koehl from Germany wrote on 08 November 2022

Fucking cold but worth it

Starting at 5:30 we took the first trip of the day and some willpower is needed to get in the 12° cold water at this time. The provided wetsuits are quite good but nothing for the feet. There was also a quite big swell which reduces the fun factor a little bit for people they can't handle this. The attraction itself, the swim with dolphins in the very clear water with very good visibility was outstanding. We met hundreds of them and could swim/interact with them 3 times. After the swim there was enough time for taking pictures of these funny animals from the boots view. We also spotted some Albatrosses during the boat ride.

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From Kaikoura - Dolphin Swim Tour

Hi Stefan Thanks for your review. We prefer to say refreshing! :-) Glad you braved the cold and it was worth it and you had a great tour! :-)

Alejandra Caceres from New Zealand wrote on 21 February 2022

Best experience in life

I have no words to describe how wonderful this was. I love nature and see wild animals. This gave me the chance to enjoy so close of this beautiful creatures in their natural environment and it was beyond magical. The company is amazing, they explain you everything that you need to know before to get into the ocean, in a very fun (and funny) way. Very friendy and helpful team. I just won't recommend taking this tour if you have seasickness as so many people didn't have a good time in the boat because of this. They will let you know the day before the conditions of the ocean so if it's calm you should take it, otherwise I wouldn't recommend if you get easily dizzy.

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From Kaikoura - Dolphin Swim Tour

Oh how fabulous Alejandra loved reading your review! Glad you had such a special experience! Great advice to check ahead re the conditions too :-)

Dennis Lichtenberg from Germany wrote on 17 October 2023

Amazing Trip

A fantastic trip with lots of playful dolphins who were very curious. A unique experience with very good guides. I would do it again.

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From Kaikoura - Dolphin Swim Tour

Thank you for your review - we are stoked you had a great time aboard with us! :-)

karaf from New Zealand wrote on 20 November 2022


Well worth getting cold for ♡. Totally amazing swimming with these majestic creatures. Thanks to the experienced crew for looking after us and guiding us so well.

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From Kaikoura - Dolphin Swim Tour

Our absolute pleasure! Thanks for joining us aboard! :-)

Rosanne Mosterd from Netherlands wrote on 11 November 2022


Super leuke ochtend gehad en veel dolfijnen gezien en mee gezwommen. Het personeel is zeer vriendelijk.

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From Kaikoura - Dolphin Swim Tour

Thanks for your review - stoked you enjoyed your morning aboard with us! :-)


Qualmark Certification

This award identifies a business with a high level of professionalism, a keen awareness of the impact it has on the environment and a commitment to a customer centric approach.

This award is evidence of a sophisticated tourism business that consistently exceeds visitor expectations. Their proactive leadership and management ensure the business's focus on continuously improving their economic, social and environmental performance to create genuine, constantly evolving and sustainable tourism experiences.

This award recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand. It denotes exceptional customer experiences at the heart of everything the company does. This business is leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world class sustainable visitor destination.

When you see the Qualmark logo, your activity of choice is endorsed by New Zealand Tourism's official quality assurance organisation and backed by leaders in the industry. It's your trusted guide to iconic activities and experiences that are awarded for their exceptionally high level of quality, safety and sustainability.

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