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Best Place to Swim With Dolphins--North or South Island?

Best Place to Swim With Dolphins--North or South Island?

Old Jul 25th, 2005, 03:15 PM
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Best Place to Swim With Dolphins--North or South Island?

We will be traveling to New Zealand at the end of November. I'd love to swim with dolphins. From what I've heard, there are places to do so in both the North and South. I would love to which is better, and any specific locations/companies to tour with.

Jonesey is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2005, 04:31 PM
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What is your itinerary? It would make sense to do your dolphin swim in a place where you're already going to be.

We went with Whales and Dolphin Watch in Whakatane in April 2004. Unfortunately, we didn't find any dolphins, but the people were great and we were offered a free trip for the next day. We were moving on to Rotorua, so we got a partial refund of the trip price instead. They did take us to Whale Island to see birds and baby seals, since we didn't find any dolphins that day.

You can also swim with dolphins in the Bay of Islands and around Auckland on the North Island, and at Kaikoura and the Akaroa Peninsula on the South Island.

Lee Ann
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 06:04 AM
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We swam with the dolphins in Kaikoura in January 2000 with a company called Dolphin Encounter, I believe. Even though it was summer, you needed to wear wetsuits in the water, which they provided. They also provided the snorkel gear (so you could see the dolphins)and kickboards if you wanted some extra flotation. (Wetsuits are pretty buoyant already, so you might not need anything extra.) They also gave a great introductory lecture before you went out on the boat to talk about the dolphins we would see. What I loved about this company was their concern for the dolphins. They told us that the dolphins are wild animals and that we were not to touch them, just look at them. The dolphins often came quite close and would swim along with you for awhile, but then they swim away. So if you are thinking to "ride" the dolphins, you will need to look elsewhere.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 07:21 PM
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I did the same tour with Dolphin Encounter that Longhorn did (only in November 2004), and this is the only tour I'd book clients my clients on. They are very professional, very well run and I was impressed with the quality.

As Longhorn said, and Dolphin Encounters would agree, this is not your "Flipper" type experience. I am assuming that you don't want the photo op of a dolphin "kissing you" then this is the one for you. Amazing pods of dolphins streaking by you at top speeds while you flail about in the water making stupid noises and trying to get their attention -- it doesn't get any bette than that! For one whole second you feel like you're part of the "pod" until your realize you're just a poor human in a boyant wetsuit, completely inadequate to even DREAM of entering their world. In short..it's a magical experience.


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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 08:20 PM
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Another vote for Dolphin Encounter in Kaikoura.The experience was awesome and the operation first class. Go for the first swim of the day.It was among the highlights of our recent 3 months in NZ.
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 11:04 PM
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I had a great dolphin swim with the Hectors (very rare dolphins) at Akaroa earlier this year.
As longhorn and wlzm. have said, it's not Seaworld/Flipper. The dolphins deign to swim with you, if they feel like it -- and they did! It was amazing.
As a New Zealander, it was an experience I will never forget.
Welcome to our country have a great trip Jonesy.
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Old Aug 9th, 2005, 10:33 AM
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Pleiades - We're going to Akaroa in late October. Which tour company did you use for the dolphin swim and would you recommend? Thanks!
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Old Aug 9th, 2005, 06:55 PM
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HI Wisc
I did http://www.dolphinsakaroa.co.nz and they were great. Small company, great knowledge.
But there is also www.swimmingwithdolphins.co.nz aka known as black cat cruises who seem offer a similar package.
All the groups are monitored by our Dept of Conservation to protect the integrity of the dolphins.
Have a great visit
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