Swim with the Dolphins

Swim with the Dolphins

Explore Group

Reviews

Nadja Guiliani's avatar

Nadja Guiliani

Denmark

Ranking: 4/10

On our half day trip, we got to see both dolphins and one whale. We did not get to swim with them though. Average tour, nothing special and too expensive.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Ben Blackwell's avatar

Ben Blackwell

Australia

Ranking: 8/10

Well organised tour with knowledgeable staff, respected the dolphins and laws. Included a great lunch. A bit expensive but good value when compared to others. Needed a bit more time at the island stop.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

mathieu boustie's avatar

mathieu boustie

France

Ranking: 5/10

We saw many orcas during this trip.
We went to a second bay where one dolphin was there and wasn't afraid of people.
20 people at a time in the water to be with this dolphin. It wasn't what I expected.
The crew refused to give us neoprene swimsuits even though water was fresh (less than 20C) for us. We live in Thailand.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

Mattias's avatar

Mattias

Sweden

Ranking: 7/10

Good sights and seeing dolphins was amazing. A bit too impersonal I think but a nice way to see the Bay of Islands.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Susser's avatar

Susser

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Dolphin watching (Russell), service orientated, reliable. Provide good equipment.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in January 2014

Arnaud Memay's avatar

Arnaud Memay

France

Ranking: 7/10

Little bit expensive but it was so nice to see dolphins in the Bay of Islands. Amazing islands as well.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in January 2014

Fabian and Teresa's avatar

Fabian and Teresa

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Nothing can top the experience of dolphins swimming directly beneath you and then jumping behind your boat as you leave.

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Faassen's avatar

Faassen

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Great day with a great company and friendly staff. A little bit pushy buying the photos they take during the cruise. Besides that a recommendable tour!

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Wolfgang Beute's avatar

Wolfgang Beute

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Nice view, sunscreen on board!!

Reviewed about 7 years ago and experienced in February 2012

Ben Simons's avatar

Ben Simons

Belgium

Ranking: 9/10

Excellent.

Reviewed about 7 years ago and experienced in March 2012

Romla's avatar

Romla

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Saw dolphins and the Hole in the Rock. Great experience.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in February 2012

Martin Beuker's avatar

Martin Beuker

Netherlands

Ranking: 4/10

No digital information on board only old books. Four hour tour unfortunately included drop off of customers on board of a sailing ship. This was not mentioned and we had to leave dolphins early because of this.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in February 2012

batzi's avatar

batzi

Ranking: 3/10

I have been on a "Hole in the Rock" tour on 13/11/2011 in Paihia. We saw a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins and some distant Common Dolphins. A stop at Urupukapuka Island was included, as well. The "Hole in the Rock" was the announced Highlight of the Tour.
After finishing my several months trip through NZ I can`t recommend Dolphin Discoveries. It is expensive, the whole thing seems to aim the customers money. The crew is busier with taking photos of you than to provide an experience of the Bay of Island environment. Please spend your money for other activities than for the "Hole in your Pocket" tour with Dolphin Discoveries.
Sebastian, Germany

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in November 2011

Scott Simpson's avatar

Scott Simpson

Canada

Ranking: 5/10

Fine but nothing out of the ordinary.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in February 2012

Barry Baily's avatar

Barry Baily

England

Ranking: 9/10

Apart from slightly delayed pickup from motorcamp an excellent service. Very good tour around the islands, lots of dolphins, 2 swims with them, very helpful and friendly crew.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in February 2012

Preben vil Helmsen's avatar

Preben vil Helmsen

Denmark

Ranking: 10/10

It was a very nice and spectacular experience - but it was too expensive $150.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in February 2012

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Marie Dutron's avatar

Marie Dutron

Belgium

Ranking: 8/10

It was great!! Discovered Urupakapaka Island, we learned alot about dolphins, we took a lot of beautiful pictures, we snorkelled. We talked with the captain and it was great but we did not swim with dolphins because of the bad weather!!

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Nora's avatar

Nora

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful cruise, friendly staff, saw many.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Rick & Suus's avatar

Rick & Suus

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Very kind people (boat crew) who gave us lots of information. Did their best to spot whales but did not work out unfortunately.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Christiane & Dirk's avatar

Christiane & Dirk

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Very friendly, excellent advice, it was a lot of fun, despite the rain.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Nick van de Belt's avatar

Nick van de Belt

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

Did the swim with the dolphins. Great crew, good price and considering environmental DOC regulations.

Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in March 2011

bow's avatar

bow

United States

Ranking: 3/10

We were on the black and yellow catamaran:

We booked a trip based on our desire to swim with the dolphins. The weather got a bit rough, and the pod of dolphins we saw had a youngster. Therefore, in the end, we neither got to swim with the dolphins, nor see the promised Hole in the Rock. Basically, the crew on the boat is friendly, but it seems that these smile occur as the company is ripping you off. We aimlessly cruised the islands, saw one pod of dolphins that actually found us, and observed as the somewhat disinterested crew played cards and, for the most part, took the lack of a full boat to mean it was their leisure time. It was clear that we were not going to find another pod to swim with simply because there was no effort on the part of the crew to do so.
Interestingly, there was plenty of time to drop us off on one of the islands with absolutely nothing to do but buy overpriced, stale sandwiches. And plenty of time to try and sell us the photos they made. I guess they don't even bother trying to hide that the whole thing is utterly disgusting in how commercialized it is.
Overall, we killed a bunch of time sitting on a boat with nothing to do. In conclusion, there are much more interesting places to see, and much better values, in New Zealand's north than this deceptive tour.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

Jon_and_Family's avatar

Jon_and_Family

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

The swim with the dolphins was disappointing as they weren't interested and left once we were in the water..

The boat trip itself was fantastic and we were lucky enough to go through the hole in the rock.

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in March 2011

Stoop's avatar

Stoop

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

Close encounter, awesome.

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in March 2011

Laura Leigh's avatar

Laura Leigh

United Kingdom

Ranking: 6/10

Started out well, first 2 hours good, next 2 hours very little happened. Although no dolphins were around for the 2nd half of the tour, could have been taken round islands more eg to see Hole in the Rock.

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in March 2011

Patrick Gloede's avatar

Patrick Gloede

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Get close to real dolphins - awesome!!

Reviewed over 8 years ago

John Taylor's avatar

John Taylor

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

Very friendly and informative. It had not been made clear to us that weather might prevent the passage through the Hole in the Rock and that there would be a long stop on the way back.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

Ann Parry's avatar

Ann Parry

Canada

Ranking: 10/10

Hole in the wall/rock afternoon trip.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

Marjan Van Den Braak's avatar

Marjan Van Den Braak

Netherlands

Ranking: 4/10

There are too many companies, Fuller's and yellow/black boats. We had the yellow. It was too commercial, with a photographer on board. Too busy on the water with 2 boats, jetboats and helicopters.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

Wouter Teensma's avatar

Wouter Teensma

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Great boat trip to Urupukapuka Island from Paihia. Nice dolphin watching.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

Rob's avatar

Rob

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Boat trip to see the hole in the rock. Dolphin spotting.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

Sarah Ewing's avatar

Sarah Ewing

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Again a great day. Did not get to swim with Dolphins as young in pod - but glad they followed rules and laws - still had breathtaking views. Staff great.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

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Alan & Gill Geach's avatar

Alan & Gill Geach

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

We managed to see many dolphins but lots of other passengers didn't due to seating arrangements. Could have moved back around to enable more people to see. Expensive experience if no dolphin seen.

Reviewed almost 9 years ago

Tonny's avatar

Tonny

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Cruise to watch dolphins, visited Hole in the Rock.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in February 2010

John N's avatar

John N

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Excellent day trip in Bay of Islands. Well organised, informative day.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

Pascal Auber's avatar

Pascal Auber

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Swim with the dolphins. Company claims a 92% success rate on finding dolphins. On our trip they spotted dolphins. On our trip they spotted dolphins after 10 minutes. Unfortunately weather conditions did not allow a swim.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

Elisabeth Egerup's avatar

Elisabeth Egerup

Denmark

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful tour looking for dolphins - amazing nature and a professional staff with a good sense of humour.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

Pierre Pilon's avatar

Pierre Pilon

Canada

Ranking: 9/10

Swim with dolphins. First day, no dolphins, got a rain check. 2nd day, saw dolphins but no swimming (swell, babies). Very safety conscious, care of dolphins.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

Wielink's avatar

Wielink

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Bay of Islands/by boat to Hole in the Rock.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

Lamb's avatar

Lamb

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Trip to the ''Hole In The Rock'' is a must and this company + boat crew were very informative and helpful.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

Colin S's avatar

Colin S

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

This was an all day boat trip in the Bay of Islands getting off from Paihia and was interesting, beautiful and informative. Boat operators gave excellent information and made stops for dolphin watching,details about the 144 islands, visit to Russell and much much more.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago and experienced in November 2009

Ulyate's avatar

Ulyate

South Africa

Ranking: 6/10

Was more of a Bay of Islands Cruise- pleasant but hardly saw any Dolphins. We were led to believe that we would see many more.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago and experienced in November 2009

guichard's avatar

guichard

France

Ranking: 7/10

You will see dolphins for sure. Not very expensive and good length of trip but lots of people....too many for me!

Reviewed almost 10 years ago and experienced in December 2009

katepat's avatar

katepat

Canada

Ranking: 10/10

Awesome boat ride!

Reviewed almost 10 years ago and experienced in December 2009

Dawn Campbell's avatar

Dawn Campbell

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

the most enjoyable time, swam with the dolphins for at least 30mins maybe longer all gear provided, great guides and the photographer was very friendly and the pis we ordered were fantastic, most awesome time had by the Campbell Clan

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

HairyHaggis's avatar

HairyHaggis

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

We did the Discover the Bay Cruise so, as well as dolphin spotting, we also went to and through the Hole in the Rock and stopped at Urupukapuka Island. The crew were superb, especially the captain who kept up a really brilliant commentary throughout. There was no feeling of being rushed, with plenty time on the island and once we found dolphins, there was ample time spent watching and photographing them. We also spent time exploring other parts of the bay and learning a lot about its inhabitants, past and present! The boat is a good size - not too small so as to feel unstable and not too big so that you can't get near the side for photos. An excellent trip and well worth the money!

Reviewed about 10 years ago

Katy1's avatar

Katy1

England

Ranking: 8/10

Well run with excellent and friendly staff on board. A little restrictive on island stops, otherwise brilliant.

Reviewed about 10 years ago and experienced in March 2009

Alex D'Souza's avatar

Alex D'Souza

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

Good trip all in all. Didn't get to swim with the dolphins as there were baby's in the pods. Good to see a company following the book though!

Reviewed about 10 years ago

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Martien van Brakel's avatar

Martien van Brakel

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

We wanted to swim with dolphins in their natural habitat and that's what we did.

Reviewed about 10 years ago and experienced in April 2009

billdee's avatar

billdee

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Skipper was very experienced, knowledgable and good sense of humour.

Reviewed about 10 years ago and experienced in August 2009

monikav's avatar

monikav

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Friendly guides and good informations.

Reviewed about 10 years ago and experienced in April 2009

neeltjec's avatar

neeltjec

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

We wanted to swim with the Dolphins and we did!

Reviewed over 10 years ago and experienced in April 2009

Patrick's avatar

Patrick

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Very clean vessel! Didn't get to go through Hole in the Rock (seas to rough), and didn't see any dolphins, but Explore NZ give you a voucher to go again for free if you don't see dolphins. Crew very informative of the different islands and bays we cruised past. An enjoyable morning!

Reviewed over 10 years ago

EvertG's avatar

EvertG

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Very nice trip, dolphin watching - excellent.

Reviewed over 10 years ago and experienced in April 2009

KatrinK's avatar

KatrinK

Austria

Ranking: 10/10

No dolphins but great trip.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

RosC's avatar

RosC

United Kingdom

Ranking: 6/10

Too busy too commercial (not just this company but others who offer the same thing) Misleading info.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

David's avatar

David

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Nice trip but if you compare to Kaikoura there are a lot more dolphins...

Reviewed over 10 years ago

kymberlyw's avatar

kymberlyw

England

Ranking: 9/10

Excellent trip around the Bay of Islands including lots of bottlenose dolphins. Had a swim with them! Very professional and great that they put the dolphins first.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

Anneleen's avatar

Anneleen

Belgium

Ranking: 8/10

Very nice boat trip but more dolphins expected.

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

Simon's avatar

Simon

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Enthusiastic people, real fun.

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

Gunhild's avatar

Gunhild

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

A lot of enjoy.

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

Miha's avatar

Miha

Slovenia

Ranking: 7/10

Dolphin watch / swim. We didn't do the walk as planned but got to swim with the dolphins :) Other companies could be cheaper?

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

Ana's avatar

Ana

Slovenia

Ranking: 7/10

I would have liked more time with the Dolphins. The crew seemed a little bored.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

Cindy's avatar

Cindy

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

Stand out of the rest for a well organised trip. Friendly crew and the clean & happy yellow boat!

Reviewed about 11 years ago

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Mark's avatar

Mark

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Excellent - good value for money. What I expected.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

Stephanie Schikora's avatar

Stephanie Schikora

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Great trip. We weren't allowede to swim with dolpins because they had pups. But nevertheless it was a great day

Reviewed about 11 years ago

Rhys Howell's avatar

Rhys Howell

United Kingdom

Ranking: 6/10

We spent about 2 hours cruising around (which was very pleasant) before we found the dolphins. when we finally found a small pod we were joined by about 5 other boats. The conditions were right and we were allowed to swim with them, so all the boats quickly tried to unload their swimmers. Everybody very excitedly jumped in and tried to chase the dolphins. There were 30 or more people chasing 4 or 5 dolphins and they weren't very interested in playing. You had to be a VERY confident swimmer to make the most of the opportunity! One dolphin swam past me briefly, but the rest of the swim was spent kicking about wondering where they had disappeared to. In hindsight it would have been better staying on board and watching them properly. We were so busy preparing and worrying about the swimming that we didn't really look at them as closely as we could have.

Reviewed over 11 years ago

Ben 's avatar

Ben

Spain

Ranking: 9/10

Brilliant fantastic experience. Great and relaxed people.

Reviewed over 11 years ago

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Vikki

England

Ranking: 10/10

Our best experience in NZ so far.

Reviewed over 11 years ago

Kelly Noirin's avatar

Kelly Noirin

Ireland

Ranking: 8/10

No dolphins to be seen on our trip - hard luck I guess. Good crew though.

Reviewed almost 12 years ago

Ohad's avatar

Ohad

Israel

Ranking: 9/10

Saw some dolphins, the hole in the rock...

Reviewed almost 12 years ago

Nancy Dol's avatar

Nancy Dol

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

We actually booked with Kings, but ended up on a Dolphin Discovery tour. Perfect tour, respectful of the dolphins.

Reviewed almost 12 years ago

Kathy Hawey's avatar

Kathy Hawey

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Pretty good - it was incredibly bumpy that day but ok.

Reviewed almost 12 years ago

Myrtille de Vries's avatar

Myrtille de Vries

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

Dolphins this time!

Reviewed almost 12 years ago

Buys 's avatar

Buys

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

We just watched because there were babies.

Reviewed almost 12 years ago

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Haemnerli

Switzerland

Ranking: 8/10

We have seen a lot of dolphins on this tour. The staff were also focused on sustainability.

Reviewed almost 12 years ago

Jenny Hulsebosch's avatar

Jenny Hulsebosch

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

Didn't actually swim with them, but their system for this is great. Pay $70 for the boat, and an extra $30 if you do get to swim. Great company, good boat, good explanations - worked hard to find dolphins for us!!

Reviewed almost 12 years ago

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Willemien

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Didn't get to swim with dolphins, but we saw orca instead! Good company.

Reviewed about 12 years ago

Vern's avatar

Vern

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

Why is it 4 hours long?

Reviewed over 12 years ago

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Rietveld

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Dolphins are very quick!

Reviewed over 12 years ago and experienced in March 2007

Janne's avatar

Janne

Denmark

Ranking: 8/10

Didn't see dolphins first day but free voucher so next day we saw lots but weren't allowed to swim.

Reviewed over 12 years ago and experienced in February 2007