Dolphin Discovery | Explore NZ

From NZ$120 per Adult

Dolphin Discovery Cruise | Bay of Islands

Encounter these intelligent and playful mammals in their natural environment. You may even have an opportunity to swim with the dolphins in the warmest waters in New Zealand.

Once the guides find a pod of dolphins, Department of Conservation regulations will determine whether a swim is possible. Swimming is optional, however you need to be 8 years and over and a confident swimmer in the open water.

Activity Options

Dolphin Discovery Cruise

  • View scenic picturesque islands while searching for dolphins.
  • Lifetime Marine Mammal Viewing Guarantee.
  • Mask, snorkel, fins and a wetsuit provided.
  • After swimming, showers are available on board.
  • Full commentary from the knowledgeable local skippers.
  • Comfortable travel on the black and yellow power cat, purpose built for dolphin viewing with observation decks and large side opening windows.
  • Safe access to and from the water for all swimmers.
  • If time permits, you will also visit majestic Otehei Bay and perhaps extend your island time and return on one of the many later ferries – at no extra cost!

Bay of Islands Twin Tour


  • Dolphin Discovery Cruise departs at 8.00 and 12.30 pm (26 December – 31 January)
  • Dolphin Discovery Cruise departs at 12.00 pm (1 December – 25 December & 1 February – 30 April)
  • May – October for an opportunity to swim with the dolphins join the Discover the Bay Hole in the Rock Cruise.


  • Dolphin Discovery Cruise: 4 hours

Other Information

  • Explore NZ provides snorkels, masks, fins and half wetsuits for dolphin swimming
  • Explore NZ offers a lifetime dolphin viewing guarantee on their Swim with the Dolphins and Discover the Bay ‘Hole in the Rock’ Cruise
  • Please note: Discover the Bay ‘Hole in the Rock’ and Swim with the Dolphins cruises are combined in winter. Departs at 9am (4 hours including island stop at Otehei Bay) and 1.30pm (3 hours)


Corner of Marsden and Williams Roads, Paihia, Bay of Islands. Trips depart from the Wharf, Pier to your left (yellow and black boats), in Paihia, directly opposite the Explore NZ office.