Whale Watching and Dolphin Swim

We stopped over for a night in Kaikoura, New Zealand in order to go swimming with dolphins.  Dolphin Encounter is the only company licensed to run these tours and they do a very good job.  The guides are knowledge.  The gear they give you is well maintained (they give you good wet suits since the water is about 10 degrees C).  The boat is also very comfortable and comes with hot water showers which is a very welcome treat after almost an hour in freezing cold water.

This is a not a typical “flipper” like experience that you can do at some resorts around the world.  These are wild dolphins and can move freely.  It’s up to you to entertain them in order for them to stick around.  One of the tips the guides give you is to make dolphin like noises.  Miki had great fun with this one.  She was chirping like a dolphin the whole time :)

During our swim we were lucky enough to get a pod of about 350 dolphins and they stayed with us for about 50 minutes.  One of the coolest things we’ve done.  It’s a must do if you are in New Zealand.

We also went Whale Watching with Wings Over Whales.  We’ve gone whale watching before in Hawaii on a boat so we thought doing by plane this time would be a nice new experience.  It was pretty cool but if you have a choice… do the boat instead.  You get a view of the whole animal by air but you get much closer by boat.  If we were to do it again we would go by boat.

Check out some videos and pics of both the whale watching and dolphin swim here.  The dolphin photos were taken with our underwater camera.  I dragged the thing all the way from Japan to use it for just 50 minutes.   Kind of a pain but worth it to get these videos.

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