Dolphin Eco Experience

The Bay's most intimate dolphin viewing and swimming experience

Dolphin Eco Experience

Adult ($ nz)


Child ($ nz)



4 hours

Tour description

Dolphins are fascinating creatures, and in the Bay of Islands we are blessed with their presence all year round. This eco cruise gives you the chance to get into the water and swim with dolphins as they play in their natural environment (optional extra, conditions permitting). You'll also cruise the many secluded islands of the Bay and gain an insight into this historically significant region.

Swim with dolphins in the wild (optional extra)
See dolphins, whales and other wildlife
Low viewing deck and underwater microphones
Limited passenger numbers

This intimate half-day cruise seeks out the many playful dolphins within the sheltered waters of the Bay. We often see bottlenose and common dolphins, baleen whales, orca, seals, fish, penguins and other sea and bird life.

Our experienced crew have specialist knowledge of dolphin behaviour – join them in searching for those tell-tale splashes from our purpose-built dolphin watching boat Tutunui.

With Tutunui's low viewing deck, water jet engines and underwater microphone, and a maximum number of 35 passengers on board, you're guaranteed an up close and personal experience. If conditions permit, jump into the warmest waters in New Zealand and snorkel with these graceful and inquisitive creatures (additional $30 per person) – it'll be an experience you will never forget!

Useful Info

  • BRING:

    Hat, sunscreen and your camera. If you plan to swim, bring a towel and wear your swimsuit under your clothing for convenience. We'll provide snorkels, masks, fins and wetsuits.

  • HEAR:

    A full commentary is provided by your skipper. Printed multilingual maps are available in Chinese, Japanese and German.


    Swimming with dolphins costs an additional $30 per person (refundable if swimming does not take place). Swimming with dolphins is subject to the Department of Conservation’s rules and regulations and the skipper’s discretion. Visit our Terms for more.


    You must be able to swim competently in open water unaided. Children under 8 years are not permitted to swim with dolphins. Children 8-12 years must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times.


MORNING Departs Returns
Paihia 8:00 am 12:00 pm
Russell 8:10 am 11:50 am
AFTERNOON Departs Returns
Paihia 12:30 pm 4:30 pm
Russell 12:40 pm 4:20 pm

Please report 15 minutes before departure.

Easy Cancellation

Cancel or change your booking any time before 6pm on the day before departure  - no cancellation fees!

See full booking terms


"It’s a lovely way to spend four hours in the Bay. Skipper and crew (Floppy) were excellent and the boat a modern double hull affair, so nice and stable."


March 2017
Colin H, Tripadvisor

"We had a fabulous afternoon out among the islands looking for dolphins. We found a pod and stayed with them for about half an hour getting a really up close look."

Dolphin Eco Experience

December 2016
WildgeeseNZ, Tripadvisor

"After only 20 minutes we arrived at the first pod of about 20 bottlenose dolphins. Wow, what a sight. The absolute highlight were the orcas. Dolphins were curious about us and swam with our boat."

Just Great

March 2017
Brigitte H, Tripadvisor

"We got out and swam for a good 45 minutes, and were absolutely overcome at how beautiful and unique the experience was. Thanks so much to Martin and Naz for such an amazing time! All the other tours seemed so jealous of us in the water with two playful and happy dolphins."

Dolphin Eco Tour

December 2016
zoef92, Tripadvisor

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