Swimming with Dolphins in Akaroa
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Activity Snapshot

  • Sport level
  • Spoken languages
  • Duration
    3 hrs
  • Opening seasons:

Activity description

Swim with the world's rarest dolphin on this nature cruise & wildlife experience in Akaroa.

Take this once in a lifetime opportunity to swim alongside one of the world’s rarest ocean mammals - the Hector's Dolphin. Found in Banks Peninsula off the coast of Akaroa, it is the only place in the world you will find the most endangered and smallest member of the dolphin family. Swimming face-to-face with these wonderful ocean creatures is a truly unforgettable experience, with money from your booking being donated to the sanctuary that protects these wonderful animals.

Akaroa Harbour, New Zealand is the flooded remnants of an ancient volcano on South Island's Banks Peninsula, about 80-90 minutes outside of Christchurch. With its breath-taking scenery, including rolling green hills and hidden sandy bays, it’s the perfect location for observing coastal wildlife. 

This trip has been voted within the top 10 marine mammal experiences in the world, thanks in part to first class vessels and on-board marine experts that make this both an informative and interactive experience for the curious at heart. Groups of no more than 12 people ensure that you will be comfortably able to interact with these cute and playful creatures whilst feeling safe in your surroundings. Expect to swim in parts of the harbour that are sheltered by ancient volcanic cliffs and filled with beautiful Pacific Ocean marine life. You’ll spend in a total of around two hours on the water, with 30 minutes before and after for safety and equipment information. An experienced team of professionals will be at hand at all times - with wetsuits, snorkels, masks and floation devices free of charge. As well as dolphins, expect to see Penguins, Herons and the local Pukeko bird.

Operating all year round, these group of vessels boast a 97% sighting success rate. Please note that dolphins are wild and sightings cannot be guaranteed - trip time can vary throughout the season.

minimum 8 y/o
Cancellation policy: 
moderate1) Cancellation 10 days or more prior to the agreed activity starting date
→ You are automatically refunded for the full activity price

2) Cancellation between 4 and 10 days prior to the agreed activity starting date
→ You are entitled to a 50% refund

3) 4 days or later, prior to the agreed activity starting date, is considered last-minute cancellations
→ No refund will be made
Activity requirements

Guests must be able to swim 50m to participate.

Children must be accompanied in the water by a parent/guardian.

Customers MUST be confident swimmers and capable in the sea.

Children must be strong, confident swimmers in the open and over 12 years old to swim without adult in water.

Special terms

Departure times depend on the month, please choose accordingly: 

6:30am - 8:30am (November - March) 

11:30am (All year)

1:30pm (September - May)

Spectators can only be booked on a Swimming with Dolphins experience if they are accompanying a paying swim customer

  • Wetsuit/Mask/Snorkel
  • Nature Cruise
  • Flotation Devices
Do not forget to bring
Do not forget to bring
  • Swimwear/Towel
  • Suncream/Water
  • GoPro/Camera
Meeting point
Main Wharf, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand Get directions


Average rating
5 / 5
Very good
Nice Excursion,
  • 5 / 5

Nice Excursion,

  • 5 / 5


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