Watching in the Bay of Islands
Tours, Attractions and Events in the Bay of Islands
and Accommodation in the Bay of Islands
Touring catches up with dolphins
an area bursting with interesting things to see the Dolphin
Adventures tour out to spot and swim with dolphins is a
are both morning and afternoon tours and the likelihood
of seeing the beautiful creatures is almost guaranteed.
four-hour adventures begin at Paihia - with a pick-up at
nearby Russell - and believe me if you get the right conditions
you'll be in for an absolute treat.
Fullers' crew of Tammy and the wonderfully named Floppy
begin the trip by explaining about what you can and can't
do and also how the sea conditions and make-up of any dolphin
pods will determine whether or not you can swim with the
is illegal in New Zealand to get into the water with a dolphin
pod that contains juveniles - both for the mammals' safety
and your own. Dolphins are wonderful but a 200-kilo mother
protecting her youngster from a perceived threat is not
something I'd like to face.
the gals did say we would at least see them and so out we
motored on a stable and comfortable jet-powered catamaran.
the dolphins are wild their exact location varies depending
on their whims and feeding patterns.
about an hour of cruising the beautiful Bay of Island's
coastline we were led to a super pod of about 40 dolphins.
Normally there are about 15 in a pod so on the day we journeyed
out we were very lucky.
can recognise individual dolphins by their dorsal fins and
any scars they may have and each sighting is noted down
along with times, locations and weather conditions.
is to build up a picture of dolphin behaviour in the Bay
of Islands, although the highly mobile and unpredictable
mammals will more than likely make a mockery of trying to
pin them down through science.
it is one of the greatest joys of seeing dolphins in the
wild. You are completely at their mercy and it all depends
upon whether they feel like being sociable.
our trip the pod was keen to come to look at us and then
once they'd worked out we were pretty cool looking guys
and gals they performed and showed off.
hooked seaweed over its fin and began a game, while others
sped by and around and leapt out of the water in a billow
of spray that culminated in a whopping splash as it re-entered
the blue of the bay.
oohs and aahs and clicking cameras we marvelled at their
antics and I have to say this cynical journalist forgot
all the garbage going on in the world and just took in the
pure enjoyment of witnessing such wonderful creatures in
I had to spend much of the time looking through my camera
viewfinder but, hey, we hope you like the pictures.
super pod did have juveniles within its midst and so swimming
with them was out, but I reckon there was no-one aboard
the boat who was too disappointed because the spectacle
the way back to Paihia we stopped in on Urupukapuka Island
for a toilet stop and food and drinks at the local cafe.
You can also take a quick dip in lovely Otehei Bay.
Dolphin Adventures is a really well organised operation
that mixes a terrific tour, with a professional, informative
and really friendly service.
is a must-do.
can book a trip with Dolphin Adventures through Tiki Touring.
Cruise departs from either Paihia or Russell, in the
Bay of Islands. Paihia - the Maritime Building, Marsden
Road, on the Paihia waterfront. Russell - The Strand
Wharf on the Russell waterfront.
Cruise departs: Paihia - 8:00am or 12:30pm Russell
- 8:10am or 12:40pm Check in and boarding commences
10 minutes prior to departure
Cruise concludes at either The Strand Wharf in Russell
or the Paihia wharf, approximately 4 hours after departure,
or 9 1/2 hours after the morning departure if the
island extension option is chosen.
Dolphin watching cruise Underwater microphone to
listen to the dolphins.
of snorkels, goggles, fins and wetsuit when required
Urupukapuka Island visit and extended stay if option
hot drink and hot freshwater showers at Otehei Bay
Stable, fast, 13 metre catamaran with excellent
Zealand's Goods and Services Tax (GST)
and drinks other than those specified
This cruise operates with a choice of either a morning
or an afternoon departure from either Paihia or Russell,
as well as the option of extending your stay on Urupukapuka
Island (on the morning departure only). Please select
the appropriate tour grade option when pricing your
tour must be booked at least 24 hours in advance
of travel. Confirmation for this product will be
received within 24 hours, subject to availability.
is operated in English unless otherwise stated.
Departures and itineraries may be subject to sea
and weather conditions.
excursion is Department of Conservation approved
and a percentage of each fare goes towards dolphin
If you do not see dolphins or whales, Fullers will
give you a free ticket to go again until you do. Fullers
have a 90%+ success rate in finding dolphins. This
is not a money back offer and the ticket is not transferable
to another person. However, if you are unable to utilize
the offer of going again, then Fullers will refund
NZD20.00 per adult (and NZD 10.00 per child), direct
to you when you are in the Bay of Islands.
Whenever possible, Fullers allow you to swim with
the dolphins, however under some conditions, viewing
only will be possible. This is for your own safety
as well as the protection and well being of the dolphins.
Passengers wishing to swim should be competent and
confident in the water.
Passengers should wear their swimming costume under
their clothes for ease of changing. Fullers suggest
you bring a towel, some warmer clothing, sunglasses,
sunscreen and a camera.