1. New Zealand
  2. Northland
  3. Paihia

Bay of Islands Dolphin Nature Cruise

Product ID: 175140
Explore the warm waters in the Bay of Islands by high-speed catamaran on a dolphin nature cruise. Encounter these intelligent and playful mammals in their natural environment.
About this activity
Duration: 4 hours
Starting time 12:00 PM
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Vouchers must be exchanged for tickets.
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

Select participants and date:



  • Marvel at picturesque views of the Bay of Islands while searching for dolphins on a 4-hour scenic cruise
  • Enjoy engaging live commentary from your knowledgable local skipper
Full description
Search for dolphins in the wild on a 4-hour scenic nature cruise through the picturesque Bay of Islands from Paihia. Explore the area by high-speed catamaran and receive full commentary from your knowledgeable local skipper about marine mammals and the conservation efforts being made. The Bay of Islands is home to 144 islands and a vibrant ecosystem providing a haven for dolphins, whales, and other marine mammals. 

Board the black and yellow catamaran at Paihia Wharf and be welcomed aboard by the friendly crew. Your crew will deliver a full safety briefing, and an overview of what you can expect on the trip. Then, start your cruise through the clear waters on a comfortable black and yellow power catamaran purpose-built for dolphin viewing with observation decks and large side opening windows.

If sea conditions are favorable and regulations are met, enjoy the opportunity to snorkel in the beautiful clear waters of the Bay of Islands. The snorkel spot will be selected by the skipper on the day. Rinse off afterward with a shower available on board. Please note that due to the Department of Conservation regulations, swimming with dolphins is not permitted in the Bay of Islands.

If time permits, you will also visit Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island after, and if you wish you can extend your time on the island and return on one of the later ferries – at no extra cost.
  • 4-hour dolphin nature cruise
  • Live commentary in English
  • Complimentary shower on board after your swim
  • Island stop-over at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island (time and conditions permitting)
What’s Not Included
  • Food and drinks

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Please be on the Paihia Wharf Pier 5, 15 minutes before departure for boarding. You may collect your boarding passes from the Explore office located on the corner of Marsden and Williams Roads.

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Important information
What to bring
  • Sun hat
  • Food and drinks
Not allowed
  • Luggage or large bags
Know before you go
• Sea conditions and Department of Conversation regulations will determine whether a swim is possible on the day. The decision to swim is at the skipper’s discretion
• Please note that due to the Department of Conservation regulations, swimming with dolphins is not permitted in the Bay of Islands
• Swimmers must be 8 years old and over and confident in open water
• Children aged 8 to 12 years must be accompanied in the water by a parent or guardian at all times
• A portion of your fare contributes to marine mammal research and conservation
• The activity requires minimum numbers to operate
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 32 reviews

Review summary

  • Service
    4.3 / 5
  • Organization
    4.3 / 5
  • Value for money
    4.2 / 5
  • Safety
    4.7 / 5
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A great tour

The tour with the Explorer team was great. We were provided with flippers and diving goggles and enjoyed swimming with the dolphins. In addition, the boat trip was a beautifully guided tour of the Bay of Islands. You couldn't get a better impression in the 4 hours. An extremely great experience for getting started in New Zealand!

February 4, 2019

Nice tour

It was a nice tour and we saw a lot of dolphins. Unfortunately it was a cold day with us, which didn't make swimming really nice, although the water there is always rather cold. What you should also be aware of is that dolphin swimming with wild dolphins, rather dolphins after swimming should be called :-) You need a lot of strength and endurance to get after them and to see anything under water. Going into the water is also a bit hectic. But the tour is definitely worth it alone to watch dolphins, because they come very close and that alone is an experience.

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November 27, 2013

Great crew, great sights, just missed seeing the dolphins..... totally out of the control of the company.

January 23, 2020

Organized by

Explore Group New Zealand

Product ID: 175140