Swimming with Dolphins appeals to a lot of people. They are incredibly smart and beautiful creatures and in Kaikoura there’s a whole host of marine wildlife including Dusky Dolphins which tour companies will not only take you out to see but also provide the oportinity to swim with them in there natural environment.

We were kitted out in 2 part wetsuits, hoods, snorkels and flippers and watched a briefing that told us what to expect and how we could attract the Dolphins to us once in the water. The main idea behind all the tips were that the Dolphins would approach us out of curiosity so by making noise and moving around they will approach us to see what’s happening. 

The day had turned from bright and sunny to heavily misted and it took us a while to find Dolphins and even longer to find ones we could safely swim with as the ones we were first coming across were either bonking or had babies and we’re best left undisturbed. Once we had found a pod though we sat on the back of the boat waiting for the horn that signalled it was safe for us to enter the water. I was quiet nervous at this point as the crew had been taking the fact I had asthma very seriously and had checked where my inhaler was and told me that the cold water very well might set off my asthma and know they cold and the weight of water often did I was convinced I was gonna struggle. However the horn sounded and I lowered myself in and found all the fuss had been for nothing. I couldn’t even feel the cold through the wetsuit!

 We proceeded to make fools of ourselves by splashing around and making weird noises through the snorkels, I sang some Bon Jovi which worked so well I nearly got knocked out by 2 Dolphins that swam full pelt at me! After the initial surprise wore off I was amazed at how close they came to us. We got out and back in about 6 times and I can only describe it as a little bit magical. They were inches away and beautiful! Though I swam away quickly when I found myself face to face with a jellyfish.

I couldn’t stop grinning!


Once we got out for the last time we had hot chocolate and biscuits and watched the Dolphins from the deck. They were swimming right besides and underneath the boat and there were some very cute baby ones and we spotted a couple of seals too.

Swimming with Dolphins has been one of the highlights so far and definitely the best nature activity I’ve done. I would love to return to Kaikoura again and I would highly recommend Dolphin Encounters for anyone who wants to swim with Dolphins. It will beat swimming with captive dolphins in a tank at SeaWorld!