- Free Photo Card valued at $20
- Guaranteed mammal viewing or you get a free trip!
- Interaction with our on-board Marine Research Scientists
- Every ticket purchased contributes directly to Marine Mammal Conservation
Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari with Free Photos
You're guaranteed to see Whales or Dolphins on this ocean adventure - or come back for free!
- Please bring warm clothes and a showerproof jacket, a sun hat and sunscreen are also recommended.
- Don't forget your camera!
- A small range of snacks and food are available for purchase on board, including water, soft drinks, beer & wine.
Why do we love this
"We love it because these guys work closely with New Zealand's Department of Conservation, they conduct marine-biology research on board and are New Zealand's only research based marine mammal experience!"
WHAT TO EXPECT
Explore the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park over 4 and a half hours on a specially designed research vessel.
Spot dolphins, including the Common, Bottlenose or Orca species. They like to swim along with the boat as it travels over the water, and some dolphins can reach impressive speeds of 50 kilometres per hour!
The park is visited by over one-third of all marine mammals, so see if you can spot the 22 species of whale that have been found within the marine park, including Bryde’s Whale and Fin Whale species.
Seabirds also call the park home; about 24 species in total.
Guarantee Whale and Dolphin viewing all year-round, so jump on board and get up close to these beautiful creatures.
This is a great way to discover the wild marine mammals which thrive in the waters surrounding Auckland, you won't be disappointed.
What happens when weather is not good?
The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park can at times become reasonably rough if the wind and sea conditions are not favourable. For this reason we unfortunately do sometimes have to cancel our trip due to adverse weather for the safety and comfort of the passengers. We make this call at approximately 9am every morning and endeavour to inform all customers by 10am via the contact details provided. We recommend all customers check the marine weather forecast prior to booking, if you are unsure please contact our friendly reservations team
What is the duration of the trip?
The trip generally takes about 4.5 hours, but this can change depending on conditions. It is the skipper’s call to return early, which they may make if the sea and wind conditions deteriorate. Our passenger's safety and comfort is always our first priority (and being sea sick is no fun). As per our guarantee below, no cash refunds will be given if the Dolphin Explorer has to return early.
Some trips may be slightly longer than the scheduled 4.5 hours (normally by 15—30 mins). This is usually because we have found something special on the way home. We need agreement from all of the passengers on board to spend additional time on the water, and there is no extra charge if we do. If you must be back in Auckland by 5pm, then please inform the skipper on boarding and we will do our upmost to achieve that.
What to bring?
Auckland is a micro-climate that is notoriously changeable. One moment it’s hot and the next minute it’s, well…not! So it’s best to be prepared and bring layers, like a light wind jacket or vest and a warm top. It’s also useful to have a sun hat (with chin strap – you don’t want it blowing away), sunscreen, sunglasses, camera and binoculars. Lastly, please bring flat soled shoes. Anyone wearing heels will be asked to remove them.
Sea Sickness and Medical Conditions?
If you are inclined to sea sickness then please check the weather and medicate yourself several hours before boarding. Sea sickness medication is available from most pharmacies and supermarkets. Unfortunately we do not carry any remedies or medical relief onboard. If someone is feeling sick they need to tell a crew member and follow their instructions. We do provide sick bags for people to use, and we encourage you to do so!
Other medical conditions:
Please inform us upon booking if you have any pre-existing medical conditions that we should be made aware of. All members of the crew are fully trained in first aid response.
How do I get there?
Viaduct Harbour is located at the western end (left as you are looking at the water) of Quay Street in downtown Auckland. Upon arrival by foot, you will need to look for the Voyager Maritime Museum entrance on your right. There are a number of car park buildings close to Viaduct Harbour. The closest is Downtown Car Park, which is situated at 31 Customs St West, Auckland. Please allow a minimum of 20minutes to park and walk to the Maritime Museum as these can become busy at peak times.
- This tour is not suitable for heavily pregnant women. Children under 5yrs are suitable for the trip only if closely supervised by a parent or caregiver.
- No wheelchair access is available on the boat. Anyone with physical disabilities that require human intervention must be accompanied by their caregivers/support people.
- The supplier does not offer refunds if you do not see any marine animals. However, you attend the tour again free of charge until you do. This complimentary voucher is valid regardless of how long it is until you visit us again and is not transferable. We see dolphins on over 90% of trips and whales over 75% of trips, so your odds are really good!
In the event that a booking is cancelled, the following fees will apply:
- Cancellations more than 24 hours before departure: no fee
- Cancellations within 24 hours of departure: 100% of the cost
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