Join this unique whale & dolphin watching safari in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, with guaranteed sightings or you get to try again for free!
Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari Highlights
- Get up to $15 cash back per person when you book with us
- 4 hrs 30 min eco wildlife cruise in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, onboard a purpose-built marine research catamaran
- Wildlife sighting guarantee or you get to come back for free (conditions apply)
- Commentary from the knowledgeable crew & the opportunity to join interactive research activities
- Every ticket purchased contributes directly to Marine Mammal Conservation
Where we Visit:
Hauraki Gulf Marine Park
Why Do We Love This
What to Expect
Frequently Asked Questions
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
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.
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.
Please also bring any personal medication with you, including any seasickness medication you may need, as we are not able to sell medicine on board. Don’t forget to bring your camera! Finally, you’re welcome to bring your own food and non-alcoholic drinks on board, otherwise, bring money to purchase snacks and drinks onboard.
If you are inclined to seasickness then please check the weather and medicate yourself several hours before boarding. Seasickness 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.
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.
Our vessel, the Dolphin Explorer, is a 20-metre (65-foot) Powercat. The boat was purpose-built to maximise our passenger viewing experience while making the trip as comfortable as possible. Dolphin Explorer can carry up to 100 passengers.
There are two unisex toilets on board the boat and there is a limited amount of seating available indoors.
We are very fortunate that the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park has dolphins and whales resident year-round, so any time of year is a great time to join us on safari. We’re more likely to see very large pods of dolphins banding together in winter, which is a great reason to brave the cold instead of waiting for summer!
People in light wheelchairs with some mobility can generally be accommodated. Our vessel has two stairs in the boarding area that passengers must be able to navigate (with carer support if required). Not all areas and viewing decks are wheelchair accessible. Our main level indoor area has a 15cm door sill. The bathrooms have a 15cm door sill and limited space inside. Heavy or motorised wheelchairs are not suitable, as they are too large and heavy to be lifted onto the boat. The maximum width of a wheelchair able to be brought on board is 67cm.
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