Swimming with dolphins

Swim with dolphins and view them in their underwater world is the adventure experience of a lifetime and one that you'll never forget!!!

 Swimming with the dolphins in Picton, New Zealand
 Swimming with the dolphins in Picton, New Zealand
Join us on a dolphin swim & viewing cruise in the sheltered calm waters of the scenic Marlborough Sounds. We'll search for Dusky, Bottlenose, Common, Orca and the rare Hector's dolphins that frequent this amazing area.  Whether it's watching a group quietly cruising along or marveling at their high leaps, back-flips, somersaults and side-slaps during social bouts, dolphins are sure to please all.  Our Dept. of Conservation permit allows us to seek out and interact with all species of marine mammals that live in the Sounds.  During the cruise, we're likely to see NZ Fur Seals, a variety of seabirds (like Gannets, Shearwaters and Penguins)


Once spotted, we’ll cruise with the dolphins and get the swimmers ready if conditions allow.  As a permitted operator, we abide by the rules and regulations established for dolphin swimming and viewing activities.  If conditions are good, then we’ll place swimmers in the water for the adventure of a lifetime!  Unlike other dolphin swimming operations around New Zealand where several boats are on the same group of dolphins, we are Picton's only Dolphin Swimming operator - that means we're the only boat with swimmers in the water with a group of dolphins. We primarily operate in an area of little to no sea swell - meaning seasickness is rarely an issue for our guests.  Wetsuits, fins, masks and snorkels are provided free of charge.  If you're not keen on swimming with the dolphins, then join this tour for some fantastic dolphin viewing from above. 

Swimming with Dolphins Tour Highlights

  • 5 possible dolphins species (Bottlenose, Dusky, Common, Hectors & Orca)
  • Scenic cruise in the sheltered Queen Charlotte Sound
  • Expert knowledge of the wildlife that lives here
  • All swim equipment provided
  • Dolphin Viewing success 95% & Swim sucess 80%
  • Dolphin Swimming Guarantee - see below
  • Family Friendly
  • Fantastic photo opportunities
  • Free tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cookies

Departs Daily 9:00 am (October to April) Check in 45 minutes prior to departure.

 Dolphin Watch Naturetours booking   

  This lucky couple get a fantastic look at 2 Bottlenose Dolphins swimming right underneath them.
  This lucky couple get a fantastic look at 2 Bottlenose Dolphins swimming right underneath them.
  A large group of Bottlenose Dolphins coming straight at this lucky group of swimmers.
  A large group of Bottlenose Dolphins coming straight at this lucky group of swimmers.

General Information about swimming with dolphins:

  • Dolphin Swimming Guarantee - If you aren't able to swim with dolphins, we'll convert your fare to dolphin viewing!  Success rate (all year) for viewing dolphins is currently 98%!  Success rate (all year) for swimming with dolphins is currently 80%!  Please keep in mind that like all dolphin swimming tours in New Zealand, there is always the rare chance that you will not be able to get in the water with wild dolphins.  For an update on what we've been seeing and swimming with recently, please view our www.facebook.com/naturetours  
  • Wetsuits, masks, snorkels and fins are provided free of charge. You will need to bring a swimsuit, towel, camera and sunscreen. A hot deck shower is available immediately after swimming to warm you up. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits are provided free-of-charge after swimming/viewing.
  • Space is limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
  • Each dolphin swimming tour lasts approximately 2 - 4 hours. Tour times depend on where we find the dolphins.
  • Viewing dolphins in their underwater world is truly a magical experience and one not soon (if ever!) to be forgotten. It should be noted that open water dolphin swimming operations are not like that of an aquarium type atmosphere. Dolphins are generally very interested in swimmers, however, these are wild animals that are in total control of the situation and we are simply guests in their world. If the dolphins are not in the mood to interact with people, they may simply move on and swimmers should be aware there is the chance that they will not interact with them in the water. If that is the case, we will bring the swimmers back onboard for some awesome viewing from the boat. Please understand that it is the dolphins choice whether to interact with the swimmers and refunds can not be given if the dolphins are "not interested" for whatever reason.
  • Like all swim with dolphin operators in New Zealand, this is an open water experience - not an aquarium setup. The Marlborough Sounds are extremely sheltered from the wind and we rarely experience any sea swell that makes swimmers sick in other areas of New Zealand. However, if sea and wind conditions are deemed too severe, all dolphin swimming tours will be cancelled for matters of passenger safety. Your safety is paramount to us and we will not put swimmers in the water if the conditions are unsafe for you to disembark or climb back aboard the vessel. If dolphins are viewed, but weather is not good enough to put swimmers in the water then your fare will be converted from ‘dolphin swimming’ to ‘dolphin viewing’. Read additional terms and conditions for dolphin swims.
  • We are a Department of Conservation (DOC) permitted swim with dolphins operators. It is our years of experience operating around both dolphins and whales that provides our guests with important and relevant information during each dolphin swimming or viewing experience.  
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"We had an absolutely great time with the dolphins. It belongs to one of our . . ."
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 Dagmar and Libor, Czech Republic

 Swim With Dolphins Video

Swim With Dolphins Video