Akaroa Swim with Dolphins Tour from Christchurch

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Akaroa Swim with Dolphins Tour from Christchurch
from USD $233.92
Explore the coastal town of Akaroa and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim with dolphins on this full day tour from Christchurch. Travel through the breathtaking New Zealand countryside to Akaroa and admire sights of interest such as Governor’s Bay and Lake Ellesmere on route. Cruise into the harbour with your guide and watch the waves for marine life. Strap on your snorkel and flippers and swim with elegant Hector’s dolphins in the wild. Enjoy free time to explore Akaroa, then visit a local cheese factory for a tasting session.
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In Brief

Christchurch, New Zealand
New Zealand
9 hours


Instant Confirmation
All necessary equipment included
Close encounter with friendly dolphins
Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
Important InfoInfo
Following a morning pickup by air-conditioned coach from your Christchurch hotel, head out along the road to Akaroa with your guide to begin your tour. Pass scenic local highlights such as Governor’s Bay, Gebbies Pass, Lake Ellesmere, Lake Forsyth and Little River, and capture the country’s breathtaking beauty on camera.

On arrival at the coastal town of Akaroa, hop aboard your boat with your guide and cruise out into the harbor. Watch the waters and keep an eye out for dolphins, penguins and seals, and enjoy the feel of the wind in your hair as you cruise through the waves. The sea along this part of the coast is teeming with marine life, and sightings of friendly and inquisitive Hector’s dolphins — one of the world’s smallest dolphin species — are common.

When your captain has located a pod, pull on your wetsuit, mask, snorkel and flippers then leap into the water. Enjoy the chance to swim with these rare, endangered animals and marvel at their grace through the waves. The dolphins here are completely wild so touching them is not allowed, but simply ducking down beneath the waves to marvel at these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is enough to make memories to last a lifetime!

Climb back aboard your boat for the return journey to Akaroa and enjoy free time for lunch (own expense). Soak up the coastal atmosphere and spectacular volcanic views in this charming corner of the New Zealand countryside, and explore the many fine craft shops and old French colonial buildings in the town. Conclude your time in Akaroa with a visit to the cheese factory at Barry's Bay and enjoy a tasting session of some fine New Zealand cheeses.

In the mid-afternoon, hop back aboard your coach for the drive back to your Christchurch hotel, where your tour will come to an end.


  • Cheese tasting at Barry's Bay
  • Live commentary on board
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Wet suit hire
  • Use of Snorkelling equipment


  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Gratuities

Departure Time

8:45 AM

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered

Returns To

Returns to original departure point at 5:45pm

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Children must be 8 years and over to swim with the Dolphins
  • Customers must declare any pre-existing medical conditions. A basic level of fitness is required. Customers will be floating in the water and will be required to swim to and from the boat - distances up to 50 meters (150 feet) at a time.
  • Minimum 4 adults required before tour can operate
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund

Booking Information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Cancellation Terms

Once booked, this trip is fully non-refundable

Booking Terms and Conditions

When you book this trip, you need to read and accept the terms and conditions for booking our day trips in excursions.

Hotel Pickup

When you book, we will ask you to select a hotel to be picked up from. Once your booking is confirmed, we'll send you a confirmation voucher with full contact information (phone number, email address) for our local operator in case you need to update or change your hotel pick-up details.

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about hotel pickup:

What if my hotel is not listed?
That's okay. When you book you can select an hotel from our list and make your way there on the day of departure; or you can contact our local operator directly to make alternate pick-up arrangements.

What if I have not yet booked a hotel?
Once your hotel arrangements are finalised, you can contact our local operator directly with your hotel details.

What if I live locally, am staying with friends or relatives, and/or don't require pick-up?
Once your booking is confirmed, we'll send you complete details and directions to the tour/activity departure point.

Scoring an average traveller rating of 4.33 out of 5 based on the last 18 recent reviews

This was awesome. Our tour guides were extremely knowledgeable about marine and mammal life and the fast boat ride was fun too. Best of all was swimming with a pod of seven dolphins that were friendly and exuberant to the point of jumping out of the water!! We didn't want to leave and they hung around as long as we did. Well done Black Cat tours. The rest of the trip was great also. Our driver took us on the scenic route for great photo ops and fun pit stops on the way. Overall a really great day.
• Submitted 29 Mar 2018
INCREIBLE!!!! Nadar con delfines en Akaroa fue una experiencia inolvidable!!! El agua no ayuda porque estaba fria pero los trajes de neoprene ayudan bastante. Es totalmente inolvidable como experiencia
• Submitted 08 Jan 2018
Unfortunately due to weather I was unable to swim with the dolphins - instead was placed on the Akaroa harbour boat tour which was still amazing. Hamish the audio guide on board was spectacular and extremely knowledgable about all forms of wildlife and the history of the location. The staff on board were friendly and welcoming, and I appreciated the chances we had to simply drift and take in the scenery. Bravo!
• Submitted 21 Dec 2017
A really pleasant day. A relaxing ride to Akaroa and then a couple of hours on the water in search of dolphins. We did manage to see quite a few along with some penguins. After that some time in town for lunch before departing for Christchurch. A fun day trip.
• Submitted 18 Jan 2017
I purchased this for my daughter, who was vacationing in New Zealand. She said it was AMAZING. There were around 30 dolphins playing with them. They swam and played with them for a long time and had a blast. Highlight of her trip. I'd also like to commend the tour operator for their flexibility. We had to change the date of the tour 3 times and they were always very accommodating.
• Submitted 17 Dec 2014
amazing experience, everyone should do this!
• Submitted 30 Jan 2013
It was a highlight to swim with the Hector dolphins. The dolphin swim was the best part of this trip, fairly long day but worth while.
• Submitted 21 Jan 2011
Great value for money! Great Team and great time with the Dolphins!!!! Do not hesitate!!!
• Submitted 25 Jan 2011
Excellent tour! Not only was it great that the driver picked us up from our hostal but he was very informative and knowledgable about the area as we drove to Akaroa. Non-stop chat-box. He stopped to allow us to take nice pictures on the side of the road. The day was perfect for seeing dolphins. We swam in a pod of about 18 dolphins at one time. Wetsuits make floating almost effortless and the cold water tolerable. One of the best part of our whole trip.
• Submitted 28 Jan 2010
Swimming with the dolphins was amazing, the driver between Christchurch and Akaroa was very nice and professional. The duration of the trip was perfect.
• Submitted 28 Jan 2010
Swimming with the dolphins in their natural habitat was amazing! I would rate this the best thing that I have done out of all my traveling over the years.
• Submitted 09 Dec 2009
Had an amazing time with the Dolphins and will remember this day for ever.... So stunning and beautiful!!! However please please make sure to call the tour operator if you choose to be picked up from your hotel!... I was told a certain time but had to call them after waiting for an hour for them to arrive! They then told me they wouldn't be able to drop me back off at the end of the day Gratefully the coach did drop me at my hotel I think more information needs to be put on this advert... You are picked up by minivan and dropped into the city center were you transfer to a separate coach company that transport you to Akaroa with amazing stops on the way.... But I will defiantly be contacting the tour operator after their attitude towards their customers .... But the swim made up for it all to be honest!
• Submitted 08 Dec 2015
Great time! It took a bit to find some dolphins, but they came around. And getting Hot Chocolate after being in the water was a great touch.
• Submitted 02 Jan 2014
I can highly recommend swimming with the Dolphins! They are so beautiful and in the wild, an experience I will never forget. And the pickup, transfer etc also all went smoothly. Do it!
• Submitted 15 Feb 2013
Swimming with the dolphins was a great experience and both the people and the tour guide were very friendly. The only issue was that the swim did not take place in the harbour but the open ocean. It was very rough and difficult to swim when we went, even though I am a confident swimmer. It was also very cold, even with wetsuits. I would say the tour is more suited for strong swimmers, and not to bring children under 12 to 14 depending on their swimming ability. The dolphins were very curious and friendly... overall an amazing experience!
• Submitted 28 Jan 2010
Staff were excellent, wetsuits were warm, dolphins were beautiful and came really close - the only reason I give this three stars and not four is because I did another one in Kaikoura that was even better, but if I had not and this was my only chance to swim with the dolphins, I would be totally happy with this experience. It was professional yet friendly. Good work. One tip, which the Kaikoura people did to give them the edge - they had a defogging spray to put inside the masks to keep them clear, and it really worked. Made Kaikoura that little bit better and easier, but it was still great in Akaroa.
• Submitted 09 Dec 2009
Ddint find any dolphins the day I went-bad luck and that's nature of course. But having loved the Kaikoura dolphin swim I was really guted this one didn't work out and I didn't have time to try again. I'm sure if you find the dolphins it's amazing so dont pay too much notice to this review! Word of warning: at the moment (May/June 2011) Christchurch isnt very busy so this tour may not happen at all, or not on the day you want it to. My 2 dolphin swims got moved around to fit in with numbers so you may need to be flexible.
• Submitted 27 Jun 2011
this is the worst tour I've ever done I put ☆ because I can't put zero It was wasting time and money. I do NOT recommend this company.
• Submitted 02 Feb 2016

In Brief

Christchurch, New Zealand
New Zealand
9 hours


Instant Confirmation
All necessary equipment included
Close encounter with friendly dolphins
Free hotel pickup and drop-off included