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Auckland Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruise

  • 4.5-hour whale and dolphin watching cruise, from Auckland
  • Ride aboard a custom-built luxury catamaran for a superb viewing experience
  • Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and as many as six types of whales
Auckland Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruise
From US$126.31
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
Select Date and Travellers
1:30pm Departure
Departing at 1:30pm (October to November)
From US$126.31
Cruise the waters of Hauraki Gulf Marine Park in search of whales, dolphins and penguins on a half-day tour from Auckland. You’ll board a spacious catamaran at Viaduct Harbour and hear expert guides share informative commentary about New Zealand’s natural wonders. During the whale and dolphin safari, keep an eye out for six types of whales that frequent these waters, as well as seabirds such as Australasian gannets, petrels and terns.
What to Expect
Meet the boat crew at the New Zealand Maritime Museum at Viaduct Harbour, and depart aboard a custom-built 65-foot (20-meter) catamaran, comfortably appointed so you can best view up to six types of whales as well as dolphins and other marine life.
Throughout your 4.5-hour cruise, the captain and guides entertain you with fascinating facts about the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, home to five marine preserves and sprinkled with islands — it's considered one of the world’s most biologically diverse marine parks and home to some 23 different species.
Hear about research conducted in partnerships with local marine scientists and discover which whales the crew tracks. They’ll point out sea mammals such as frequently spotted pods of bottlenose dolphins and Bryde’s whales, native to New Zealand.
Be ready to snap photos of adorable blue penguins. Set your binoculars upon seabirds such as Australasian gannets, petrels, shearwaters and white-fronted terns soaring above or plunging into the sea.
Afterward, the boat returns to Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour, where your tour ends.
Please note: While wildlife viewings cannot be guaranteed, dolphins and whales are often swimming around these waters. In the event that you do not see any marine mammals during your trip, you can go again another day at no extra charge.
Reviews (759)
1 - 5 of 723 reviews
Reviewed yesterday

Yesterday, I went out with AWADS and it was the best day of my life. I had only seen dolphins once before in my life and that was from the Harbour Bridge in Auckland. On this trip we first saw a Mum and calf Brydes...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank MaxChambers
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
DO This if Nothing else!

What is SO great about this trip is that not only do they work their butts off to find both dolphins and whales but you are helping genuine research and protection of the sea species around NZ. We saw a mum and baby which is...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank PennyHAuckland
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
A disappointing experience

I went on this tour, but alas, all we saw was one unspecified whale that had an injury. This whale, understandably, kept its distance. While I understand that these are wild animals, the problems comes when none are found. First, the constant searching for hours...More

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank DrPeterJonason
AKLWhale, General Manager at Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hi Peter, thank you for your comments, first of all, the nature of nature. We are very lucky to enjoy one of the highest marine-mammal viewing rates in New Zealand and rest assured our expert crew are always working tirelessly to find you some whales...More

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
I cried at the dolphins...

Had a wonderful afternoon. We were lucky to have very calm waters, and spotted Bryde's whales (including a mother and calf..!), as well as three pods of dolphins who came up to us, with one swimming along with us for quite a while. It was...More

Date of experience: October 2018
1  Thank icklenellierose
AKLWhale, General Manager at Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you for your five star review, we are happy that you did not end up missing the trip, thanks to our dedicated staff, its sounds like it was an epic experience for you, one not to miss!. We hope to see you again.

Reviewed 1 November 2018
Great experience

We had a fantastic time on the whale and dolphin trip. We went with our daughter and boyfriend who live in Auckland. They had never done the trip before! Saw Orca (very rare) both on way out to sea and way back in the evening....More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Getaway21938816624
AKLWhale, General Manager at Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 5 November 2018

Thank you for your five star review, we are pleased you had such a fantastic time, it does surprise people that you can get to see whales, dolphins and Orcas in our Hauraki Gulf, without needing to head so far up north. I am always...More

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Questions & Answers
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2 May 2018|
Response from NZJafa | Reviewed this property |
bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins mostly daily orcas frequently
2 May 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Sean L | Reviewed this property |
I went in March and saw lots of dolphins but everyday is different, I'm confident you won't be disappointed!!