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“No Dolphins but Orca instead” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Explore - Bay of Islands

Explore - Bay of Islands
Ranked #22 of 49 Tours in Paihia
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Attraction details
Owner description: Combine a morning encounter with dolphins on our Swim with the Dolphins cruise and an afternoon sailing the legendary maxi yacht Lion New Zealand...
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“No Dolphins but Orca instead”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014

Sad to not be able to swim with Dolphins but this evaporated when we where treated to an amazing display of many Orca feeding off of rays..

Visited August 2014
Thank Basjetpilot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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48 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Altus, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A fantastic day in the Bay!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2014

We did the tour out of Paihia which started off with the dolphin cruise/swim. We located about 4 separate pods of dolphins but all of them had young ones so we weren't allowed to swim with them, unfortunately. It was really cool when they got close to the boats and did some close swim-bys or jumped out of the water. Just being out in the picturesque Bay of Islands and seeing dolphins frolic was pretty nice, so we weren't super bummed that we didn't get to swim. For the afternoon we transferred to the Lion which was a really great experience and a good bit more fun than any of us thought it would be. The lunch that was provided (salad, meat and amazing bread) was hearty and healthy. Tom and his crew were awesome guides and we got to put up the big red sail, which was apparently only the third time this year that conditions were good enough to do so. Getting to be a working part of the crew was much more enjoyable than sitting around and doing nothing. The scenery out there was fantastic and the value for money of this tour was exceptional. We would highly recommend this tour for anyone going into the Bay of Islands.

Visited March 2014
Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kapiti coast New Zealand
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Top of my bucket list.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2014

We only did the four and a half hour 'swim with the dolphins trip, and left from Paihia. (although they do pick-ups from Russell as well.) The staff were knowledgeable and friendly. The launch was comfortable, and there was plenty of room for everyone to get a good view of the dolphins. We saw quite a few pods of dolphins, ---- and many were really close to the boat as they frolicked and played in the water. (The temperature of the water was 21 degrees Celsius, so warm enough to swim with no wet-suits on.)
If baby dolphins are amongst the pod, then passengers are not permitted to swim amongst the dolphins,----- as this distracts the babies and mums, and the babies do not continue to suckle on their mums, ---- risking hyperthermia.
Sadly this was the case on our trip. We saw plenty of dolphins up close, ---- but each pod had babies amongst the adults. No worries, ----- the experience was wonderful, ------ and I will still have an excuse to return to the Bay of Islands to fore-fill my dream of swimming with dolphins.

Visited April 2014
Thank PatandJackNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane Region, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
“Swimming with the Dolphins and sailing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2014

Form the staff in the shop front to the fellas on the yacht, this was a stand out day. The knowledgeable staff on the dolphin cruise made for an informative and enjoyable morning. But for me the highlight was sailing on the yacht. We transferred from the Dolphin Cruise to an island for an hour of swimming, kayaking etc. Then had a great lunch on board the yacht. The crew were fantastic sharing sailing experiences and directing us on the "grinders". Steering the yacht was a fantastic experience.highlight. A holiday highlight.

Visited November 2013
Thank Paul T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Explore Half Day Trip and Hole in the Rock”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2014

We had a lovely time on this trip not having gone far and coming across plenty of dolphins. The sea was like a mill pond! The tour guides were very informative and we learnt alot about the many islands in the bay. The trip through the hole in the rock was fun and amazing to see so many fish in the water! We stopped at Mokorua Island and had 45 minutes to explore, the view from the top was just stunning! Highly recommend this trip, felt it was value for money - Thank you Explore

Visited March 2014
1 Thank Lynley M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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