Curio Bay Dolphin Watch

Curio Bay Dolphin Watch



52 Rankers Reviews

47 Face-to-Face

4 Dolphin Watching

3 Waikawa



Spotting porpoises at Curio Bay
Wave watching - Curio Bay
Fossilised trees - Jurassic period
Meet the other local residents - Yellow eyed penguins


See dolphins in their natural habitat from the beach at Curio Bay

Hector's dolphins are a common sight at Curio/Porpoise Bay in South Otago's Catlins. A resident population of around 15 dolphins use the bay to play, feed and rest.
The NZ summer and autumn seasons (November through May) are the best time to see these small and rare dolphins at Curio Bay.
Please take care around these special creatures - don't feed them or chase them; they'll come to you when they want to.


Feature Value Info


South IslandSouthlandWaikawa


  • Dolphin Watching
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 47.

Rebecka's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Sat in the morning for sunrise between 6.20-7.20 Bt saw no dolphins. Although, I hear people saw them sitting out on the headland at sunrise the day before. Beautiful view anyway! And I saw a penguin yesterday night at the other bay around 20.40pm. Been here mid Feb.

Reviewed 7 months ago

Rikke Hessellund, Denmark's avatar

Rikke Hessellund, Denmark

Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful beach. And absolutely amazing with a group of dolphins swimming around us in the waves for quite a while. So long that it got too cold, and we had to get out of the water (it was the end of March) In the evening we saw one Pinguin at the petrified Forrest. All in all a super spot in NZ. Only minus was the water temperature and the sandflies.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

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S Weslake's avatar

S Weslake

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Stunning beach, rain or shine. Hector’s dolphins playing in the swell with the swimmers and surfers. 2 cafes and a campervan site in close proximity. Lovely walk around the headland. Well worth a stop.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Marcal Serrallonga's avatar

Marcal Serrallonga

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

We arrived at this beautiful beach on the afternoon and after waiting for 30 min we saw a couple of dolphins. It was amazing! They were very close! But it was so cold, so I could not imagine swimming with them... I regret to don't sleep 1 night in that place. In the other side, we also could see penguins, so it was perfect!

Reviewed over 3 years ago

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Jan Sojka's avatar

Jan Sojka

Czech Republic

Ranking: 8/10

Very nice beach, nice weather and swimming with dolphins.

Reviewed about 4 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Matthias Hottex's avatar

Matthias Hottex


Ranking: 10/10

It was a not a paid activity which makes it more amazing. I will never forget swimming with a dolphin in this natural habitat.

Reviewed about 4 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Till's avatar



Ranking: 9/10

Great spot for surfing and even to see dolphins and seals.

Reviewed about 4 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Rahel Baufeld's avatar

Rahel Baufeld


Ranking: 10/10

Around 20 wild dolphins live at Curio Bay and if you are lucky you can swim with them. Even without the dolphins the bay is beautiful and a nice place to relax.

Reviewed about 4 years ago and experienced in February 2016

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Leon Schotter's avatar

Leon Schotter


Ranking: 9/10

Spectacular location. The bay is a shelter for a lot of dolphins. Also beautiful for surfing and just hanging around.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Ronja and Lena's avatar

Ronja and Lena


Ranking: 10/10

You can see dolphins there (we didn't).

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in December 2015

Award-1-24px Congratulations Curio Bay Dolphin Watch

Rankers TravellerVoted Awards 2014 Dolphin Watching Winner

Roman and Liz's avatar

Roman and Liz


Ranking: 5/10

Very nice and long beach. Unfortunately we did not see any dolphins at all.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in December 2015

Lena Wesselink's avatar

Lena Wesselink


Ranking: 10/10

A-MA-ZING! You can watch the dolphins from very close and even swim between them! They're not scared at all, really lovely. Although the water is freezing cold... But really worth it, and free!

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Tobias Becker's avatar

Tobias Becker

Ranking: 10/10

Great experience to see these animals in the wild!

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in January 2015