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South IslandSouthlandWaikawa

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.

Spotting porpoises at Curio Bay

Spotting porpoises at Curio Bay

Nova deViator

Wave watching - Curio Bay

Wave watching - Curio Bay

Samual Mann

Fossilised trees - Jurassic period

Fossilised trees - Jurassic period

Jun

Meet the other local residents - Yellow eyed penguins

Meet the other local residents - Yellow eyed penguins

Seabird NZ

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SouthlandWaikawa

Yellow eyed penguins waddling through the petrified forest

Curio Bay Penguin Watch

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Seals at Surat Bay

Surat Bay - Seal Watching

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Mating ritual or lovers tiff?

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44 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 1 of 4.

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!

Jan Sojka's avatar

Jan Sojka

Czech Republic

Ranking: 8/10

Very nice beach, nice weather and swimming with dolphins.

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Matthias Hottex's avatar

Matthias Hottex

Germany

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.

Till's avatar

Till

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

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

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Rahel Baufeld's avatar

Rahel Baufeld

Germany

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.

Leon Schotter's avatar

Leon Schotter

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

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

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

Ronja and Lena's avatar

Ronja and Lena

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

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

Roman and Liz's avatar

Roman and Liz

Germany

Ranking: 5/10

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

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Lena Wesselink's avatar

Lena Wesselink

Netherlands

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!

Tobias Becker's avatar

Tobias Becker

Ranking: 10/10

Great experience to see these animals in the wild!

Award-1-24px Congratulations Curio Bay Dolphin Watch

Rankers TravellerVoted Awards 2014 Dolphin Watching Winner

Ann Wilson's avatar

Ann Wilson

England

Ranking: 10/10

Great to see dolphins swimming out at sea whilst sunbathing/swim in sea. In evening watch the penguins come ashore and looking at fossil forest. Clambering over rocks. All free - carpark included!

Kathrin Deichmann's avatar

Kathrin Deichmann

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful landscape, nice campsite, cliffs, beach, ocean and dolphins coming to the beach.

Natalie Boehm's avatar

Natalie Boehm

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Just awesome! Got into the water and waited while the dolphins passed by. But the water was pretty cold.

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