On our half day trip, we got to see both dolphins and one whale. We did not get to swim with them though. Average tour, nothing special and too expensive.
Well organised tour with knowledgeable staff, respected the dolphins and laws. Included a great lunch. A bit expensive but good value when compared to others. Needed a bit more time at the island stop.
We saw many orcas during this trip.
We went to a second bay where one dolphin was there and wasn't afraid of people.
20 people at a time in the water to be with this dolphin. It wasn't what I expected.
The crew refused to give us neoprene swimsuits even though water was fresh (less than 20C) for us. We live in Thailand.
Good sights and seeing dolphins was amazing. A bit too impersonal I think but a nice way to see the Bay of Islands.
Dolphin watching (Russell), service orientated, reliable. Provide good equipment.
Little bit expensive but it was so nice to see dolphins in the Bay of Islands. Amazing islands as well.
Fabian and Teresa
Nothing can top the experience of dolphins swimming directly beneath you and then jumping behind your boat as you leave.
Great day with a great company and friendly staff. A little bit pushy buying the photos they take during the cruise. Besides that a recommendable tour!
Nice view, sunscreen on board!!
Saw dolphins and the Hole in the Rock. Great experience.
No digital information on board only old books. Four hour tour unfortunately included drop off of customers on board of a sailing ship. This was not mentioned and we had to leave dolphins early because of this.
I have been on a "Hole in the Rock" tour on 13/11/2011 in Paihia. We saw a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins and some distant Common Dolphins. A stop at Urupukapuka Island was included, as well. The "Hole in the Rock" was the announced Highlight of the Tour.
After finishing my several months trip through NZ I can`t recommend Dolphin Discoveries. It is expensive, the whole thing seems to aim the customers money. The crew is busier with taking photos of you than to provide an experience of the Bay of Island environment. Please spend your money for other activities than for the "Hole in your Pocket" tour with Dolphin Discoveries.
Fine but nothing out of the ordinary.
Apart from slightly delayed pickup from motorcamp an excellent service. Very good tour around the islands, lots of dolphins, 2 swims with them, very helpful and friendly crew.
Preben vil Helmsen
It was a very nice and spectacular experience - but it was too expensive $150.
It was great!! Discovered Urupakapaka Island, we learned alot about dolphins, we took a lot of beautiful pictures, we snorkelled. We talked with the captain and it was great but we did not swim with dolphins because of the bad weather!!
Beautiful cruise, friendly staff, saw many.
Rick & Suus
Very kind people (boat crew) who gave us lots of information. Did their best to spot whales but did not work out unfortunately.
Christiane & Dirk
Very friendly, excellent advice, it was a lot of fun, despite the rain.
Nick van de Belt
Did the swim with the dolphins. Great crew, good price and considering environmental DOC regulations.
We were on the black and yellow catamaran:
We booked a trip based on our desire to swim with the dolphins. The weather got a bit rough, and the pod of dolphins we saw had a youngster. Therefore, in the end, we neither got to swim with the dolphins, nor see the promised Hole in the Rock. Basically, the crew on the boat is friendly, but it seems that these smile occur as the company is ripping you off. We aimlessly cruised the islands, saw one pod of dolphins that actually found us, and observed as the somewhat disinterested crew played cards and, for the most part, took the lack of a full boat to mean it was their leisure time. It was clear that we were not going to find another pod to swim with simply because there was no effort on the part of the crew to do so.
Interestingly, there was plenty of time to drop us off on one of the islands with absolutely nothing to do but buy overpriced, stale sandwiches. And plenty of time to try and sell us the photos they made. I guess they don't even bother trying to hide that the whole thing is utterly disgusting in how commercialized it is.
Overall, we killed a bunch of time sitting on a boat with nothing to do. In conclusion, there are much more interesting places to see, and much better values, in New Zealand's north than this deceptive tour.
The swim with the dolphins was disappointing as they weren't interested and left once we were in the water..
The boat trip itself was fantastic and we were lucky enough to go through the hole in the rock.
Close encounter, awesome.
Started out well, first 2 hours good, next 2 hours very little happened. Although no dolphins were around for the 2nd half of the tour, could have been taken round islands more eg to see Hole in the Rock.
Get close to real dolphins - awesome!!
Very friendly and informative. It had not been made clear to us that weather might prevent the passage through the Hole in the Rock and that there would be a long stop on the way back.
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Hole in the wall/rock afternoon trip.
Marjan Van Den Braak
There are too many companies, Fuller's and yellow/black boats. We had the yellow. It was too commercial, with a photographer on board. Too busy on the water with 2 boats, jetboats and helicopters.
Great boat trip to Urupukapuka Island from Paihia. Nice dolphin watching.
Boat trip to see the hole in the rock. Dolphin spotting.
Again a great day. Did not get to swim with Dolphins as young in pod - but glad they followed rules and laws - still had breathtaking views. Staff great.
Alan & Gill Geach
We managed to see many dolphins but lots of other passengers didn't due to seating arrangements. Could have moved back around to enable more people to see. Expensive experience if no dolphin seen.
Cruise to watch dolphins, visited Hole in the Rock.
Excellent day trip in Bay of Islands. Well organised, informative day.
Swim with the dolphins. Company claims a 92% success rate on finding dolphins. On our trip they spotted dolphins. On our trip they spotted dolphins after 10 minutes. Unfortunately weather conditions did not allow a swim.
Beautiful tour looking for dolphins - amazing nature and a professional staff with a good sense of humour.
Swim with dolphins. First day, no dolphins, got a rain check. 2nd day, saw dolphins but no swimming (swell, babies). Very safety conscious, care of dolphins.
Bay of Islands/by boat to Hole in the Rock.
Trip to the ''Hole In The Rock'' is a must and this company + boat crew were very informative and helpful.
This was an all day boat trip in the Bay of Islands getting off from Paihia and was interesting, beautiful and informative. Boat operators gave excellent information and made stops for dolphin watching,details about the 144 islands, visit to Russell and much much more.
Was more of a Bay of Islands Cruise- pleasant but hardly saw any Dolphins. We were led to believe that we would see many more.
You will see dolphins for sure. Not very expensive and good length of trip but lots of people....too many for me!
Awesome boat ride!
the most enjoyable time, swam with the dolphins for at least 30mins maybe longer all gear provided, great guides and the photographer was very friendly and the pis we ordered were fantastic, most awesome time had by the Campbell Clan
We did the Discover the Bay Cruise so, as well as dolphin spotting, we also went to and through the Hole in the Rock and stopped at Urupukapuka Island. The crew were superb, especially the captain who kept up a really brilliant commentary throughout. There was no feeling of being rushed, with plenty time on the island and once we found dolphins, there was ample time spent watching and photographing them. We also spent time exploring other parts of the bay and learning a lot about its inhabitants, past and present! The boat is a good size - not too small so as to feel unstable and not too big so that you can't get near the side for photos. An excellent trip and well worth the money!
Well run with excellent and friendly staff on board. A little restrictive on island stops, otherwise brilliant.
Good trip all in all. Didn't get to swim with the dolphins as there were baby's in the pods. Good to see a company following the book though!
Martien van Brakel
We wanted to swim with dolphins in their natural habitat and that's what we did.
Skipper was very experienced, knowledgable and good sense of humour.
Friendly guides and good informations.
We wanted to swim with the Dolphins and we did!
Very clean vessel! Didn't get to go through Hole in the Rock (seas to rough), and didn't see any dolphins, but Explore NZ give you a voucher to go again for free if you don't see dolphins. Crew very informative of the different islands and bays we cruised past. An enjoyable morning!
Very nice trip, dolphin watching - excellent.
No dolphins but great trip.
Too busy too commercial (not just this company but others who offer the same thing) Misleading info.
Nice trip but if you compare to Kaikoura there are a lot more dolphins...
Excellent trip around the Bay of Islands including lots of bottlenose dolphins. Had a swim with them! Very professional and great that they put the dolphins first.
Very nice boat trip but more dolphins expected.
Enthusiastic people, real fun.
A lot of enjoy.
Dolphin watch / swim. We didn't do the walk as planned but got to swim with the dolphins :) Other companies could be cheaper?
I would have liked more time with the Dolphins. The crew seemed a little bored.
Stand out of the rest for a well organised trip. Friendly crew and the clean & happy yellow boat!
Excellent - good value for money. What I expected.
Great trip. We weren't allowede to swim with dolpins because they had pups. But nevertheless it was a great day
We spent about 2 hours cruising around (which was very pleasant) before we found the dolphins. when we finally found a small pod we were joined by about 5 other boats. The conditions were right and we were allowed to swim with them, so all the boats quickly tried to unload their swimmers. Everybody very excitedly jumped in and tried to chase the dolphins. There were 30 or more people chasing 4 or 5 dolphins and they weren't very interested in playing. You had to be a VERY confident swimmer to make the most of the opportunity! One dolphin swam past me briefly, but the rest of the swim was spent kicking about wondering where they had disappeared to. In hindsight it would have been better staying on board and watching them properly. We were so busy preparing and worrying about the swimming that we didn't really look at them as closely as we could have.
Brilliant fantastic experience. Great and relaxed people.
Our best experience in NZ so far.
No dolphins to be seen on our trip - hard luck I guess. Good crew though.
Saw some dolphins, the hole in the rock...
We actually booked with Kings, but ended up on a Dolphin Discovery tour. Perfect tour, respectful of the dolphins.
Pretty good - it was incredibly bumpy that day but ok.
Myrtille de Vries
Dolphins this time!
We just watched because there were babies.
We have seen a lot of dolphins on this tour. The staff were also focused on sustainability.
Didn't actually swim with them, but their system for this is great. Pay $70 for the boat, and an extra $30 if you do get to swim. Great company, good boat, good explanations - worked hard to find dolphins for us!!
Didn't get to swim with dolphins, but we saw orca instead! Good company.
Why is it 4 hours long?
Dolphins are very quick!
Didn't see dolphins first day but free voucher so next day we saw lots but weren't allowed to swim.