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Joni Stone   Meet Joni, one of our travel experts for New Zealand.

Born in the Southwest, raised in the Northwest, I have called the South Pacific home for over 30 years. I founded J2 Travels in the late 1990s to share our knowledge with other like minded travelers – remembering always, that the joy is in the journey. I currently live on Maui, I'm endorsed by IATA, and am a member of the Fiji, Tahiti and New Zealand Tourism Boards.

Dolphin Encounter, Kaikoura

Explore > New Zealand > Kaikoura > Dolphin Encounter, Kaikoura

Swim with Dolphins

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Swim with Dolphins - Dolphin Encounter, Kaikoura. Copyright Dolphin Encounter, Kaikoura.

Swimming with dolphins is a unique and sought after activity often being described as a life-changing experience; creating the most special and heart-warming memories of any activity.

There is a limit of just 16 swimmers on each vessel with plenty of additional space for watching. We have three dolphin swimming vessels and are able to operate up to three tours per day. Please book your dolphin swim seats as soon as you can. There is no shortage of seats available for watching the dolphins so advance bookings for watching is not so essential. Both swimmers and watchers travel on the same boat.

Dolphin Encounter, Kaikoura

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Dolphin Encounter is a locally owned business. The partners involved in Dolphin Encounter® are Ian Bradshaw, Dennis Buurman and his wife Lynette. All three are long time residents of Kaikoura having grown up and been educated in the region.

Ian Bradshaw, along with Dennis' brother Rik Buurman, were the first to make specific 'swim with the dolphin' tours in New Zealand, back in the summer of 1989-90. In the year of 1991 Dennis and his wife Lynette joined the Dolphin Encounter®. In 1999 Rik decided to move on to other things and sold his share to the other partners.

We live in a time when 'Eco Tourism' has become the latest catch phrase and entrepreneurs throughout New Zealand and the world, are seizing upon opportunities to create activities that involve interaction with wild animals in their natural environment. In pursuing these ventures, we must not lose sight of the fact we are taking a liberty, which although regulated in many instances, is a privilege. For this reason we have a duty to value those animals we come into contact with by giving them the respect they deserve.

We at Dolphin Encounter® are focused on giving those who take our tour a natural experience, not one that is fabricated, but one where any interaction between man and mammal is on the terms of the mammal.

We are committed to a strategy which focuses on environmental sustainability and developing improved operating efficiency. This will ensure our clients experience a nature based activity at its very best, with the least impact on the environment and the marine mammals we interact with.