Dolphin Encounter
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Starting From NZD 90 / per person
Dusky Dolphins
The dusky dolphins are a small dolphin, typically 1.8 metres in length and weighing up to 80 kilograms. They reside in the coastal waters of the Southern Hemisphere and the best known locations are along the East Coast of New Zealand and the Southern region of South America. They are distinctive by their markings and are very acrobatic in their behaviour.
NZ Fur Seals
The New Zealand fur seals are found on rocky shores and reef areas around the mainland and the population is increasing. They are distinguished from other seal species by their external ear flaps and hind flippers, which rotate forward, allowing them to move quickly on land.
Hectors Dolphins
One of the rarest dolphins in the world and also the smallest marine dolphin. They are only found around the coastal waters of New Zealand, tending to live quite close to the shore and in water up to 100 metres deep. They have a distinctive body shape and a rounded dorsal fin.
Albatross & Mollymawks
Kaikoura is known as the best place in the world to see albatross and a diverse range of seabirds close to shore. It boasts an impressive array of commonly sighted species, including the great albatross (the wandering and royals) to the lesser albatross (the mollymawks) as well as petrels, terns, penguins and gulls.
Orca (Killer Whales)
The orca is the largest member of the dolphin family and can easily be identified by its distinctive black and white markings and very tall prominent dorsal fin. They can grow up to 9 metres in length, with male dorsal fins reaching higher than a metre. They are a transient species frequenting Kaikoura throughout the year.

The Encounter Foundation was established as a charitable trust in November 2009 by the partners in Encounter Kaikoura. By participating in the Encounter tours, (Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura and Albatross Encounter Kaikoura) each and every customer is assisting in protecting our very special natural environment.

Our vision is to invest in and support the future wellbeing and sustainability of the local terrestrial and marine environment, for present and future generations, through tourism.

The objective of the Foundation is to focus on enhancing the natural environment by supporting a variety of projects, both locally and further afield.  Projects that range from restorative planting (with a view to encouraging the return of native birds) to sponsoring like-minded charitable purposes, beautification education initiatives, and conservation.

Since the Trust commenced we are proud to have supported a range of projects from marine mammal research to studies on seabird populations and distribution. As well as the replanting of native species and development of walkways, to supporting the establishment of a third colony for the Hutton’s Shearwater, a species endemic to Kaikoura.  There is also a range of other initiatives which you will find listed on their website.

So far, in excess of $200,000 has been donated to worthy projects by the Encounter Foundation.

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