Akaroa Harbour

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Akaroa Harbour: Our most recommended tours and activities

Akaroa: Swimming with Wild Dolphins 3-Hour Experience

1. Akaroa: Swimming with Wild Dolphins 3-Hour Experience

Swim with the endangered Hector’s Dolphin, the world’s rarest and smallest oceanic dolphin. On New Zealand’s ultimate dolphin experience, you’ll have the chance to see and swim with Hector's dolphins close up, in the wild.  Check-in at Akaroa’s main wharf and meet the friendly crew who will provide you with a warm wetsuit, mask, snorkel, booties, gloves, and a hood if necessary. Climb aboard the jet-powered catamaran and cruise out into the sheltered harbor. The highly trained crew will give you a safety briefing and explain how to interact responsibly with the dolphins.  With only 12 swimmers permitted per vessel, you’ll have a greater chance of seeing the dolphins up close. Gear up and slip into the tranquil harbor waters to join the dolphins their natural habitat. The covered vessel has no propellers, making it safer for you and the dolphins. Warm up in the heated cabin or take a hot shower afterwards. Hector's dolphins are protected in Akaroa Harbor by a marine mammal sanctuary. The tour operator was the first cruise boat company in the world to gain the coveted Green Globe 21, an international program to ensure best environmental practices. A portion of every ticket sale goes towards the research and conservation of Hector's dolphins.

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From Christchurch: Helicopter Flight to Akaroa

2. From Christchurch: Helicopter Flight to Akaroa

Embark on a helicopter flight from Christchurch that follows the spectacular rugged coastline until you head inland to Akaroa harbour. The locals will tell you that no trip to the Christchurch area can be complete without a visit to Akaroa, the jewel in Banks Peninsula’s crown. On the way, discover the lush forests and grasslands that run down the hillsides to the azure water of the endless bays, fed by the Pacific Ocean itself. Upon arrival at Akaroa explore its excellent shops, cafés, and restaurants. Early French settlers gave Akaroa its heritage and distinct French feel that is reflected in the names of the streets and local bays.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Akaroa Harbour

Want to discover all there is to do in Akaroa Harbour? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Akaroa Harbour

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 68 reviews

It was amazing!! The dolphins came right up to us! Definitely reccomend swimming out a little further so you have a bit of distance between you and the group..as my partner and I had a lot of close contact with the dolphins. Remaining calm and being patient is important too.

Very well organsied, great safety briefing and clear instructions. We swam with about 8 dolpins and a Royal Albatros landed in the water near our group which was an extra bonus to see such a large majestic bird so close.

We had a great experience with the dolphins, some got very close. The organization was good, there was a lot of interesting information about the animals and the luck to see them in their natural environment was great!

There were only 8 of us on a speed boat, but if you get sick easily, you should think again ;-)

Wow wow wow - wanted to do this all my life! Very cool.