Are you keen to check out some of the local ocean based wildlife while travelling New Zealand. Here are some hot spots for seal, whale, penguin, sea lion and dolphin experiences:
Paihia in the Bay of Islands offers swimming with dolphin experiences, again with Explore NZ.
Explore NZ offers whale watching and dolphin excursions in the Hauraki Gulf.
Bay of Plenty
Butler’s Swim with Dolphins offer excursions in the Tauranga region while Diveworks Dolphin & Seal Encounters operates out of Whakatane.
You can see seal colonies on the rocks around Turakirae Heads, 20 kms south of Wainuomata, or at Red Rocks closer to the Airport.
You could also tour with Seal Coast Safaris.
Abel Tasman Seal Swim offer excursions out of Kaiteriteri that include a 45 minute water taxi ride.
Kaikoura is a hot spot for whale watching, seal swimming and there are many seal colonies you can drive to on the coastline around Kaikoura.
The Cape Foulwind Seal Colony is located a short drive from Westport.
Akaroa is a small harbour town in the Banks Peninsula where Black Cat Cruises operates from . They offer swimming with dolphin experiences as well as wilflife cruises where you are likely to spot penguins, seals and dolphins.
Otago Peninsula and Catlins
Elm Wildlife Tours offer close up views of the rare yellow eyed penguin, seals, little blue penguins, albatross and sea lions. There are a number of other tourist operators such as Monarch, Natures Wonders, Catlins Marine Encounters and Eden Wildlife Tours
Milford Sounds, Doubtful Sounds & Stewart Island.
The popular Real Journeys operates out of 6 South Island destinations and their boat cruises will most likely include encounters with a variety of local wildlife.