Join Dolphin Watch Ecotours for a trip through the Marlborough Sounds to remember.
Our wildlife-focused tours combine a scenic cruise through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds of New Zealand with so much more! Our knowledgeable skippers and guides strive to provide our guests with accurate information and the best possible views of the various species of dolphins, fur seals and seabirds that call the Queen Charlotte Sound their home. At different times of the year, we have Hector's dolphins, dusky dolphins, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and even orca (the largest of the dolphins and also called the killer whale) that visit the Marlborough Sounds. Unlike other cruise operators that deliver freight and people to resorts on a strict timetable, Dolphin Watch Ecotours allows plenty of time during each wildlife encounter so that you can capture those memorable experiences with a photo and a memory. Besides.....who would want to watch freight be delivered or have to sit by a rubbish bin that's headed to or from a resort? Our mission is to have you experience the very BEST of the Marlborough Sounds.
Dolphin Watch Ecotours is officially CARBON NEUTRAL! By offsetting our emmisions through Wilderness Park at Cape Jackson's New Zealand Green program, we're doing our part to protect the environment. We are the only tourism cruise operator in Marlborough and possibly all of New Zealand that is officially carbon neutral.
This just in......we're now QUALMARK ENVIRO-GOLD certified! What does that mean? It means we adhere to a system of sustainable and responsible tourism practices that help to protect and preserve the environment within which we operate. No other water-based company in Marlborough is Enviro-Gold certified!!!
Where Are We Located?
We offer a variety of half-day ecotours, some of which include a guided walk lasting a full hour on the amazing predator-free Motuara Island bird sanctuary located in the outer Queen Charlotte Sound. We are fully permitted to step ashore at Motuara Island bird sanctuary and show you some of the locals like the endangered South Island saddleback, the melodic bellbirds, massive native pigeons and the always curious South Island robin that reside here year-round. The world’s smallest penguins (blue penguins) can be seen on the island during the nesting and moulting seasons. The birds on Motuara Island have no predators, so they have very little fear of people. You’ll simply be amazed at how close the birds will come up to you and the picture opportunities are fantastic!
Those looking for the thrill of a lifetime can swim with wild dolphins! The chance to see these magnificent creatures in their environment is an experience not to miss and one that is never forgotten.
Don’t miss our Queen Charlotte Track ‘Wildlife Watch & Walk’ option. We have a variety of packages for groups or charters that allow walkers to combine our Marine Wildlife and Motuara Island tour with varied lengths of walking the magnificent Queen Charlotte Track. Choose a Queen Charlotte Track day walk, multiple overnight stops or walk the entire Queen Charlotte Track – whatever is suitable to your needs and time requirements. We’ll even arrange for your packs to be carried from resort to resort while you tramp the Queen Charlotte Track! A perfect option for trampers wanting to see the dolphins, seals and seabirds on the water and Motuara Island bird sanctuary before walking the Queen Charlotte Track.
Need more information? Be sure to check out Frequently Asked Questions to see if the answer to your question is there. Feel free to email us and we will respond as soon as possible.