For the first part of our trip, we focused heavily on seeing some of New Zealand's amazing wildlife, including at Ohau Waterfall near Kaikoura. This is a waterfall and pond where seal pups hang out between trips back down to the beach to feed from their moms. It's like a baby seal playground!
But when we read about Encounter Kaikoura's dolphin, we were thrilled and amazed. They take snorkelers out looking for one of the pods of wild dolphins that resides around the coast. Once they find the pod, the snorkelers hop in and essentially try to entertain the dolphins enough that they'll stay and play. They would swim within a few feet of us, eye-to-eye, and they really seemed to like it when anyone would dive down or noises through their snorkel. We spent a full hour freezing in the waters while absolutely enchanted by the dolphins as they stayed and played with us - without any incentive (e.g., food) other than fun. This short video gives a great sense of the trip though and our time with "the world's friendliest" dolphin. The GoPro died while we were swimming, so this is the best shot we have of one of members of the 400-strong pod of dolphins!
- JC & GK