Monday, November 21, 2011

Dolphin Watching

The Marlborough Sounds is a fantastic place to go Dolphin watching on a motorhome rental or campervan hire holiday in New Zealand. Not only do you get to see, and in some cases swim, with these incredible creatures, the scenery is out of this world too.

There are all kinds of cruises to take part in, and although you’re here for the dolphins, there are excellent opportunities to see sea birds and seals as well. Picton is the perfect spot, its calm, sheltered waters are a haven for dolphins, and the lush tropical surroundings are home to some incredible wildlife and birdlife. Out in the ocean Common, Bottlenose, Dusky, and rare Hector’s Dolphins enjoy the warm, clear water, and other wildlife such as New Zealand Fur Seals also make the waters edge their home.

Here are a few examples of cruises in which you can expect to see dolphins, remember to check out the operators rating on sightings and whether they offer a refund policy, just in case of rough seas!

Motuara Island
A typical half-day tour will include a fascinating commentary on the local habitat on your way to Motuara Island Bird sanctuary; from the viewing areas up on deck watch as dolphins lead the way. On the island see Fur Seals, Blue Penguins, Bellbirds, and other native species, before returning to the boat for snacks and drinks, and then onwards to Picton, hopefully accompanied by those curious dolphins again.

Ship Cove cruise
A cruise to Ship Cove, made famous by Captain Cook, combines a dolphin-watching cruise with a visit the beautiful, pristine forest and powdery beaches of the island. Spend time exploring the native
bush, relax on the beach, or go in search of Fur Seals and seabirds.

Dolphin swim and Dolphin watching cruise
If you’re seriously into dolphins, then chances are you’re going to want to swim with them. There’s nothing to compare with being out in the open ocean and viewing these beautiful creatures underwater as they play
all around you.

Your day starts from Picton with a cruise across the calm waters of the Queen Charlotte Sounds. As you keep your eyes peeled for the dolphins you will also see fur seals, gannets, shearwaters and penguins, and if the time is right, maybe even a mighty Orca.

Regulations are strict when it comes to following and interacting with the dolphins, but once spotted, if the conditions are right and you’re getting in, you’ll change into your wetsuit, mask, and fins and get ready to jump in. If you’re not keen on swimming in open water don’t worry, the boat is for swimmers and non-swimmers alike, and for those in the water it’s always nice to have someone on board taking pictures.

There are lots of places around the world where you can get to swim with dolphins, but on a motorhome rental or campervan hire holiday in Picton, it’s satisfying to know that conservation plays an important role, and these animals are free to come and go as they please.

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