Marine Guide Courses - Train to become a Certified Guide

Do you have a love of marine animals?

Would you love to share that passion with people from all over the world?

Then you should become a qualified tour guide - and get paid to do what you love!

As tourism continues to boom in NZ, E-Ko Tours has been selected by the World Cetacean Alliance to offer a series of qualifications offering career progression as a marine guide.

It will be recognised by all 140 partners of the World Cetacean Alliance - meaning your qualification can take you all over the globe.

These qualifications will build on existing courses offered by WCA partners wherever possible with the intention of ensuring consistency and trust for partners, for employees and all concerned with responsible tourism.

E-ko located in Picton with 20 years of Guiding Experience both on the Predator FREE Sanctuary Islands and Queen Charlotte Sound can offer additional qualifications as a Sea and Land Guide.

These courses ensure maximum applicability to other work situations, to opportunities through life-skill development and, through the prestige within the quality assurance systems, to other industries, too.

Dolphin and Whale Guide

WCA Responsible Whale Watching Guide

Is your dream job to educate people about whales and dolphins in the wild? Would you love to have the opportunity to become a whale watching guide but not sure where to start?

Our Responsible Whale Watching Guides Course is the perfect avenue into this competitive industry.   This course will provide participants with the skills to be an engaging, fun and informative guide promoting responsible whale watching.  Through assessed activities and interactive workshops, our 5-day intensive course is designed to equip participants with a wide variety of skills to educate the public and promote whale and dolphin conservation.

Our WCA Qualified Responsible Whale Watching Guides will enjoy FREE access to our exclusive Whale Champions community for a year, including a newsletter containing volunteer opportunities with our amazing Partners all over the world.

To become a World Cetacean Alliance Certified Whale and Dolphin Guide Add on the Practical 15 day E-Ko Certified Sea and land Guide course and your employment opportunities  as a Tour Guide are guaranteed worldwide


Modules include

  • Safety for Guides
  • Whale Champions module
  • WCA Global Best Practice Guidance
  • WCA Guide training Record Book
  • Cetacean Identification
  • Binocular use Module
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Creating an effective talk
  • Creating an educational activity
  • Practical activities, including boat work
  • Citizen science
  • Final presentation/assessment

World Cetacean Alliance and E-Ko Tours Training. Certified Marine Guide Course - 15 days $1499

Bec 2015

E-Ko Sea and Land Guide Certification 


The full course with E-Ko to become a certified Sea and Land Guide ensures the best possible career start for you and a road map to success.

At E-Ko we offer the best training in Oceania in a sheltered safe environment for learning about Dolphins, Whales and Fur Seals. 5 Species of Dolphin are found locally and we are on the main Humpback Whale migration path.

We also have 1000 hectares of Predator free islands to choose from. We work with the Department of Conservation on the islands to help stabilise several rare and endangered species. This makes this course unique, sea and land animal experience and certification working within an operating ethical tourism business. You will be immersed with practical hands-on training with guests, experienced guides and a variety of species.

The aim is for you to become a certified confident Sea and Land and Guide so you can go directly to fully paid employment as a Guide or as a volunteer/ Intern.

You can also fulfil the World Cetacean Alliance requirements to become a Certified Whale and Dolphin Guide. Becoming dual Certified and guaranteeing your employment opportunities worldwide.

We will assist with placement either with E-ko or 1 of the 140 connected WCA partners upon the successful completion of the full training period.


Modules include

  • Complete Guide certification for WCA by having the Record Training Book signed.
  • Complete WCA speciality Courses
  • Become a Certified Marine Guide for WCA
  • Complete E-Ko Sea and Land Guide Course and gain Certification.
  • Project Jonah  Marine Mammal Medic Course
  • Learn and practice delivering the commentary on all trips offered by E-Ko
  • Learn the various checklist systems
  • Learn and undertake tasks required of a crewmember on board the boat (including working the ropes, mooring/unmooring, cleaning, care of equipment, emergency procedures, etc.)
  • Assisting guides on trips with customers while learning the general procedures
  • Pre-tour set-up on both boat and office depending on the tour.
  • Pre-tour wetsuit and mask fitting for guests.
  • Learning safe swim procedures – including setting up the back deck for dolphin swimming, safety briefing, safe swim procedures, emergency procedures, swimmer in distress procedures and communicating with the skipper.
  • Learning proper searching techniques for whales, dolphins and other wildlife.
  • Learn about the Humpback whale migration path and history.
  • Learn about Seabirds and Landbirds
  • Learn about rare and endangered species and Bird Sanctuary Islands
  • Learn to spot, identify and distinguish between the species present in the Queen Charlotte Sound, both on land and in the marine environments.
  • Learn how to act in a responsible and sustainable manner around wild animals.
  • Learn to understand and identify animal behaviours – particularly dolphins.

Hire An E-Moped

Hire an e-moped e from our shop and take a cruise around Picton in the coolest way possible - without breaking a sweat.

We have high quality e-mopeds for hire at just $50 per hour.


The Best Experience

✓ Exclusive No SeaSickness Guarantee
✓ Experience Wild Dolphins
✓ Free Wi-Fi
✓ 5 minute walk from the ferry terminal
✓ Perfect for families - the kids will love it!
✓ Fully Guided - we don't leave you on your own


Free Coffee and Wi-Fi

We are located just minutes from the Interislander ferry terminal, and when you are at our shop, you can use our free Wi-Fi (it's fast!) and customers can enjoy a free coffee or tea.

E-Ko Tours lets you experience Picton/Marlborough better than the rest

Book online now:

We'd love to see you onboard.