Skip to content


Dolphin Watching Tour


    • 100% Dolphin Guarantee – FREE Return Ticket if No Dolphins
  • Experienced Captains and WCA Certified Guides
  • Personalised small fully guided group tour (1-15 ratio)
  • Onboard binoculars for viewing wildlife
  • WCA and DOC Certified – Dolphins health First 🙂
  • No Seasickness Guarantee – CALM WATERS
  • Free high-quality wildlife photos
  • Kids toys, books and drawing boards
  • Complimentary tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits
  • Bottlenose, Common, Dusky, Hectors Dolphins and Orca
  • Travel with E-Ko and Support local Conservation efforts
  • Learn about our commitment to sustainability

    Tour info in brief

    1-2 hours
    8.00 AM, 10.00 AM, 12.00 AM , 14.00 PM
    Pricing: Adult: $149 (16+ years)
    Child: $75 (5 – 15 years)
    Infant: $35 (0 – 4 years)
    Location: 1 Wellington Street, Picton
    Briefing: 15 Minutes before Departure

    No Seasickness Guarantee

    FREE Photos

    About the Tour

    Getting up close and personal with dolphins in their natural environment is a genuine bucket list activity. E-Ko Tour has been running dolphin watching tours for over 25 years and we love nothing more than seeing the smiles that appear on the faces of our guests when we show off these amazing creatures. Have a Dolphin Look in your eyes, it melts your soul. In this location with its calm waters and relaxed Dolphins, we achieve this. Our Boats get you close to the water, and we have spent 25 years building trust with the mammals so they come over to look at you 🙂

    Come see the Friendliest Dolphins in NZ and maybe even one of the less than 35 QC Hectors Dolphins – the world’s rarest and smallest Dolphin. 

    Dolphin Watching Dolphin Watching Leaping Dolphin Watching bottlenose dolphins Orca cursing the sounds Photographer with Hectos Queen Charlotte Cruise Dusky Dolphin Leaping in Queen Charlotte Sound in 2023


    What to expect

    We take you where the wildlife is! 🐬

    We’ll be searching for Dusky, Bottlenose, Common, Orca and the rare Queen Charlotte Hector’s dolphins (<35) that frequent this unique area. Whether it’s watching a group quietly cruising along or marvelling at their high leaps, back-flips and somersaults during social bouts, dolphins are a magnificent sight and will leave you gasping in amazement.

    Guides and Permits

    Our degree qualified guides are there to make sure you (and the dolphins) have the best and safest experience possible. WCA Certified Marine Guides. Our special Department of Conservation permits allow us to seek out and interact with all species of marine mammals that live in the Sounds. We’ll take you there and provide respectful interactions with these amazing creatures. Once spotted, we’ll cruise with the dolphins to get you the best photo and video opportunities. As a permitted operator, we abide by the rules and regulations established for dolphin watching activities.

    More than just Dolphins 🐦

    During the dolphin cruise, we’re also likely to see NZ Fur Seals and a wide variety of seabirds (like Gannets, Shearwaters and Penguins). Once you have had a magical viewing experience we will be waiting with drinks and cookies which you can enjoy while we cruise back to Picton. Unlike other dolphin swimming operations around New Zealand where several boats are around the same group of dolphins, we are Picton’s only dolphin experience operator.

    Dolphin Watching Tour Prices

    Prices include all equipment and gear – just bring your swimwear and a towel.

    Winter Special Deals @ 1st June- 31st October, call 03 5738040 

    • Adult: (16+ years) $149
    • Child: (5-15 years) $75
    • Infant: (0-4 years) $35

    Dolphin Watching Tour Times ⏰

    • Briefing: 20 Minutes before the Tour 
    • Departure: 8:00 AM, 10 Am , 12 Am , 2 PM
    • Duration: 1-2 hours

    No Seasickness (Guaranteed)

    We primarily operate in an area of little to no sea swell – meaning seasickness is never an issue for our guests. In fact we guarantee that there will be no sea sickness on all our tours – and are the ONLY operator confident enough to do this.

    Small Groups

    This is no mass market experience – we have a tour guide for every 15 people on board – with a maximum of 30 passengers. Board our purpose-built vessels at our floating wharf for your small group experience before embarking on your cruise through the scenic and sheltered waters of the southern Queen Charlotte Sound.

    WCA Endorsed Responsible Whale and Dolphin Operator 

    We are the only SMART ( DOC ) and WCA-certified marine mammal operator in New Zealand and a portion of your Fee goes back into HELPING these amazing animals. 🙂 

    What to bring

    • Phone/Camera for Photo’s
    • Sunglasses
    • Suncream
    • A sense of adventure!

    Where are we?

    We are located conveniently on Picton’s main waterfront with car parking close by and only a 1-minute walk from the main street.

    Just look for the Dusky Dolphin outside our shop.

    Before your tour starts feel free to take a seat inside the shop or outside on our sun drenched deck and enjoy the stunning views.

    Customers can also get online with our free WiFi, and purchase a tea or coffee to enjoy on the deck.

    You will Never Miss your Ferry

    Our tour schedules are integrated with the Interislander – so there is no chance that you’ll miss your ferry.

    What people are saying about us

    “Definitely a must do!”

    Trip Advisior – 5 Star ***** 6 May 2017 Reviewed by Sarcha-Joseph H We took my 80-year-old nana dolphin watching for her birthday and had the most amazing day!!! We were treated to three pods of Hector dolphins and then a large group of bottlenose. Both Paul and Tristan on board the Boat were fantastic at pointing out all the wildlife along the way and explaining all the local history also. We were very lucky to have a small group on board that day so plenty of room to sit and move around as we pleased. The tour operates in very sheltered parts so it was such a calm trip barely noticed you were on a boat all day. Definitely, a must do!!!!!

    “It was beyond amazing”

    FaceBook – 5 Star ***** Chanella Hall reviewed E-Ko Tours — November 16, · I can’t put it into words how my experience was like, it was beyond amazing that they were a hands length away and even closer a lot of the time. It will be something I will never forget. We are saving again to come back as soon as possible, hopefully, this year or the start of next year. And thank you to our instructor and captain (im sorry im bad with names) you guys were awesome!! I didn’t want to leave. Anyway, we will see you again soon. Thanks again 🙂

    “Double Star 10”

    FaceBook – 5 Star ***** Sean Glover reviewed E-Ko Tours – January 2, 2016 There should be a rating of double star 10 then maybe you’ll get an idea of just how good these guys are.

    Digital Marketing by King Kong