New Zealand Tour
- Two options, watching (viewing) or swimming. Both these options occur on the same boats, they are not separate tours.
- Including check-in time at Kaikoura accommodations, you should allow 2.5 hours in total.
- This tour is unique as it has the highest success rate of locating AND swimming with New Zealand Fur SEALS in NZ, the most acrobatic and interactive seal species in the world.
- All snorkelling equipment is provided for swimmers except for towels and swimsuits.
- The SEAL tour is an open ocean experience. For maximum enjoyment, swimmers need to be confident and have a reasonable level of snorkeling experience.
9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30am, or 2:00pm
|Frequency||Daily from October to May|
|Total Duration||2.5 Hours|
Kaikoura (The Esplanade)
- Confirmation E-Voucher will be sent within 24 hours of booking, subject to availability
- E-Voucher contains operator details, times and local contact telephone numbers
- This tour must be booked at least 72 hours in advance of travel
Fur Seals inhabit the coastal waters off Kaikoura all year round, making Kaikoura a unique place in the world where wild SEALS can be encountered, weather permitting.
The Maori word for New Zealand Fur Seal is Kekeno. In the early 1800's New Zealand Fur Seals were hunted, almost to the point of extinction for their fur. Luckly they were given protection in the 1940's, they now number around 50 to 60 thousand in NZ.
Young New Zealand Fur Seal are called 'puku'. 'Puku' is the Maori name for belly.
In most conditions you do not have to be a strong swimmer/snorkeller to swim with the seals. We have guides in the water with big float boards and the wetsuits that we give you are like life jackets so you can’t sink! Every now and then we do get more difficult conditions in which case we would restrict the tour to those with previous snorkeling experience. If you happen to be on one of those tours then we will allow you to cancel free of charge.
The opportunity to go out and watch the fur seals from our boats, gives visitors wonderful views of these spectacular and acrobatic seals. As well as this, there is the opportunity to witness any interaction between the seals and swimmers, who are also on the same boat.
This is an experience that will stay with you for a life time.
1. Tours have a total duration of approximately two to two and a half hours and a complete guided commentary is given throughout the tour.
2. On the seal tours you are sometimes lucky enough to see other marine mammals such as orca (killer whales), pilot whales, and hectors dolphins.
3. We will supply you with 5mm dive suits, hoods, fins and goggles & snorkel. We also provide hot showers, changing facilities and safe storage.
4. Things to bring on the tour are a swimsuit and towel (if swimming), gear bag, warm clothing and camera.
5. We do not have a strict age limit for children. Instead it is up to our head guide on the day to decide what age/ability level is suitable for the given conditions. In general we cannot take children of five years or under as we do not have wetsuits to fit them. Babysitters can be arranged.
6. If you do not get to see any seals in the water you will be given the choice of a second tour free of charge or a discount 50% of the standard tour cost.
7. People are encouraged to meet at our office and suit up area at 58 West End, Kaikoura (located in Kaikoura's main street) 15 minutes before tour time. By prior arrangement we can pick up and drop off at your motel or backpackers.
- Tours have a total duration of approximately two to two and a half hours and a complete guided commentary is given throughout the tour.
- On our seal tours you are sometimes lucky enough to see other marine mammals such as orca whales, pilot whales and Hector’s dolphins.
- Our boats are fitted with hot deck showers and toilets for passenger comfort and have covered areas for protection against the elements.
- Things to bring on the tour are a swimsuit and towel (if swimming), gear bag, warm clothing and camera.
- Due to the seasonal nature of our operation we have heavy demand for our tours throughout the busy tourist season - October to May. It is recommended that bookings be made well in advance during this period.
- All snorkeling gear and wetsuits are provided and although snorkeling experience is not a requirement, we remind you that this is an open water experience where a variety of sea conditions can be encountered. Therefore previous snorkeling knowledge is a definite advantage.
- Seal Swim operates under a permit system under the jurisdiction of the Department of Conservation. We have our own code of practice so that our operation with the seals causes the least possible disturbance to the activities of these wonderful creatures.
- All Tours are subject to minimum passenger requirements to operate.