Hannah & Ben: Dolphin spotters

To round up my New Zealand trip photos, here are some pics of when Ben and I went dolphin watching!

Oh hey there

We went to Akoroa, which took around an hour to get to from Christchurch.

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Hanging out with Hector

Akoroa is home to Hector’s Dolphins, the rarest and smallest dolphins in the world, which are only found in New Zealand. They are protected in Akoroa by a marine mammal sanctuary, and they definitely seem to rule the waters!

To see the dolphins, you need to go out in a boat. We booked a boat cruise and departed at lunchtime with the hopes of spotting our little friends.

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At sea

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Dolphin spotters

Just like at Milford Sound, the captain gave us commentary on the boat ride out. We learnt all about the Maori history of Akoroa and who the first European settlers were, and about how the rocks and coves were named by Captain Cook.

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The dolphin’s home

As we approached the mouth of the river, everyone crowded to the outside decks with their eyes peeled for dolphins.

Annoyingly, there was lots of black drift wood floating around which was easily confused with a dolphin fin!

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Flashing some fin

Finally, dolphins began to swim over to the boat! They came over in pairs, and swam through the middle of the catamaran.

It was truly amazing to see the dolphins, and by the time we were at the mouth of the river, there were dozens of them surrounding the boat and dipping in and out of the waves splashing around. I needn’t have worried about not seeing them!

Hector’s dolphins are much smaller than ordinary dolphins, and they were really cute!

We also saw a penguin.

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Splashing around

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