Rise up at 4:30 am to brave freezing ocean water for a chance to play with dolphins? Where do I sign up?
I had the brief boat ride to the dolphin area in which to practice my singing because the best way to entice the dolphins to play is to sing to them through my snorkel gear, basically humming in high-pitched tones. Once they started circling me, I had to keep their attention by singing and circling them. They can nudge a human, but humans are not allowed to touch (a hard rule to follow!)
With about 30 minutes of playtime with two dolphins I forgot that my head was pounding from the cold water of the South Pacific. After 2 hours, I was another satisfied customer ready for the thermos of hot chocolate and ginger cookies on the boat!
Swimming with Dusky Dolphins in Kaikoura is a one of the most unique things anyone who loves intimate encounters with playful mammals in their native habitat nature can do. It is definitely not your garden variety petting zoo.