How To Reduce The Environmental Impact Of Your Whale Watching Trip

We’ve made it easy for you by compiling a list of our most popular and easiest tips to reduce the environmental impact of your whale watching trip!

Before your safari

Mindful travelling – All of our crew use public transport and zero-emission methods (think walking or cycling!) to make their way to work and we would like to encourage our passengers to do the same. You can find out more about public transport options on the AT Transport website.

Reduce your carbon footprint – The largest part of our operation is on board a boat and with that comes carbon emissions. We are continually working to reduce our own carbon footprint and we’ve made it easy for you to do it too!

We’ve partnered up with Million Metres to help restore our country’s waterways with native trees. By donating $10, this money will be used to purchase, plant and protect a native tree at a local restoration site. These trees are beneficial for the environment in so many ways, including removing carbon from the atmosphere.

So it’s a win for the atmosphere and a win for your carbon footprint! If you would like to donate, you can do so when you are making your booking or once you are on board with us.

Purchasing a ticket – Speaking of making a booking, did you know that a percentage of your safari ticket goes directly towards marine mammal research?

The Hauraki Gulf Cetacean Fund is administered by the Department of Conservation and welcomes project proposals focused on the impact of tourism on marine mammals. We support all types of research including tourism impacts, after all, we want to be able to continue helping our passengers to see these incredible animals whilst at the same time, helping to protect them.

On Safari

Bring your reusable coffee cup – we will give you a 25% discount on your hot drinks! 

Bring your reusable water bottle – we will refill it for free!

Purchase a Project Jonah coffee cup on board –  reusable coffee cups reduce waste and you’ll also be supporting Project Jonah, a charity that helps rescue and protect marine mammals.

Think before you throw – We are making efforts to separate our waste and monitor how much is being diverted from landfill. You can help us out by choosing the correct bin on board to put your waste in. If you’re not sure, please ask our crew.

Return your leaflets – If you have one of our brochures that would normally be destined for the waste bin, hand it over to one of our crew so that we can reuse it and keep it in circulation a little longer.

After your trip

As well as showing you the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and its incredible wildlife, we aim to raise awareness of the importance of the entire marine ecosystem and the importance of looking after our planet. We hope that when you step off the Dolphin Explorer at the end of the day, you will continue to consider what changes you can make to reduce your impact on the environment.

Here are just a few suggestions to get you started:

  • take reusable containers when you order takeaways
  • use beeswax wraps instead of cling film/glad wrap
  • take public transport more often or use a zero-carbon emission option like walking or cycling
  • choose tourism operators that have a genuine interest in sustainability and the environment. Tourism Industry Aotearoa have a good search tool to find out which businesses have signed up to the Tourism Sustainability Commitment 

What are we doing to help?

Helping to protect the environment is a team game and we are always thinking about how we can improve our sustainability and environmental practices. Our Environmental Management System enables us to monitor our legislative environmental obligations and we are developing an Environmental Sustainability Plan to keep track of our short and long term future goals.

Some of the improvements we have done so far:

  • the drinks we sell on board are either in glass bottles or recycled plastic
  • all cups, plates and cutlery are made from commercially compostable materials
  • we sort our our waste to avoid sending recyclable items to landfill
  • we have switched the cleaning products we use to more environmentally friendly options

If we all make small changes, together we can reduce our impact on the environment!