Winter whale watching in Auckland

You may think that whale watching only happens in the warmer months of the year – well, think again! Here’s what you can expect to see and experience on our winter dolphin and whale watching tours in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf.

Yes, the weather is colder during the winter months of June to August, but this actually has many advantages. Whales and dolphins come to Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf Marine Park thanks to the plentiful food in the waters. They need to feed more in the colder months than in the warmer ones, to be able to maintain their blubber (fat) layer and stay warm. This means we get to observe some incredible feeding displays on our winter whale watching tours.

Common dolphin pods will come together to form large groups, often superpods, of up to several thousand animals. Surrounded by dolphins all travelling together in the same direction, you feel as though you are a part of the pod!

Winter is also straddled by the migratory periods of other whale species that travel long distances between the colder, polar waters and the warmer, tropical waters. This increases the chances of seeing whales such as humpbacks, sei, minke, southern right and blue whales as they pass up and down Auckland’s east coast.

As well as these migratory whales, our resident Bryde’s whales can be seen in the Hauraki Gulf year-round.

Nearer the end of winter, New Zealand fur seal pups will wean from their mothers and make their way to the ocean to learn how to survive as an adult seal. We see them bobbing around and resting at the surface.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your hat and coat and explore Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf Marine Park this winter! Find out more about our whale and dolphin watching tours.