Beneath the blue waters of the Hauraki Gulf can be found more than 22 species of whales and dolphins.

We love spending time with these beautiful creatures when we’re out on the water and are incredibly lucky to have them living so close to Auckland city.

The most commonly encountered species on our trips is the Bryde’s whale. Over the 16 years we have been operating we have encountered many other species which include: blue whales, fin whales, humpback whales, sei whales and Southern right whales.

These 3 species are the most commonly sighted whales

Bryde’s whale 
​(Balaenoptera edeni)

IUCN Status: Red List (Threatened)

New Zealand Classification: Nationally Critical


The most frequently seen whale on our trips, there are less than 200 Bryde's whale (pronounced 'Brooders') in New Zealand all living in or very close to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. These whales are surface feeders and make for an incredible sight when seen sweeping through krill, plankton or ‘large boil-ups’ of fish. 

Sei whale
(Balenoptera borealis)

IUCN Status: Endangered

New Zealand Classification: Migrant


Sei whales are a migratory species found in most of the world’s oceans and seas. Reaching up to approximately 15m in the Southern Hemisphere, they have a similar size and appearance to the Hauraki Gulf’s resident Bryde’s whales. Similarly to Bryde’s, they also have a short dive time of approx 5-10 minutes.



Pygmy blue whale

(Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda)

IUCN Status: Data Deficient

New Zealand Classification: Migrant


Pygmy blues reach approximately 27m in length. Research has revealed a population of pygmy blue whales that stay in New Zealand waters year round. We are experiencing an increasing number of sightings over the past few years with 2018 being a bumper year for sightings of these giants.