Swimming with dolphins, in fact with wild dolphins, is something many people dream of doing. I am one of the lucky ones who actually had this incredible experience a few days ago in the Bay of Islands with a small family owned business called Carino. I travelled up to the Bay of Islands specifically to go on a dolphin swimming trip, I wasn't even sure that I would see them (they are wild animals after all), but I was not disappointed.
I had the chance to swim with the most common dolphin, which is the bottle nose dolphin. We followed a pod of them while sailing through the Bay of Islands, which is an amazing experience in itself because it's just so beautiful there, after nearly 2 hours of following them at a safe distance and observing their behavior, myself and 9 other people were allowed to get into the water and make ourselves interesting.
Yes, you heard me, make ourselves 'attractive' for them. That sounds quite funny but it's true. Wild dolphins are not like "Flipper" you know, like playing and jumping in the water with its best friends, they only interact with you when they consider you interesting enough.
So we did what the crew told us to do: we bubbled into our snorkels as much as we could until they noticed us. I will never forget that feeling when a quite big dolphin approached me. Now I know why dolphins are often thought of as magical and as healers. They just have this aura, which is beyond description.
Dolphins are very curious creatures so when we were trying to attract them their natural curiosity made them approach us. Humans are equally as fascinated by dolphins as they seem to be about us, and this is probably because they come across as one of the friendliest and most intelligent animals making them loved by everyone.
If you are also planning to go to the Bay of Islands, do not miss this dolphin experience with Carino Sailing and Dolphin Adventures. It is a small catamaran that not only takes you close to the dolphins but also to a beautiful island for a 1-hour stop over. Whether you want to hang out on the beach and enjoy the sun, snorkel in the nearby lagoon or climb up a little hill to have a great view over the bay of islands, you won't be disappointed.
Thanks again to Carino for an amazing and unforgettable dolphin adventure!
Accommodation: If you're heading up to the Bay of Islands book your accommodation early, especially in summer! Stay at Base Paihia.