Pod of fast moving common dolphins

Marine Mammal Facts

  • Half the worlds Cetaceans species have been spotted in New Zealand waters. That's over 40 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises!

  • The largest dolphin species is the Orca measuring up to 10 meters long. And the smallest is the Maui dolphin at just 1.5 meters. Here in New Zealand we are lucky enough to see both kinds.

  • Less than 200 Orca are found in New Zealand waters, where they are protected.

  • There are only around 600 Bottlenose Dolphins in New Zealand waters. The population has diminished due to various factors and one being human interaction. It is no longer allowed to swim with Bottlenose Dolphins in New Zealand.

  • 15,000 Hectors Dolphins can be found in New Zealand waters. And only 65 Maui Dolphins!

  • A juvenile is defined as any dolphin less than half the size of a fully grown dolphin. It is illegal to swim with common dolphins where juveniles are present.

  • Dolphins are highly social creatures, living in pods that hunt and play together. Superpods can consist of 1,000 dolphins or more!

  • Dolphins take very good care of their young. A dolphin calf will nurse for up to two years and they may feed 20 times an hour. This is why it is so important to give mothers and calves space and privacy. Calves may stay with their mothers from 3 to 8 years.

  • Dolphins have excellent eyesight both in and out of the water. They can hear frequencies 10 times higher than humans. Their sense of touch is well-developed, but they have no sense of smell.

  • Dolphins never fully sleep. Half their brain will go to sleep for 20 minutes to allow for rest, the other half is aware of their surroundings and allowing them to come up to the surface to breath.