How to Swim with Dolphins in Niue
Join beautiful dolphins in their element in Niue. With vividly clear waters, nowhere else has such clear viewings of dolphins underwater quite like Niue. Niue’s resident dolphins are pods of spinner dolphins, famous for their acrobatic displays which give them their name. While spinner dolphins frequent much of the South Pacific, Niue has found a unique way to swim with these fast and agile marine mammals. Learn how you can take part in this exceptional activity in this guide to swimming with dolphins in Niue.
If you like this, you might also like The Guide to Swimming with Whales in Niue.
Quick Facts About Spinner Dolphins
- Spinner dolphins grow up to 1.3 to 2.4m (6 to 7ft)
- They are known for their acrobatic displays, spinning on their longitudinal axis
- They can spin up to 3m (10ft) high doing multiple spins in one leap
- They are believed to spin to remove remoras and fish, as well as to communicate with one another
- They also communicate with whistles, clicks and other sounds
- Spinner dolphins sexually mature at around eight years old and reproduce every three years.
When to Swim with Dolphins
Niue’s large pods of spinner dolphins are permanent residents of Niue’s waters so it is possible to swim with them all year round.
Both dolphin swimming operators, Magical Niue Sea Adventures and Niue Blue are open all year.
Dolphin swimming tours only take place if the conditions are safe to do so. Tours may get cancelled in high winds, which are more likely to occur during the wet season, from November to April. Learn more about the different seasons in Niue here.
Dolphin Swimming Tours
You have two options when it comes to swimming with dolphins in Niue: Magical Niue Sea Adventures and Niue Blue. Both operators use the same technique for swimming with dolphins, having tow ropes with handles to hold onto alongside their comfortable inflatable motorboats. This allows swimmers to see the spinner dolphins in action, who tend to like to swim alongside the boat. Tours include all snorkelling gear including wetsuits. Only two swimmers can get in the water at a time.
Magical Niue Sea Adventures
Magical Niue Sea Adventures offers a dedicated dolphin swimming tour with a focus on finding spinner dolphins to interact with. The trip also includes snorkelling at one of the outer reef locations. This trip lasts approximately three hours. Swimming with spinner dolphins is also an opportunity in Magical Niue’s other tours, such as their whale tours or snorkelling tours, if the opportunity arises. The dive centre is based in Alofi North.
Swimming with spinner dolphins is often part of the parcel on Niue Blue’s snorkelling tour. The tour primarily focuses on snorkelling at one of Niue’s best snorkelling spots but coming across spinner dolphins, as guides know their habits, is a regular occurrence. They also have the added safety of propeller guards on their boats. Niue Blue, formerly Buccaneer Adventures, is located just outside of Tamakautoga next to the Scenic Matavai Resort.
Other Ways to See Dolphins in Niue
You don’t have to get in the water or even on a boat to enjoy spinner dolphins’ acrobatic displays in Niue! Spinner dolphins are known to come incredibly close to shore, whether it’s swimming alongside Niue’s narrow surrounding reef or even coming as close as Niue’s beaches to ride the waves.
Due to Niue’s high cliffs surrounding the island, there are many vantage points to watch spinner dolphins from the shore. You can use the whale watching lookouts along the west coast road to also look out for spinner dolphins. We name them and their locations in the 10 Best Lookouts for Watching Dolphins in Niue.
Additionally, you could choose to stay in one of the west coast’s coastal accommodations that have their own private lookouts and decks to observe marine wildlife. Accommodations like the Scenic Matavai Resort, Breeze, Anaiki Motel, Lau’s Getaway, Kaliki Lodge and much more are good for watching dolphins from their properties.