Day 328 on the Road
Gannets, Dolphins and Whales in Auckland
Today we are getting a lot more than we bargained for in whale watching in Auckland! If you like this video and want more inspiration for your New Zealand bucket list, then head over to our epic YouTube Channel with 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand!
Today we’re hitting the waters of Auckland to find us some whales!
Laura and I are in for a whale of a time, it’s dolphin-ately going to be an amazing day today. See what I did right here? Aaaa yeah!
This morning we are joining the team from Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari for an excursion on the beautiful Hauraki Gulf just off the shores of Auckland City.
My Name’s Andy I’m you captain today.
I know what you guys are gonna say, going on the water again? But New Zealand has more than a 15,000km of coastline with amazing sights to see such as Marine wildlife so here we are again.
So guys, it’s cruise probably 100 this time we’re seeing whales.
In our opinion one of the best views you can get of Auckland City is from the water we can see the Auckland City skyline and we can see the volcanic cones around us for instance we see Devonport we see Rangitoto Island which is the youngest volcano in the Auckland region only around 600 years old.
Our skipper Andy is giving us commentary for the entire trip also telling us what methods him and his marine biologists use to spot whales and dolphins and the key is to look out for seabirds out on the water.
But it really looks like today is gonna be a hard day to find any marine wildlife out on the water so we take the time to read a couple of books that are provided on board while the crew is hard at work trying to find us some awesome marine wildlife. We are following birds after birds in hope to find something and we will that’s a guarantee with Whale and dolphin safari, in fact they are so sure we’re gonna find some marine wildlife that if we don’t they actually give us back a ticket to come back any time we want it’s a lifetime offer which is really cool but at last after a long search we finally find a group of gannets on the water so we decide to stop and watch the show.
It’s absolutely amazing to watching those gannets diving into the water they’re basically diving down cos there’s a massive school of fish right now panicking because a pod of dolphins is surrounding them to feed on them.
This spectacle of nature is absolutely amazing we see dolphins and gannets both working together to make the most of this huge amount of fish right here in the water seeing those gannets dive bombing, literally dive bombing, into the water to catch fish is so amazing and then seeing them popping back up onto the surface of the water is quite a sight.
As we are fascinated by the spectacle before our eyes I can’t help but feel a little bit bad for this massive school of fish. I really feel like they have no chance at all on every single side there are dolphins and as soon as they actually arrive in the centre of the school of fish well gannets are dive bombing to get them I don’t know how many fish is gonna be left after this encounter.
Although seeing this pod of dolphins and gannets is absolutely amazing, the team can see some more wildlife activity towards Waiheke Island so that is gonna be our next destination.
As the skipper, Andy, is slowing the vessel down we can see this huge body slowly moving out of the water with this small dorsal fin on its back and it looks like we have finally seen a whale up ahead.
However, nothing prepares us for the sight we’re about to see as the whale finally comes up to the surface again and takes a huge bite of this school of fish and fish are flying all over the place I can’t believe this is happening right in front of our eyes, it’s such an amazing sight.
the type of whale that we’re seeing is called a Bryde’s Whale or Brooder’s Whale and it’s the most common type of whale that you see on the Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari, there’s about 200 of them around New Zealand’s coasts.
With this mix of dolphins, diving gannets and the huge whale here we’re having a wildlife overload on this whale and dolphin safari, but there’s also loads of different types of marine wildlife that you can see on the Hauraki Gulf there’s different types of whales that pass through the area like the pygmy blue whales, the Sei Whales, not sure how you pronounce that it’s S-E-I, there’s also common dolphins, bottle-nose dolphins, and even orca that you can see on these tours.
As we make our way back toward the Auckland Harbour a pod of common dolphins are swimming alongside us which makes for an awesome show to see they’re using the pressure waves of the boat to glide underneath the water, some of them are even jumping on the wake of the boat behind it is awesome.
With whales and dolphins escorting us back toward the Auckland Harbour we can’t help but reflect on this last four hours trip that we just done it’s quite amazing that even on New Zealand’s largest city, which is literally a massive chunk of the New Zealand population we’re talking about a million people here that’s a quarter of the population here, we can still have so many amazing wildlife experience between that and Tirtiri Matangi it’s quite shocking that we get to experience the full wealth of wildlife in New Zealand despite being in the city centre.
Tomorrow we are probably going to have to find ourselves a third installment of rainy day activities in Auckland the rain is coming back apparently so we’re thinking art gallery, go eat some food, go drink some coffee, explore the city centre of Auckland and rainy day done! And have a beer as well, so join us tomorrow for another rainy day activity in Auckland.