2020 Conservation Week

Date posted: 12-Aug-2020

Meet the Takahē on Tiritiri Matangi Island When: 1:30 pm, ..

AGM 2020

Date posted: 25-Jul-2020

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE TO WEDNESDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2020 due to Covid restrictions at t..

Ferry Resuming July 4th!

Date posted: 01-Jun-2020

Great News!!! We have confirmation Fuller360 ferry service to Tiritiri Matangi wi..

The 2020 Photo Competition Winners

Date posted: 22-May-2020

Here are the winning and commended photos from this year's competition. Congratulations to the photo..

Celebrate the Takahe Art Competition

Date posted: 08-Apr-2020

Hi Tiri Kids, It’s Takahē Awareness Month! Everyone loves our takah..

COVID-19 Important Information

Date posted: 25-Mar-2020

The government has announced that New Zealand is now at alert level 2 for COVID-19. Th..

2019 Winner Primary School Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Ethan Raymond

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Ethan has helped the Enviro-Warriors in many ways such as planning, gard..

2019 Winner Y8-Y13 NIWA Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Abby Haezelwood

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Abby Haezelwood with her winning Science Exhibit on Plastic Beaches at the NIWA Taihoro Nuk..

The Tiritiri Concert

Date posted: 11-Feb-2020

Folk on the Water The 2020 Tiritiri Matangi Conce..

2020 Photo competition now open

Date posted: 15-Jan-2020

This year's photo competition is now open for entries. Please click here (/m..


Scientific Name:  Delphinus delphis (common dolphin), Tursiops truncatus (bottlenose dolphin)

Dolphins in Hobbs BayWhales, dolphins and porpoises are collectively known as cetaceans.  Up to 20 species of whales and dolphins can be seen in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, some of them all year round. Those that most commonly visit Tiritiri Matangi are the common and bottlenose dolphins. 

The common dolphin is 2-2.5 metres in length. It has a dark grey back and white belly and a distinctive pattern on its side, like an elongated figure of eight or hourglass. Aerial surveys conducted in September 2001 put the number of common dolphins in the Hauraki Gulf at up to 1000 at any time. They are thought to live up to around 22 years. 

The bottlenose dolphin is typically larger, between two and four metres long. They are also grey above and white below, but with no distinctive pattern on their side. They can live up to 45 (male) or 50 (female) years.

Dolphins are well-known for associating with boats, riding the bow-waves, leaping and diving. The Tiritiri Matangi ferry is no exception, and many visitors have enjoyed the spectacle of dolphins racing alongside them as they travel between the Island and the mainland. Dolphins are also seen frequently around the Island. The photo above was taken in Hobbs' Bay during the Queen's Birthday weekend of June 2001. The dolphins came into the bay, where about 50 boats were moored offshore, and started to dive under the boats and mingle with the swimmers in the water. They are often seen around the wharf, including one memorable afternoon in December 2012, when onlookers were treated to the sight of bottlenose dolphins leaping and somersaulting in unison.

Other cetaceans common in the Hauraki Gulf include Bryde's (pronounced 'brooders') whales (Balaenoptera brydei) and orcas (Orcinas orca). Orcas, easily recognisable by their distinctive black and white colouring, are also sometimes seen close to Tiritiri Matangi. Their appearance often coincides with large numbers of eagle rays in Hobbs' Bay, seeking refuge from the hunting orcas.

Photography by Dave Roe ©