New Zealand Date/Time:
Fri, Dec 15, 2017, 7:27:13 PM
Kayaking

There are many different styles of canoes and kayaks, each designed for specific purposes. Use the appropriate canoe or kayak to ensure both a fun and safe experience. If you are a novice then get advice from a club before purchasing new equipment.

The minimum personal equipment required for safe canoeing or kayaking is:

  • suitable warm clothing, such as a wetsuit in winter or polyprops in summer
  • a buoyancy aid, worn at all times
  • a VHF radio and a cell phone. Keep them dry in a waterproof plastic bag (but do not remove it from the bag as you can speak through it).

If you are paddling a canoe or kayak at dusk or at night, then it is essential, and a legal requirement, to carry and utilize suitable lights. This includes a 360o white light, visible from 2 nautical miles, and/or a wide lens torch capable of signalling an approaching vessel in time to prevent a collision.

Know the Shipping Channel bylaw for the area you are paddling. For example, in Auckland cross the shipping lane safely and do not anchor. A kayak can be almost invisible to skippers of other craft. Use either a bright yellow or orange flag and wear a high visibility vest with reflectorised tape.

The essence of safe paddling is:

  • Get properly equipped.
  • Do not exceed the limitations of yourself or your craft.
  • Never canoe or kayak alone.
  • Check the weather forecast.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when to expect you back.

The trips listed below are just a selection of paddling opportunities in the Auckland and Waikato regions. Only some are suitable for beginners. Start with short easy trips as you gain experience and knowledge. It is a good idea to get advice and assistance from more experienced paddlers, for example by joining a club and paddling with others. As you become experienced, you will be able to cope with more adventurous trips and be prepared for the inevitable unexpected events.

Auckland Region

  Rating
Duration
Distance
Wenderholm to Puhoi  P  1 hr  10 km R
Sullivans Bay to Saddle Is and Big Bay  P/M  1/2 day  6 km R
Sullivans Bay to Mita Bay, Lagoon Bay, Casnell Is, + Scotts Landing  P  1/2 to 1 day  10 km R
Sandspit to Matakana  P  1/2 day / T  10 km R
Whangateau, Omaha River + Pt Wells  P  1/2 day / T  9 km R
Rangitopuni Stream + Herald Is to Foresters Arms at Riverhead  P  1/2 day  Various
Lucas Creek  P  1/2 day  14 km R
Tamaki River East to Orere Pt  P/M  Flexible  Up to 12 km
North Head to Milford Beach  P/M  1/2 to 1 day  10 km
Lake Pupuke, Takapuna  P/M  1/2 day  5km
Castor Bay to Long Bay  P/M  1/2 to 1 day  10 km OW
Dacre Cottage + Okura Estuary  P/M  1/2 to 1 day  Various
Weiti River + Whangaparaoa Peninsula  P/M  1/2 to 1 day  Various

Waikato Region

  Rating
Duration
Distance
Three Harbours - Coromandel, Te Kouma + Manaia  P/M  1 day  Various
The Islands off Coromandel Harbour  P/M  1 day  Various
Whangapoua Harbour  P  1/2 day  5 km
Tuakau Bridge to The Elbow  P  1/2 day  11 km OW
The Elbow to Hoods Landing  P  1/2 day  10 km OW
The Limestone Rocks + Raglan Wharf  P  2 hrs  5 km
The Narrows  P  1 day  15 to 20 km
The Waipuna Rocks  P  1 or 2 days  15 to 20 km
Aotea Harbour  P/M  Full day, ON  Various
Te Puia Springs  P/M  1/2 to 1 day  5 km P, 2 km W
Kuaotunu to Matapaua Bay
(not recommended for the inexperienced - go with an experienced kayaker)
 M  Full day  18 km

P = protected M = moderate
R = return OW = one way
T = with the tide
ON = overnight possible

Thanks to Vincent Maire, author of “Sea Kayaker’s Guide to New Zealand’s Upper North Island” (2nd edition), for the above trip recommendations and local information.

 

Clubs, training and resources

Auckland clubs

Auckland Canoe Club - www.aucklandcanoeclub.org.nz
Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers (KASK) - www.kask.org.nz or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Waitemata Canoe Club - www.wcmc.org.nz
Yakity Yak Club - www.canoeandkayak.co.nz

Waikato clubs

Bay Association of Sea Kayakers - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers (KASK) - www.kask.org.nz or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Waikato Kayak Club - www.waikatokayakclub.org.nz
Kite Fishing Club - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
New Zealand Recreational Canoe Association (NZCRA) - www.rivers.org.nz
Yakity Yak Club - www.canoeandkayak.co.nz

Auckland trips, courses and instruction

Fergs Kayaks - www.fergskayaks.co.nz
Fergs Kids Training Pod (6 years and up)
Canoe & Kayak - www.canoeandkayak.co.nz
Johnsons Outdoors - www.johnsonoutdoors.co.nz

Waikato trips, courses and instruction

Canoe & Kayak - www.canoeandkayak.co.nz
The Boat Shed - www.theboatshed.net.nz
Go Kayak Coromandel - www.gokayak.co.nz

Publications and resources

Sea Kayaker’s Guide to New Zealand’s Upper North Island,
New Holland Press, ISBN 1877246 71 9
Coastguard New Zealand - www.nzcoastguard.org.nz
Watersafe Auckland - www.watersafe.org.nz
Watersafety New Zealand - www.watersafety.org.nz
Metservice - www.metservice.co.nz
Department of Conservation - www.doc.govt.nz
Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers (KASK) - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Maritime New Zealand - www.maritimenz.govt.nz
Auckland Regional Council - at.govt.nz/harbourmaster
Environment Waikato - www.ew.govt.nz

 
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