FAQ – Kayak and Paddle Board Rentals NZ

Kayak and Paddle Board Hire in NZ are popular adventures for both domestic and international tourists. Everyone has questions, here are some of the common ones…

Sea kayak tours NZ

How to get to your rental base @ Otehei Bay?


I have never kayaked before, can I do this?

Yes of course! Kayaking is easy and if you have never done it before you will love how close to the water you are. Its a great way to see the coastline!!

Where are you located?

Our base is located on Otehei Bay which is about a 40 minute ferry ride from Paihia or Russell. At Otehei Bay there is a cafe on the beach, there is numerous walks around the Island, camping sites just over the hill…… and we are right on the beach in front of the cafe.

What Kayaks and Paddle Boards do you use?

In our rental fleet we mainly use top of the range Viking Sit on Top Kayaks. These come in singles and doubles. As for the Paddle Boards we mainly use high quality RED inflatable stand up paddle boards.

Do you offer Kayaking or Paddle Boarding tours?

We have done in the past but we found our rental base at Otehei Bay makes for the best option for everyone. We can be open daily in summer and it is perfectly suited for beginners and experienced paddlers to do it on your own schedule.

What group sizes can you take out?

We can cater for everyone from the solo traveller to a full school group! We can provide big group rates and also do corporate days and also school camping trips. We have worked with many big companies and also taken out schools for Duke of Edinburugh camping trips. Call or email to design a your perfect day.


What is the chance of falling in the water?

Not much chance at all is the answer to that one. Very rarely do we ever have people accidentally fall out of the kayaks…… but there are quite a few that do it for fun. There are a few reasons but the main ones are the kayaks we use are nice wide kayaks which are stable and fast to paddle and the other is the water is generally nice and sheltered from the Islands when we are out there…… This makes it great for young and old! Also the water is warm most of the year so most people want to jump in anyway. Paddle Boards take a little more balance so there is more of a chance of falling in. In saying that, the water is warm and you have a leash attached to your foot.

Can I bring a camera?

Yes, you can bring a camera but Bay of Islands Kayaking does not accept any responsibility if it is lost or broken. In saying that there are some amazing photos to be had out there in the Bay and vary rarely does anything happen. We supply dry bags to keep valuables and cameras in!

What to bring?

Sun protection, a hat, change of clothes, towel, water, swimwear, medication, camera (at your own risk). Also on cooler days or if you get cold easily bring a windproof jacket and a warmer top to put on if cold.

What if the weather is bad on the day?

Being New Zealand which is a tiny island in the middle of the ocean our weather changes really fast. We want you to enjoy your experience so if the weather is really bad or unsafe we will not open our rental base. Please email us to check if we are operating.

How can I pay?

We do not take bookings for general rentals out at Otehei Bay. We do however have lots of gear, but it is first come first served. Once at the island you can pay either with EFTPOS or with CASH on the day. For big group bookings etc feel free to email us and we can write up a quote and you can deposit directly into our bank account.

Will we see dolphins and whales?


We are not registered to seek out marine mammals and do not like the idea of it. There is a chance you MIGHT see marine mammals on your rental but we cannot guarantee it. These are wild creatures and are very transient. We have seen whales, lots of dolphins and even paddled right next to Orca…… Its just a question of luck and timing! Remember to follow the local rules on distance etc.

How much time to hire a Kayak or Paddle Board?

Most people always want longer! Once out at the islands and exploring the beaches and coastline time does really disappear. Talk to us about what you want from the day and the weather and we will send you in the right direction.

Where to camp on Islands?

You are only allowed to camp on Urupukapuka Island. There are 3 camp sites that can be booked online. Urupukapuka Bay being the biggest campsite, followed by Cable Bay and then the small Sunset Bay.