FAQ – Sea Kayak Tours NZ

Sea kayak tours 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

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 about 10 minutes outside of Paihia. Essentially this is only where we store the kayaks, vehicles and the gear. This is why we pick up for our day tours or meet on the beach for our Haruru falls tour. For rentals we drop them off where needed which makes it lots easier for our customers. Our Bay of Islands tours are outstanding for groups, as are our Bay of Islands tours from cruise ships. If you want to talk, please call or email us and we will help you with any questions you might have.

What Kayaks do you use?

On our tours and for our rental fleet we mainly use top of the range Barracuda Expedition kayaks which are as light as fiberglass but made out of tough plastic and hold roughly 210 litres of gear . In our singles we use 5 meter Mission Eco Bezhig touring kayaks which hold roughly 160 litres of gear. On all our tours double kayaks will mostly be used except for odd numbers! Trust us when we say in a double you will see more and use half the energy…….. As long as your friend at the back is paddling!

What group sizes can you take out?

On our day tours we usually keep the numbers to 8 people or less! This is what makes our tours so special and much different from most other tour operators. Instead of getting herded like a sheep through NZ come out with us. Our time frames are relaxed and with small numbers it keeps everyone happy!! In saying that we do 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 tour!


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 fall out of the kayaks on our tours. There are a few reasons but the main ones are the kayaks we use are nice wide double 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. On all our  New Zealand kayaking tours, double kayaks will mostly be used except for odd numbers! 

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 on our tours 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 cancel and give you a full refund. Also as an option if the weather is bad on the day of your tour we will offer you priority to swap to the next good weather day. Read our POLICY here.

How can I pay?

You can book with your credit card via our website or pay the guide CASH on the day. Also if you want to deposit directly into our account email us for bank details.

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 we MIGHT see marine mammals on our tours 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 on our tours…… Its just a question of luck and timing!

How much time do we spend kayaking?

Our guides are great at reading people and what they want. We endeavour to keep everyone happy with seeing as much as we can on our tours and not working people too hard. It is all about fun and making the most out of the day! We also offer multi-day kayaking tours in New Zealand.

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.

Can I hire a kayak?

Yes, we operate a kayak rental service, see Kayak hire NZ for more information.