As a tourist or visitor you are almost certainly going to be reliant on using a hired kayak. There are several popular destinations where you can hire for anything from a few hours to a few days.
You can choose from
* Hiring independently for a quiet paddle in the area adjoined to the hire center
* Hiring and transporting the kayak to your kayaking destination.
* Opting for guided kayak tours where they may transport kayaks for a group, to your kayaking destination
I would suggest that unless you are doing a short kayak within the location of the hire centre you will find it best to do guided kayak tours. Not only does this ensure safety when kayaking in New Zealand with someone who knows and understands local conditions, but it means you have everything you need provided as part of the package. Along with the kayak you will always require
* life jackets
* safety equipment e.g pumps
* Camping equipment if an overnight kayaking tour
* Waterproof Dry bags for cameras, jewelery, spare clothing, food etc
Why Choose a Guided Kayaking Tour ?
New Zealand does have wonderful kayaking…but knowing about
* the tides
* the very unpredictable New Zealand weather conditions
* local knowledge of problem areas such as submerged rocks or logs, power stations on rivers, water currents, etc are invaluable
* Knowing where to find special scenic areas where birds may be nesting, native bush, lovely beaches, glowworm caves or historic sites all add to a more rewarding experience.
* A guided kayak tour takes away the hassles and concerns you may have, ensures you do not get “lost”, and makes for a more relaxed enjoyable experience for kayaking in New Zealand
* Safety – a kayaking tour in a group means there is always help at hand
Popular Tourist Destinations with Kayak Hire
You will come across kayak hire companies in many locations as you travel around New Zealand Listed are destinations where kayak hire is readily available. Some camping grounds will have a few sit on kayaks for hire, to just enjoy the local area. For longer kayaks you really need a sea kayak, or larger river kayak complete with rudder, skirt and space for storage of meals, dry clothing, cameras and other items.
* Bay of Islands – Paihia
* Auckland waterfront
* Rotorua – Hire from kayak shops or small kayaks available in camping grounds
* Taupo – several options
* Whanganui River ( 5 days) -a guided kayak tour
* Nelson/Marlborough – Abel Tasman National Park has kayak hire and guided or independent kayak tours, with several company choices
* Kaikoura – for seeing seals and marine life
* Guided Glacier kayaks at Mt Cook and the West Coast Glaciers
Plan some time to enjoy a kayak on your New Zealand holiday. It is a wonderful way of experiencing pristine areas only accessible by water and our diverse marine life. By choosing the right kayak experience for your abilities, time frame and what you most want to see… you will go home with another New Zealand adventure to remember.
I have kayaked many of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and coastline over the years including the Abel Tasman National Park as a 4 day independent trip. My kayaker husband is a regular on short and long kayaking tours belonging to the Canoe and Kayak Club which is part of one of New Zealand’s major kayak companies. Our pristine, often untouched waterways, bush, birds and marine life can be experienced at close quarters from a kayak in a way they cannot be experienced otherwise. New Zealand from the water is a unique experience I recommend to everyone. For more detailed information go to http://www.holidays-in-newzealand.com/kayaking-in-new-zealand.html