Kayak tranquil harbours, sheltered estuaries and pristine coastlines with a secluded cove or beach revealed around every headland passed. The coastline is punctuated by towering sea cliffs and rock pinnacles. Explore fascinating ecosystems of mangrove forests and spot native and migratory birds including godwits, plover, wrybills and spoonbills. You may see eagle rays, eels and fish.

Kayaking the Ruakaka River
Kayaking the Ruakaka River

The Ruakaka River

Park at Princes Road. Drop your kayak in at the mouth of the river and paddle inland. The Ruakaka River flows out to sea through the white sands of Ruakaka Beach. The river is usually calm, the banks are fringed with mature trees and in summer the pohutukawa are exquisite in red. A paddle to the bridge at Bream Bay College is about 8 kms but you can go further inland for more gnarly mangroves.

Matakohe/ Limestone Island

This island has a rich history for both Maori and Europeans. It was first occupied by Maori and has since been used for cement manufacturing, shipbuilding and farming. It is now uninhabited and a regenerating forest sanctuary where young kiwi birds grow.

Beach near the old cement works ruins to read the history of the island. There is a walking track on the island for those who wish to visit the pa site and other archaeological sites.

Launch your kayak at the boat ramp at Beach Road, Onerahi which has parking, toilets and playground.

Taiharuru / Pataua South Estuary

A remote waterway with clear waters and sandy bottom where you may see eagle rays and fish weaving through this underwater forest. The estuary is home to many species of playful birds. Revel in the peaceful, otherworldliness of this pristine environment.

Ngunguru Estuary

Launch at Ngunguru village and kayak across the estuary to the Ngunguru Sandspit is one of only a few unmodified and unprotected sandspits remaining in New Zealand and has significant cultural, spiritual, historical, and environmental values. Or launch at Scows Landing and paddle bush and mangrove lined river channel.

Whananaki Estuary

There is plenty of parking past the store on Whananaki North Road. Launch and paddle up the Whananaki inlet and under the longest footbridge in the southern hemisphere. Dolphins and sting rays are regular visitors and the mangrove forest is pristine and serene.