Kayak tranquil harbours, sheltered estuaries and pristine coastlines where a secluded cove or beach is revealed around every headland passed. The Whangārei 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 even see eagle rays, eels and fish.
The Ruakākā River
Park up at Princes Road and drop your kayak in at the mouth of the river and paddle inland. The Ruakākā River flows out to sea through the white sands of Ruakākā Beach. The river is usually calm, the banks are fringed with mature trees and in summer the pōhutukawa are exquisite in red. A paddle to the bridge at Bream Bay College is about 8kms and you can paddle further inland.
This island has a rich history for both Māori and Europeans. First occupied by Māori, it has since been used for cement manufacturing, shipbuilding and farming. It is now uninhabited by people and is a regenerating forest sanctuary where young kiwi birds grow.
Launch your kayak at the boat ramp, Beach Road, Onerahi which has parking and public toilets. 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.
Taiharuru / Pātaua 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.
Launch at Ngunguru village and kayak across the estuary to the Ngunguru Sandspit, one of only a few unmodified and protected sandspits remaining in New Zealand and which has significant cultural, spiritual, historical, and environmental values. Or drop in at Scows Landing and paddle the bush and mangrove-lined river channel.
There is plenty of parking past the store on Whananaki North Road. Launch and paddle up the sheltered 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.
Kayak with a local
Hire a kayak or take a guided tour with a local who best knows our weather and water patterns. And all the best places along our coastlines and in our estuaries and rivers.