Canterbury, New Zealand
Canoe & Kayak Tours

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Our most recommended Canterbury, New Zealand Canoe & Kayak Tours

Akaroa: 4WD Safari and Guided Sea-Kayaking Experience

1. Akaroa: 4WD Safari and Guided Sea-Kayaking Experience

Enjoy a memorable sea-kayaking experience from Akaroa with two departure options. No experience is necessary because the trips are run in settled safe conditions by an experienced and knowledgeable guide.  Depart from Akaroa for a scenic drive in a 4WD minivan over the crater rim of the Akaroa volcano to Pohatu Flea Bay. Learn about the region from your local guide and, during the afternoon trip, stop for photo opportunities along the way. Then, it is time to gear up and climb into the double kayaks. Your safety is the top priority and the experience can be mind-blowing with the right sea conditions. Explore the outer coast of Pohatu Marine Reserve and marvel at its spectacular towering cliffs, rock stacks, reefs, and deep sea caves. Flea Bay Island and the impressive island arch can be reached in settled sea conditions. Marvel at the diverse wildlife and marine species such as penguins, seals, various seabirds, and possibly the world’s smallest dolphin.

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Kaikoura: Half-Day Wildlife Kayaking Tour

2. Kaikoura: Half-Day Wildlife Kayaking Tour

Begin your adventure in the town of Kaikoura where you will meet your professional guides. Receive a short safety briefing and paddling lesson before being allocated all the necessary equipment for the tour. Head out on the waters of the beautiful ocean surrounding the city. Kayak along the Kaikoura coastline, where you will take in the magnificent views of sheer cliff faces, craggy rocks, and mountain ranges while searching for chance encounters with Dusky Dolphins and Blue Penguins. Experience the excitement of watching cute fur seals ducking, weaving, and diving around your kayak. During your tour, you will have the opportunity to paddle gently along with these beautiful animals as they swim around the Kaikoura Peninsula hunting for their favourite feed of octopus. This tour is suitable for all ages and abilities while operating year-round, and doesn't require any previous kayaking experience. Encounter a diverse range of wildlife on the New Zealand coastline and see some of the country's most beautiful animals.

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Kaikoura: Guided Family Kayaking Adventure

3. Kaikoura: Guided Family Kayaking Adventure

Hop into a kayak and paddle around the beautiful coastal waters of New Zealand for up to 2 hours. Take in the unique landscapes as you go or enjoy the thrill of getting right up close to New Zealand's unique marine life. Spot the curious fur seals swimming and diverse range of birds, fish, and more. Listen to a short briefing explaining how to gear up, paddle, and steer your kayak. Then with full confidence, embark on this adventure. The highly stable sea kayaks allow children to safely enjoy the kayaking experience with an adult paddling right behind them. Professional, qualified guides will remain close to you throughout the kayaking time. Take photos of the amazing mountainous region around you, absorb the sheer sublime rocks, and meet some playful New Zealand Fur Seals.

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Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

4. Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

Gear up for an incredible, three-hour guided kayaking experience. Begin your adventure by meeting your experienced team at the local partner's office in Franz Josef. Join them and your small group on a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Glide effortlessly across the water, taking in panoramic views of the Southern Alps, glaciers, and untouched Jurassic rainforest reflected on the glassy waters of Lake Mapourika. Paddle into the heart of the Okarito Kiwi Bird Sanctuary, exploring the protected area with your knowledgeable guide. Tours depart at various times throughout the day. Mornings are often the calmest time of the day on the lake, a perfect choice for photographers looking to capture the beauty of the area. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an experience not to be missed during your visit to Franz Josef.

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Christchurch: Sea Kayaking Excursion

5. Christchurch: Sea Kayaking Excursion

Your guide will collect you from your accommodation or at the designated pickup point. Make your way to Lyttleton Harbor as you drive over the Port Hills via Dyers Pass. Enjoy stunning views of the mountains and coast. Your sea kayak journey begins and ends at Charteris Bay just three minutes from Christchurch’s city center. Your guide will teach you some basic paddle strokes and how to steer your boat before heading off. Paddling towards the head of the harbor, explore the many small bays and rocky cliffs along the way. Find secret sandy beaches while hearing stories about the area from your local guide. Leaving the coast, head out to Quail Island, the largest of the three islands in the harbor and learn about its rich local history. Paddle past a ship’s graveyard, with it's the three partially sunken steamships. Lunch is provided on Quail Island or one of the many small beaches in the local area. On Quail Island, you'll have some free time to explore the island or relax by the beach. If time allows, you will be able to circumnavigate the island and visit the sea cliffs and caves at the Northen far end of the island before heading back to Charteris Bay.

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Kaikoura: Sunset Kayaking Tour

6. Kaikoura: Sunset Kayaking Tour

Join your guide as you kayak during sunset to experience the stunning glow of the seaward-facing Kaikoura Mountains. Have the chance to watch seals dive and maneuver around and under your kayak as the sunsets. Paddle with them as they swim around the peninsula hunting for octopus. Along the way keep an eye out for blue penguins or albatross and have a possible encounter with dusky dolphins. Your kayak is enclosed, safe, stable, and easily steered using a rudder. It's fast on the water, but still keeps you warm and dry. Your qualified and experienced local guide will teach you how to handle the kayak and paddle you through areas used years ago by local Maori and early whalers. Enjoy watching the light change as the day draws to an end.

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Akaroa Harbour 3-Hour Eco Tour by Sea Kayak

7. Akaroa Harbour 3-Hour Eco Tour by Sea Kayak

Experience the natural wonders of Akaroa Harbour by sea kayak on a 3-hour eco-friendly tour. You’ll take in one of New Zealand's most scenic and ecologically diverse natural environments. A highly experienced kayak guide leads each small group (maximum of 8 persons) to ensure a personal, informative, and safe experience. You’ll paddle to stunning remote beaches, where time stands still, and explore inlets and bays and the extinct, sea-flooded volcanic crater that protects the harbor from the open Pacific Ocean. Discover the stunning beauty of Akaroa on the adventure of a lifetime. Your guide will tell you about some of the rarest sea creatures in the world, that live right here!

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Hanmer Springs 5-Hour Inflatable Canoe Adventure Tour

8. Hanmer Springs 5-Hour Inflatable Canoe Adventure Tour

Experience the grade 2 rapids and calm waters of the Waiau River on a 5-hour canoe tour in Hanmer Springs. Make your own way to the meeting point on the main road into Hanmer Springs, overlooking the river and Waiau Ferry Bridge. Located approximately 90 minutes from Christchurch, the mountain town is a Mecca for fans of adventure activities, such as bungy jumps, quad bike safaris, clay pigeon shooting, and much more. Upon arrival, get a safety briefing from a fully-qualified guide, and then climb aboard the inflatable canoe. Ride down the beautiful Alpine river, stopping for a picnic lunch among the surrounding mountains and forest. The river is so clear that you can often see trout or salmon swimming by. Travel approximately 25 kilometers over grade 2 rapids and more gentle waters for a mix of moderate white water thrills and relaxation that is perfect for the whole family. Then, return to the base by jet boat and enjoy the surrounding mountains and forests from another perspective.

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Akaroa: 3-Hour Guided Sunrise Sea Kayaking Safari

9. Akaroa: 3-Hour Guided Sunrise Sea Kayaking Safari

Experience the best of nature on a 3-hour guided kayak safari from Akaroa town. Venture into an eco-paradise and view wildlife along the way. Stop at a remote beach for refreshments, a swim, or just to explore. After a briefing session at 07:30 the tour heads out on a gentle paddling excursion. After about an hour, you’ll stop for a break at the beach. No experience is necessary for this adventure. It’s easy and fun and suitable for anyone 12 years of age and older! The early morning trip can make for spectacular sightings. The guides say that these are the best trips of the day, as there’s no one around, and it’s just you and nature and your silent kayak. What you’ll actually see on the safari depends on a number of factors, but often guests report seeing cormorants diving, gannets feeding, and fur seals and flippered penguins playing. There have even been sightings of the rare, small Hector’s dolphin. Included in the tour at no additional cost are photos that your guide will take, refreshments, a personal picnic blanket, a remote beach stop for a swim or relaxation, and brief stops on the water to hear about interesting events, and facts about the wildlife and points of interest.

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From Christchurch: Lyttelton Harbor Morning Kayaking Tour

10. From Christchurch: Lyttelton Harbor Morning Kayaking Tour

Discover the wonders of Lyttelton harbor on a group kayaking tour. Travel from Christchurch before dawn to view hard to reach coastline. See the local wildlife wake for the day. Have hot drinks and a beachside brunch. Be picked up from your accommodation in Christchurch. Sit back and relax as you drive to Lyttelton harbor. Gear up and push off from the shore. Enjoy the calm morning air, and depending on the time of the year, watch the sunrise from the water. Weave along the coast quietly to ensure that wildlife is undisturbed. Get close to rock formations and empty beaches. Go out to quail island and learn about its rich history and wildlife. Stop at a pristine beach for a delicious brunch. Warm up with hot drinks before heading back to Christchurch.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Canterbury, New Zealand

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What people are saying about Canterbury, New Zealand

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 3 reviews

Unfortunately due to weather conditions we couldn't do the kayaking. But did land tour and learnt so much about the little penguin. To be able to see how awesome and dedicated the crew at Pohatu are in carrying out their conservation work was amazing. Thoroughly recommend this activity. Thank you for an inspiring time.

It was beautiful to be on the water in the kayaks that were easy to paddle. The scenery and wildlife spectacular. The guides were fun friendly and informative in all aspects of the trip.

The best kayaking I've done, the weather was amazing, our guide was very informative

breathtaking view. very lucky to have seen so many wild life during the kayak

Good customer service. Paced to your own abilities. Highly recommended