Best time to visit New Zealand

Kayaking in New Zealand 2024-2025

Kayaking in New Zealand will take you to secret and ancient nooks

Best time: January–February

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Ah, the famous land of fields and fjords. At first glance unreachable, New Zealand is a gorgeous country, offering many unusual and delightful activities (even to experienced travelers). If you’ve tried about everything, New Zealand will surprisingly ask you, “Oh really? Kayaking too?” The thing is, this sport isn’t for tourists coming to the country for a weekend getaway—it’s for folks wanting to experience the real New Zealand. For better or worse, there aren’t so many of them.

The country is washed by water as it borders the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. And you’d think most kayakers hang out in this area, but they don't. Most local water sports activities are hosted on New Zealand’s lakes and rivers, and for a good reason—it’s the only way to show people the hidden natural treasures, which are not so common for seas and oceans. In other words, you can reach unusual spots, like ancient caves, deserted islands, witness gorgeous Maori carvings, and enjoy the beauty of waters at an eye level only from a kayak.

To make the most of your trip, don’t settle for popular routes—opt for something less common. We’re talking about the real pros: Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours, Taupo Kayaking Adventures, and Abel Tasman Kayaks. Also, consider the time of year—believe it or not, the warmest months in New Zealand are January and February, and the coldest is July. So keep weather conditions in mind and, you know, enjoy your trip!

Practical info

When is the best time to visit New Zealand for kayaking?

To enjoy kayaking in New Zealand's stable and warm weather, plan your visit between the months of January and February. Keep an eye on the weather conditions regardless of the season as the weather in New Zealand can change quickly and unexpectedly. Be cautious of windy and cold conditions when planning your kayaking adventure. Show more

Where are the most unique natural treasures accessible by kayak in New Zealand?

Kayaking in New Zealand is an excellent way to explore its breathtaking natural treasure spots. Enjoy stunning hidden coves, waterfalls, and cliffs in Milford Sound which remains untouched even today. Experience isolated pristine beaches in the clear turquoise waters of Abel Tasman National Park. Other unique natural sites to explore include Fiordland National Park, Cathedral Cove, and Lake Wakatipu. Show more

What are some less common kayaking routes to explore?

Explore the less common kayaking routes after you have experienced the popular kayaking areas like Milford Sound and Abel Tasman National Park. Other unique kayaking routes can be found at Lake Rotorua, Whanganui River and Lake Taupo. Enjoy the unique kayaking experience at Whanganui River amidst isolated bush tracks, Maori villages, and campsites. Lake Taupo offers placid clear waters surrounded by stunning mountains. Show more

How does kayaking in New Zealand differ from other water sports in the country?

Kayaking is an excellent way to delve into and experience New Zealand's natural beauty unlike other water sports such as surfing or swimming in the ocean. Kayaking enables visitors to explore remote spots inaccessible by larger boats, like rivers, lakes, and estuaries. Kayakers can paddle to see historical and cultural sites such as the Maori rock carvings at Lake Taupo and reach the hidden coves and waterfalls in Milford sound with ease. Show more

What are some recommended kayaking tour operators in New Zealand?

Kayaking tour operators are numerous in New Zealand, among which, Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours, Taupo Kayaking Adventures, Abel Tasman Kayaks, Fiordland Wilderness Experience, and Rotorua Rafting provide well-established quality services. Tour operators offer a range of kayaking experiences including day trips and overnight expeditions. Visitors will benefit from experienced guides who will supply them with extensive knowledge of kayaking techniques and environmental safety measures, ensuring a great, safe, and satisfying tour. Show more

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