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Canterbury, New Zealand Canoe & kayak tours

Our most recommended Canterbury, New Zealand Canoe & kayak tours

Kaikoura: Half-Day Wildlife Kayaking Tour

1. 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.

Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

2. 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.

Akaroa: 4WD Safari and Guided Sea-Kayaking Experience

3. 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.

Kaikoura: Sunset Kayaking Tour

4. 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.

Kaikoura: Seal-Watching Pedal Kayak Tour

5. Kaikoura: Seal-Watching Pedal Kayak Tour

Meeting point - Seal Kayak Kaikoura is based right next to the towns centre where you will meet your awesome tour guide providing you with all the gear you need for a safe and enjoyable experience, come early and try our delicious gelato or sorbet. After a short safety video your guide will then drive you to the best kayaking destination of the day (only 3-5 minute drive away) toilets will be available before heading out onto the ocean. A quick how to use and operate these awesome kayaks then off we go! Keep your eyes peeled as we never know what to encounter as we kayak through and around rocky outcrops viewing the cool New Zealand Fur Seals, don't be surprised if one of these special creatures swim right up to you. Blue Penguins and Albatross are a common sight on our tours. Our easy to use hands free kayaks are suited for all ages and ability's, Perfect for a family day out. Never used a kayak before? no worries! you do not require any previous kayaking experience. We look forward to meeting you and showing you the amazing sights and marine life Kaikoura has to offer.

Akaroa: 3-Hour Guided Sunrise Sea Kayaking Safari

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

Experience the best of Akaroa's marine reserve on a 3-hour guided kayak safari in a small intimate group with your own local nature guide. Venture into an eco-paradise and have the chance for endangered wildlife encounters along the way. Stop at a remote beach for refreshments, a swim, or just to explore. 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 conditions and encounters. We are always the first operators on the water and usually have the whole harbour to ourselves with other tour boats only starting as we are finishing our tour. What you’ll actually see on the safari depends on a number of factors, but often guests report seeing cormorants diving, gannets feeding, and NZ fur seals and White flippered penguins playing. We get regular encounters with the protected and endangered Hector Dolphins which can only be found in NZ. Your tour will begin with a comprehensive safety briefing, your guide will then lead you through the turquoise waters and provide brief stops on the water to share information about interesting events, and facts about the wildlife, flora and fauna.

Kaikoura: Guided Family Kayaking Adventure

7. 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.

Akaroa Harbour 2.5 -Hour Eco Tour by Sea Kayak

8. Akaroa Harbour 2.5 -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 with your local nature guide who will guide you through the marine reserve and share information about some of the rarest marine mammals in the world, that live right here in our beautiful blue backyard including white flippered penguins and hector dolphins which are native to NZ, fur seals, a large array of birdlife and many other sea creatures! The views are stunning, the guides are informative and friendly and our tours are suitable for all abilities and ages. These highly rated tours sell out quickly as we only travel in small groups to keep our impact as low as possible on the marine reserve and conservation areas we visit.

Sea Kayaking Tour form Christchurch (Lyttelton)

9. Sea Kayaking Tour form Christchurch (Lyttelton)

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.

Akaroa: Electric Mountain Bike and Sea Kayak Adventure

10. Akaroa: Electric Mountain Bike and Sea Kayak Adventure

Make two activities in one day and embark on this great adventure to explore Akaroa.  Jump on the latest model of electric mountain bikes with multiple pedal assist functions and start your ride. Enjoy glorious views and a huge sense of achievement after you have reached the top of the crater. Relax and enjoy the route while your knowledgeable guide is leading the way. Your guide will also take some photos of you during the activity.  After that, the group will change to a sea kayak and paddle through the marine reserve together with the local guide. See the stunning marine reserve from two different and unique perspectives.  Get the best of both worlds as you pedal and paddle your way through this action-packed unforgettable day of adventure in beautiful Akaroa.

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What people are saying about Canterbury, New Zealand

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 3 reviews

Great experience despite the strong winds. Our guides took great care of us. Best thing was the friendly and fun athmosfere.

Throughly enjoyed the experience. Management well organized with getting group prepared with gear and safety video.

Great experience with Kaikōura Kayaks! Miles and Cam were awesome and looked after us every step of the way!

Ended up going on the 4WD and going to the penguin colony. So interesting and educational yet fun.

You must experience the kayaking from this team, and the team has done marvelous job.