Accomodation : Camping, Hut (cottage on demand)
Level : Experienced
Towering cliffs, deep sea caves and challenging rock gardens, this trip is a paddlers’ nirvana. Our guides represent between them a knowledge of many different paddling locations worldwide and this is where they want to be! Surf kayaking is on the menu as is delicious food! A range of accommodation is available for this trip.
The most intrepid of our shorter journeys, Cliffs and Caves trip takes place along Northland NE coast. With long stretches of cliffs filled with tunnels, deep sea caves, narrow passages and long rock gardens, it can make for some exciting paddling.
The outer coast is exposed to the ocean and paddling will often be in real ocean kayaking conditions. Swells washing up the rocks beside you and whooshing through the smaller passages keep things exciting. White sand beaches that break the rocky coastline can provide exciting opportunities to practice surfing a sea kayak and making landings in tricky conditions.
Along this coast we typical camp and make use of Department of Conservation Huts but if you want to experience the excitement of this area whilst living in style there are a number of great cottages that we can make use of by special request.
We’ll collect you in Paihia at 9am and take the scenic drive north to Whangaroa Harbour. Our put in will be the quiet little village of Totara North and after packing our personal gear, camp equipment and food for the week into our boats we’ll make a start down the harbour. Whangaroa is a deep natural harbour with dramatic scenery. After lunch on a secluded beach we head down the west arm to Lane Cove hut, where we will spend our first two nights. Here we enjoy a relaxing evening, an aperitif on the deck and for those who are keen maybe a short walk up to the “Dukes Nose” a nearby high rocky outcrop that offers superb views of the area.
A wholesome breakfast gets us in the mood and we paddle off across the calm misty (most days) waters of the harbour headed for the entrance. Today we spend the day exploring the outer coast to the north of Whangaroa, a steep cliff lined coast that offers spectacular paddling with large dramatic caves and tunnels that in the right conditions are easy exploring by novice paddlers and in more challenging conditions make an exciting playground for the most experienced of us! We’ll lunch at the beautiful white sand beach of Taupo Bay or a nearby stone beach before cruising our way back down the coast to the quiet and familiar Lane cove cottage for our second night.
An early start and a hearty breakfast are needed today! We get our boats packed and the hut swept out and head for the outer coast again, this time with our bows pointed south for the Cavalli Islands. This stretch of coast is maritime paradise with long white sand beaches, cliff sections and offshore islands. Years could be taken to get to know it all by kayak so we will pick the best bits to play with as the conditions of the day allow. There are great opportunities for snorkeling, short salks, surf practice, rock-gardening, gathering seafood or just lying on the beach with a good book after lunch. We finish the day in the beautiful Cavalli Islands where we make the “Motukawanui Hut” our home for the next two nights. This is always a long day and our afternoon aperitif on the deck of the hut (which catches all of the late afternoon sun!) always goes down a treat. Listen to and perhaps even see the plentiful local Kiwi that fossic around the hut through the night.
The Cavalli’s offer endless opportunities for exciting or relaxing paddling, great snorkeling, walking, beachcombing, cave hunting and rock-gardening. We’ll pick the best activities by the weather and the group desires. A common option is to make a circumnavigation of the largest island (Motukawanui) with plenty of beautiful beaches to stop on and some fantastic snorkeling stops for those that are keen!
Our final day but the adventure is not done yet! After packing our boats and giving the hut a sweep out, we’ll head for the nearby island of Motukawaiti where there are a few final caves to check out (some of the most dramatic!) and another island to explore before making the short paddle back across to the mainland. We finish our week at the beautiful Matauri bay, one of northlands most renowned beaches and a famous surf spot. For those who are keen there is always time to be had for a bit of messing in the surf to get the adrenaline pumping one last time! Our Shuttle will meet us here and deliver us back to Paihia where we generally arrive about 5 pm.