Accommodation : Camping/huts
Level : Intermediate/Advanced
This expedition takes you to the beautiful Whangaroa Harbour and all the way to the stunning Cavalli Islands.
Get truly intimate with the Northeast coast of the Bay of Islands on this authentic kayak expedition. Land on surf beaches, camp in wild places and challenge yourself in the extensive rock-gardens.
Our seven day Outer Coast Explorer trip is the ultimate of our regular trips.
It is an opportunity to explore some of NZ’s most stunning coastline whilst honing your skills in a kayak. Seven days is a great length of time to learn and then develop new techniques and skills. Rescue practice and core skill sessions are a part of every expedition, along with the opportunity to test yourself in the surf and fantastic rock-gardens. Discuss, learn about and be part of hazard management in an exposed ocean environment. Or if you wish, let someone else think of these things whilst you just enjoy the fantastic scenery, paddling and great food provided throughout the week.
Using Department of Conservation huts and private camps, we will stay a few nights in each location allowing us time to paddle each area fully, with empty boats and without the hassle of packing camp each day.
Taking place on the coastline that runs NE of the Bay of Islands, we typically start the trip in the beautiful Whangaroa Harbour This deeply indented harbour is reminiscent of a miniature fjord land with steep forest clad hillsides topped with impressive rocky bluffs. The area resplendent in the sun and equally inspiring on a cloudy rainy day when waterfalls start to run and the tops become shrouded in misty layers.
The coast runs to the north and south of Whangaroa and is lined with steep cliffs that are home to many great sea-caves and tunnels, as well as some stunning sandy beaches. Offshore is Stephens Island which has a wild eastern side with magnificent rock arches and a western coast with beautiful protected coves, perfect for lunch and a snorkell.
The coastline continues to be stunning, as we spend a few days touring south around the Mahinipua Peninsula towards the Cavalli Islands, which are where we spend the final days of our trip. These islands were named by Captain Cook in 1769 and have a long history of habitation first by the Maori and later by European farmers who cleared the islands for stock grazing. Now they are managed by the Department of Conservation as reserve land and are the jewel of Northland’s coast. With two large islands and countless smaller ones they provide endless opportunites to explore. Fantastic rock-gardening, more stunning caves and long tunnels are all on the cards! The marine life is bountiful so the snorkelling is excellent. So encourage your guide and crayfish may well be on the menu!
Novice kayakers with a sense of adventure, good level of physical fitness and a desire to learn ocean kayak seamanship skills will find these trips very rewarding and at an appropriate level of challenge.
Experienced paddlers will be able to further their kayaking skills in the many areas of expertise required for exposed coastal paddling.
We’ll collect you in Kerikeri at 8am and take the scenic drive north to Whangaroa. We get on the water among the mangroves of Waihapa Bay at the far SW end of Whangaroa. Take our time to paddle out and into the harbour itself absorbing the change of environment from estuarine to coastal. After lunch on a beautiful beach we’ll paddle to Lane Cove Hut and get our gear unpacked. The late afternoon can be spent relaxing in the beautiful surrounds, taking a hike in the forest (perhaps up the “Duke’s Nose” a great rocky outcrop) or exploring the Whangaroa’s “west arm” by kayak. A fantastic dinner and a good night sleep get us set up for the next day of exploring.
Breakfast then away we go. Today we explore the outer coast south of Whangaroa. Fantastic rock gardening and gorgeous white sand beaches for relaxing and lunching on. Perhaps some kayak surfing for the more intrepids…
Today can be challenging and adventurous or relaxing and easy it is completely up to you. This fantastic and stunning area provides so many options their really is something for everyone. In the evening we return to Lane Cove to enjoy the last of the sun with an aperitif taken out on the deck.
After packing up our kayaks and giving the hut a quick clean we’ll head north along the coast exploring the caves and tunnels that run through the cliffs. We’ll take lunch on another white sand beach and soak a bit more of the incredible atmosphere before heading back down Whangaroa harbour to Totara North. Here we load up the kayaks and start our drive back to Kerikeri.
This itinerary is a guide only and is subject to change with the weather and the ability/desires of the group.