About Us

Celebrating 25 years of Operation - Est 1998.

In 1996 Matt Foy ventured to the South Island in search of uncrowded surf breaks and the fresh dry snow of the Southern Alps.

He had recently finished his studies of Adventure Tourism based in the Tongariro National Park and was looking for opportunities to start his own sea kayaking operation. After reading an article in New Zealand Surfer magazine on Kaikoura, he decided that this coastline could provide the opportunity to create Kaikoura Kayaks.


Matt stayed a few days in Kaikoura on his way to Wanaka for the ski season. Tourism was present in the small seaside village with Whale Watch Kaikoura, Dolphin Encounter, Seal Swim, Wings Over Whales and Kaikoura Helicopters operating successfully.

Matt could find no trace of any kayaking operators in Kaikoura and got excited! He then peddled his mountain bike over the Kaikoura Peninsula and found an abundance of marine life, breath-taking scenery and a dramatic coastline. He thought to himself this is it!


In 1998 it finally became a reality. After two years of planning, saving, obtaining a marine mammal watching permit, building up a fleet of kayaks and purchasing a Land Rover, Matt was away, and Kaikoura had its first licensed Kayak Operator.


Kaikoura Kayaks pioneered the half day guided sea kayaking tour in New Zealand with 100% guaranteed Fur Seal sightings and chance encounters of Dusky Dolphins and Blue Penguins.The family friendly tour was also created and continues being popular as an interactive and fun family activity.

Our commitment:

Best Experience
Kaikoura Kayaks will endeavour to give you the best experience possible. We strive to protect the natural environment and marine life during all of our kayak tours while sharing our special place with you.

Excellent Customer Service
Our small locally owned family business is operated by Kiwis and our objective is to provide excellent customer service with our friendly and knowledgeable guides.

Kayaking with the marine life in Kaikoura has been the highlight for a lot of travelers and families while in New Zealand.

Top #3 Activity in Kaikoura.
Check out www.tripadvisor.com to see why the traveler has voted us top #3 activity in Kaikoura!
  • Qualmark Gold visitor activity
  • Department of Conservation Marine Mammal Watching Permit to view Seals, Dolphins and Whales.
  • Kaikoura's Original Kayak Operator Est 1998, operating for over 25 years
  • Full NZOIA Member
  • Experienced, qualified guides, top kayaking and safety equipment from Kokatat, Rasdex, Palm & Mission Kayaks
  • Transport to and from kayaking sites
  • Crowd-free Kaikoura coastline, 5 kayaks maximum per group.
  • An ocean teaming with marine life, under mountains
  • Operating around the whole Kaikoura Peninsula, alternating areas for best viewing, sea conditions and interaction with wildlife
  • Ideal for big groups, team building or schools / polytechs and families, Discounts available!
  • Operating year round


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