Meet the Team
Head Guide - AKA Whale Whisperer
Hey Guys! My name is Emma and originally from Invercargill growing up on my family farm.
I later moved to Dunedin to finish my schooling and I found my love for the outdoors. After some overseas work and travel, I studied a Diploma in Outdoor Leadership and Management at Otago Polytechnic. I'm now NZOIA leader qualified in sea kayak, bush, rock and abseil. I enjoy living in Kaikōura because its the perfect place for all the things I love and where the mountains meet the ocean!
Head Guide - AKA The Welsh Aquaman!
Hi, I'm Miles, I grew up in Cardiff, Wales and started kayaking at age 14.
I instantly fell in love with the sport and have been paddling ever since, I have been guiding for the past 10 years in various locations throughout the U.K, Europe and New Zealand. I'm stoked to be working in Kaikōura with the abundance of wildlife and incredible ocean on our doorstep.
Guide - AKA Pocket Rocket
Hey I'm Sophie and I love the outdoors!
I grew up in an outdoorsy family in Canterbury and have just finished studying a degree in Sustainability and outdoor education at Ara. In my spare time you will find me out and about running, kayaking, mountain biking, surfing, and skiing in winter.....
Kaikōura is one of the most unique places on earth and I am proud to call it my home!
I absolutely love introducing people to wildlife under towering mountains along our breath-taking coastline from a sea kayak.
I love my home town its a piece of magic!
Kaikōura has so much to offer, it’s a natural playground full of diversity and adventure.
Hi I'm Sammy! The junior guide in the making.
I like to pop into the office to say "hello" and I love showing off my cat. I enjoy keeping everyone in line:) l really enjoy kayaking with the Dolphins and riding my bike.
What our customers have to say
I would have to say this is up there with one of my best experiences in New Zealand! The kayak tour was incredible and I would really recommend this to anyone. The staff are great, friendly and funny which made the tour even more enjoyable. My team included Emma, Cam and Sophie. As I was on my own, I had the pleasure of sharing a kayak with...
Giorgio Favarulo, UK / Ireland
Marine mammal megamix Spent a truly incredible morning around the Kaikoura Peninsula with Matt and Emma, two fantastic local guides. The whole operation was very professional, with high quality kayaks, equipment and a detailed safety briefing. Spent a good amount of time observing the seals, tried our hand at some kayak surfing in the big...
We are a family of five (14, 12 and 10 year old kids) and we went out last week with Emma as our guide. It was the perfect morning - we saw a seal right up close - he swam right next to our kayaks. Really comfortable kayaks and easy to use. Emma had lots of useful information and was very patient when we got used to using the double kayaks....
Emma W, Auckland NZ
We booked on the seal kayaking tour and the day dawned magical and calm. Pretty much straight away we saw seals up on the rocks, so tick tick. We ventured out into the Pacific and were blown away to have a pod of Dusky dolphins cruising with us. They were gorgeous and kept on swimming near our kayaks. Then a seal took to the water and started...
Dave, Christchurch NZ
Third time with Kaikoura Kayaks! Have been in guided tours and hired a double kayak; all experiences were incredible. Great staff and equipment. Kaikoura is one of the most amazing places to kayak - so much wild life and you're surrounded by epic scenery.
Kiana Saltarelli, North America
Great Trip - even the oldies loved it! Had a really great trip with Cowan out to the see the seals and the reef on a beautiful morning. I was a bit worried getting in a kayak with my mother (67) and father (70) but Cowan kept us going at a leisurely pace and even convinced us to have a go in the open ocean! What a great experience and...
John R, UK
"To Matt and the Kaikoura Kayaks team, Thank you very much for a fantastic day of kayaking. Both our trips were very well organised by your friendly team. We found your lessons enjoyable, helping us all to be confident, expert paddlers! We were so lucky to have a beautiful sunny day, and we enjoyed fantastic scenery and wildlife out...
Kowhai Class, Hurunui College NZ
The experience of a lifetime! Having intuitive and professional guides who allowed us the opportunity to experience an outstanding and very memorable day. They knew just where the incredible action was happening. We saw an amazing array of dolphins playing right near us and also saw blue penguins and seals. We travelled for two weeks around...
Paula Kirby, Wellinton NZ
Sunset magic 10/10 thanks to Emma and her crew. We had a magical day on the water and got to see feeding seals, dolphins and wildlife. Thanks so much would 100% recommend to anyone looking for a unforgettable experience in Kaikoura!!
We had a truly wonderful experience; my husband and I went as a stop on our honeymoon trip. Our guide, Ru, was knowledgeable and skillful, and checked in with us often to provide the experience that would help us feel challenged, excited, and also safe and comfortable. From start to finish the team was so thorough and made sure we had all of...
Laura James, USA