Scroll down to view a collection of Frequently Asked Questions about Kaikoura Kayaks. Please email us on our contact page if you can not find the answer here.
Water bottle, thermal top, shorts or light pants, e.g. quick dry’s (Definitely NO Jeans!)
Winter paddling thermal top and bottom, light fleece and quick dry pants or shorts.
We also recommend the use of sunglasses, a cap or fleece hat, water or running shoes, sandals and camera or smart phone.
We use real sea kayaks made in New Zealand for local conditions and are Kaikoura's Original Kayak Operator Est 1998.
Our award-winning kayak tours are voted No # 1 activity in Kaikoura from Trip Advisor.
We hold New Zealand’s only permit to view Whales, Dolphins and Seals on guided tours.
Kayaks are enclosed, stable, easy to use and fast on the water, while cockpits are fitted with lumbar supports, (for your back) closed cell foam seats and foot pegs for your comfort.
Local Kiwi qualified guides will give you the best experience possible.
Worlds 1st certified Friend of the Sea kayak operator for Sustainable Dolphin & Whale Watching.
Operating year round, Summer and Winter paddling.
Our wildlife Kayaking tour is the real deal!
We guarantee that you will see the New Zealand Fur Seal on our guided tours.
Our success rate is 100%.
While we make no promise, you may be lucky enough to have chance encounters with Dusky or Hector's Dolphins.
We often see pods of dolphins anywhere between a few and a few hundred.
The Kaikoura coastline hosts a huge variety of seabirds including the mighty albatross, petrels, Australasian gannet and Hutton shearwaters.
Do not forget to look out for the little Blue penguins bobbing in the water also next to your kayak.
Whales encounters by kayak are rare with sightings on average 12 times a year.
Species of Whales that have been viewed while kayaking includes, Orca, Humpback, Minke and Blue Whales.
Autumn and winter is the best time of the year for viewing Humpback Whales as they migrate up the east coast of the South Island.
Other Whale species can make an appearance at any time of the year around the Kaikoura Peninsula and usually pass through within a day or two.
We are the only operator in New Zealand that is permitted by The Department of Conservation to view the listed whales above by kayak.
Essentially the Family Kayaking Tour is the same as the Wildlife Kayaking Tour, only difference is that our ratios change from 1 Guide to 8 clients for Wildlife Tours to 1 to 4 for family tours.
This means that your family end up with a private tour by default once you hit the water.
12 years and under.
Our Wildlife Kayaking tours run for 3 – 3.5 hours from sign up to completion.
A 45 minute briefing at the start of your tour covers safety, gearing up, kayak and paddle instruction.
1.5 to 2 hours is then spent paddling around the coastline viewing the Wildlife.
On completion a 15 minute pack up and debrief.
Lots of people like this day option when time is limited.
Intercity departs Christchurch at 7.00am arriving in Kaikoura at 9:40am which is plenty of time do join our 12:30pm guided "Wildlife Kayaking" tour.
We will then drop you at the bus station after your tour finishes in time for Intercity departing at 3:50pm arriving into Christchurch at 6.25pm.
A Magical Morning! Wow! What an amazing morning we had. We were on a trip with four separate groups, so we had three amazing guides - Emma, Jonna and Ty. All three were excellent. Ty asked about our experience, and when we said we'd been out in a sea kayak the week before, he changed things up - he gave us a short lesson and then took...
Kathryn H, Hamilton NZ
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
A big thanks to Matt and Renee for fitting us in so we could give our kids an ultimate experience. From the time of booking communication and service was awesome. Such a professional team. Renee was very patient and excellent with the kids. Highly recommend this experience. Well worth the money. Thanks team from the Warrington family. May...
Jollene W, Wellington NZ
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!!
Amazing Sea Kayaking Experience Emma was our guide for the half day seal kayaking experience. Though we had never been sea kayaking we felt safe with all the instruction and had a blast. We even saw some hector dolphins and a blue penguin. Emma’s knowledge was impeccable and enthusiasm was infectious as she led us in a chase of the...
Emaria, North Carolina