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.
Yes, we do!
Some of our most memorable marine life encounters have taken place while kayaking in the rain which doesn’t bother them.
You will be provided with a shell layer to wear over your clothing along with wet shoes and a neoprene spray skirt around your waist that attaches to the cockpit of your kayak and encloses you from the elements.
This equipment keeps you warm and dry.
Gloves and hats are also available.
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.
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.
Yes, we are dog owners our self’s and have a secure dog facility which is sheltered with water available.
We take out none swimmers all the time in our safe stable double kayaks and pair people up with an experienced paddler or guide.
As you are wearing a life vest in the unlikely event of a capsize you would be supported in the water.
We average around 3 capsizes a year.
We have a secure off-street compound available and there is also plenty of street parking as well.
All parking is free!
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.
Yes, not a problem as we will pair you up with a guide or somebody else on the tour.
Lots of solo travelers have kayaked with us in the past.
In any adventure activity, there is an element of risk involved.
Risks in undertaking this activity include, property damage, personal injury, illness because of adverse weather conditions, risk of drowning, sunburn, dehydration, hyperthermia, and exhaustion.
Staff and management of Kaikoura Kayaks take all practicable steps to identify and minimize potential dangers. However, you must always follow our instructions and use the safety equipment provided. Adults accompanying any person under the age of 18 must ensure that the underage person always follows our instructions.
Our kayak tours offer fantastic experiences for both adults and children catering for all abilities and fitness levels, no previous kayaking experience is needed. We will teach you everything you need to know. You do not need to be a fitness fanatic; you do not need to be an incredible swimmer and you do not need to have any previous kayaking experience! Whether you are looking for leisure or an adventure – we have you covered! Your safety is paramount to us and this is why you will use stable enclosed double sea kayaks, which will also protect you from the elements and keep you warm and dry.
Please enquire through online form with proof of membership for your Top Ten promo code.
We use real sea kayaks made in New Zealand for local conditions and are Kaikoura's Original Kayak Operator Est 1998, celebrating 25yrs of service.
Our award-winning kayak tours are a travelers choice activity in Kaikoura - TripAdvisor 2023.
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!
Wow wow wow! We'd done whale watching the day before but this beat that hands down. Miles was great, just enough instruction and safety chat and getting us involved in prep. He mentioned that he'd seen spouting and splashing over the other side of the bay so we decided to head that way. Within minutes we were seeing loads of leaping...
Lesley H, UK
We did the trip with a 6 and 8 year old. Parents in the back of each kayak, kids in the front. This worked really well. Saw a huge number of dolphins & Seals. They were playing & doing crazy tricks. Had a lovely time, the staff were really friendly, helpful & enthusiastic. Great value for money and would highly recommend this...
Steve, Nelson 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...
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
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