Our Story

Kaikoura Kayaks Crew

Celebrating 19 yrs 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 WhaleWatch 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, breathtaking scenery and a dramatic coastline. He thought to himself this is it!

In 1998 it finally became a reality. After two years of planing, 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.

Best Kayaking Tour in New Zealand
Check out www.rankers.co.nz to see why we have been voted best kayaking tour in the country 6th year running, or read our reviews on www.tripadvisor.com

  • Qualmark Endorsed visitor activity
  • Department of Conservation Marine Mammal Watching Permit to view Seals & Dolphins
  • Kaikoura’s Original Kayak Operator Est 1998, operating for over 19 years
  • Full SKOANZ (Sea Kayak Operators Association of NZ) member
  • Experienced, qualified guides, top kayaking and safety equipment from Quality Kayaks, Kokatat, Day Two, Palm & Mission
  • Transport to and from kayaking sites
  • Dry bags for cameras & all gear provided
  • Crowd-free Kaikoura coastline – 5 kayaks maximum per tour
  • An ocean teaming with marine life, under mountains
  • Operating around the whole Kaikoura Peninsula, alternating areas for best viewing, sea conditions and interaction with wild life
  • Ideal for big groups, team building or school/Polytech groups and families. Discounts available!

Below is what some of our happy customers wrote on Trip Advisor

"It was an awesome experience for all of us. We enjoyed paddling in the Ocean. Our guide Brett was superb. To start with we saw Dolphins and Seals but the show stopper was a Humpback Whale. It was even first time for brett too. It was worth taking the tour with Kaikoura Kayaks. I have done kayaking before but these ppl were amazing. Cheers Brett for amazing time on the water".

"During our honeymoon in NZ, I went with my husband for a day paddling at Kaikoura, expecting to see some seals. We were not deceived, and in addition to that, we saw a lot of dolphins that came to play with our kayaks. We had a great time, and this was largely due to Arye, our guide, who did his best to make our adventure safe and enjoyable. It was one of the best days of our journey!"

"Fantastic- One of the best ways to see Kaikoura and its nature!!"

"Was very impressed with my trip out with Kaikoura Kayaks. We had a fantastic guide Matt, who was happy to share his experience and was a great teacher and lots of fun. He made sure we stayed safe, warm and dry, and got us to the best spots for kayaking to see wildlife and to enjoy being in the swell of the open ocean. We were very lucky to see penguins, seals and marine birds, all of whom seemed to be taking in the view of the sun on the mountains just as much as we were. Absolutely breath taking and a really worthwhile experience. Will come again :)"

Seal Kayaking

Sunset Evening Classic

Kaikoura Kayaks Sunset Tour

Kayak Fishing

Sea Kayak Hire

Kayak Store

Family Kayaking

Kayak School

Kayak School

Paddleboard SUP Hire

Sit On Top Hire

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