New Zealand’s geography is such that conditions are ideal for white water kayaking. Steep mountains provide the slopes, and the mountains themselves generate plenty of rain. But its not all steep wilderness paddling. As the rivers leave the mountains their gradients mellow. There’s plenty of water for all skill levels, and the scenery is an added bonus.
With so many miles of coastline, New Zealand offers much in the way of sea kayaking. Fiords, sheltered bays and lakes offer safe and scenic paddling, with plenty of marine life to see. Key areas for sea kayaking include the Abel Tasman National Park coastline, where multiday expeditions can be linked with nightly stops at lodge accommodation, and the Marlborough Sounds at the top on the South Island. In all of the coastal cities there are also sea kayaks for hire, and interesting excursions to take, for example, kayaking out to Rangitoto Island, a dormant conical volcano 5 kilometers from Auckland city.