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Weekend Escape: Kayaking the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand
New Zealand is a country consisting of almost 8,700 miles coastline and six hundred shore islands. So, kayaking or canoeing is a part of its culture. Because of the availability of kayaking facilities, it has become one of the most famous tourist spots.
The Hauraki Gulf is such a place which locates in the northern portion of New Zealand covering an area of almost 4000 km². It has 47 islands with a lot of tourist spots and some protected areas. So, if you are looking for a kayaking place for a weekend with friends and family, you don’t need to give a second thought about it.
Summer is the best time for going to the Hauraki Gulf. Because, the water becomes so cold in the other seasons, therefore not suitable for paddling. So we strongly recommend planning the trip between December to April for kayaking on sunny days.
Determine the length of your vacation. If you want to complete the trip overnight, you have to paddle so hard. It will make you exhausted, and you can not enjoy the trip properly. Thus, a 4 to 7 days trip will be the best for you.
You must bring kayak along with you because finding a rental system which allows crossing channel is tough here. But you can buy a kayak and other gears though they are expensive.
While buying a kayak, never buy plastic kayaks or regular kayaks to save money. As the weather and water are way different than regular water surfaces, heavy and sit-on-top kayaks will be most suitable for you. They less tend to fill water and flip, which ensures your protection.
Bring other kayaking and protection gears such as paddles, spray skirts, head torch, personal floatation devices or life jackets, long-lasting batteries, light sources, extra batteries, etc. You may want to camp at night. So bring camping equipment like tents, sleeping bags, and lines, sleeping pillows, sleeping pads, cooking stoves and materials, dry bags, etc.
Bring a sufficient amount of money, debit and credit card, clothes, personal items, insect repellents, mobile, and charger along with you. Besides, you can take a camera, ball, books, guitar and fishing gears, if you want.
After leaving the bay, you can visit Motukorea for lunch and go for the Hauraki Gulf from there. When you arrive in Rangitoto and Motutapu, you can easily find some DOC camps to stay. You can also book any resorts before your arrival. As soon as you reach here, contact the local tour guide.
Many tour guides are professional sea kayakers. They only introduce you to the places, resorts, and restaurants but also train you for your final kayaking journey. Thus the Hauraki Gulf provides the best tour guides for you.
If you have not experienced paddling before, the professional kayakers can teach you the paddling techniques and safety tips. When you acquire these correctly, you can start your journey. You can know the details about weather forecasts, safe time, traveling duration, etc. from your guide.
Wear weather-friendly clothes and take sun protection as the sunbeam emits harmful UV radiation. These islands are full of rats, ants, and other pests. So, spray insect repellent all over your gears. While leaving an island, always check the equipment for these pests. Seal some foods in waterproof containers. Bring the safety gears in the boat. Now you are ready for your journey.
Before crossing the area between the North Shore and Rangitoto, you will face a lot of traffic. But the traffic will decrease as soon as you cross the channel. You can easily see the shore of your destination. As the water is calm, you can reach the target place within a short time.
If you want to catch fishes, stay in Motutapu, which is a fishing spot of Hauraki Gulf. Besides, if you have a hiking plan, traveling to the volcano of Rangitoto is an excellent option for you. Most of the islands are suitable for camping and passing nights.
Though Hauraki Gulf is considered to be a safe kayaking site, never underestimate the power of the sea. A mere ignorance can result in severe injuries or death. Always wear PFD or life jackets before starting paddling. Many accidents occur due to the defects in kayaks.
So to avoid such situations, check for holes or inactive part of the kayak and paddles. Besides, facing ferocious sea creatures is a very common thing in the Hauraki Gulf. So always avoid their roaming place and if you see one, go to a safer place immediately. Always carry any means of communication for urgent help and rescues.
The Hauraki Gulf is an excellent choice for kayaking due to its breath-taking charm and tremendous opportunities. A half an hour paddling journey can take you to a beautiful island, where you can enjoy the beauty of nature. As there are numerous islands, you can make a lot of adventurous journeys based on your vacation time.