Kayaking to Donut Island, New Zealand

Last Updated on September 8, 2020

New Zealand is a land of islands. The number of islands here is approximately six hundred. All the six hundred islands are located in the two larger main islands, that is, North Island and South Island. Whangamata is a small town situated on the North Island. It is in the Coromandel Peninsula and has several islands there.

Among all those islands which are not very far from the shore, there is one distinct island which is popularly known as the Donuts or Donut Island. It is mainly called Whenuakara Island. It is located at one kilometer east from Whangamata Beach.

Kayaking to Donut Island

The island has a narrow entrance which can be explored only by kayaks or paddleboards. Kayaking on this tranquil, emerald or turquoise island is one of a kind experience for a kayaker and cannot be compared to any other adventure activities.

Why its called Donut Island

Donut island is an old dormant volcano. The volcanic blow has resulted in a massive collapse and created a donut-shaped island. The lagoon in the center is filled with water that has created a beach in one of the sides. Whenuakuraisland or Donut island is one of the most visited places in New Zealand, especially for the kayakers and other water sports lovers.

It is also a wildlife harbor as well, and around this pristine lagoon, there are rare fauna and volcanic cliff rock. The entrance which is actually a tunnel approximately has two meters of width and ten meters of length.

Kayaking in Donut Island

As we earlier mentioned, you cannot enter Donut island without a kayak; the entrance is that level narrow. However, that is not the only reason why kayaking on Donut island is so much fun. The beauty of the island doesn’t end at the entrance, it starts from there, and once you enter the island, the sight you find in front of your eyes is indescribable.

Just imagine the level of adventure when a secluded place is explored. It is a secluded place that is best explored only by kayaking. You are capable of seeing the sights which are seen by only a small percentage of the population. Kayaking takes the kayaker closest to nature and works as meditation, a remedy for stress.

The pristine beauty and calm atmosphere of Donut Island take the meditation level a few notches higher. Once you visit the island, you return with a blank slate with no stressful thoughts in mind. No wonder it remains among the top in the must explore spot lists for kayakers.

Best time to visit

Donut Island is opened all around the year, but the best season or period to explore it with a kayak is the summer season. Starting from December till March, Donut island has the best weather. Kayaking there to the fullest is only possible on a bright, sunny day. The summertime becomes rarer as it rains a lot in New Zealand. So, if you are thinking of having a kayaking trip here, come during the summer months.

Time required

You can spend as much time that you want to spend on Donut island. But you should know the time precisely, as the paddling of the kayak to the island takes more than 45 minutes.

Things you need to keep in mind

Do not bring too many things with yourself, especially precious belongings. The reason for avoiding valuable things is the waves of the water on this island. The waves make it pretty challenging to enter the narrow entrance and if it is a windy day, it much harder. The kayaker needs to paddle through the waves.

So, if you do not want to lose things or don’t want your items washed away by the waves, then keep it simple and do not overload your kayak. Spend some alone time in this fascinating tropical and jungle landscape.

Be safe

The rule of adventure sports is giving priority to safety as there is no scope for mistakes in risky activities like kayaking. One mistake can cost lives. So, if you are a kayaker, a skilled one, still you must explore Whenuakara or Donut island with a certified guide company.

You being the most experienced will not change the fact that it is unknown territory for you. No one other than the local guides will know better about the nooks and corners of this island. A certified guide will protect not only you but also the wildlife. They will also let you know about the place and its unknown facts in detail.

Final Words

Whenuakura or Donut Island is a wildlife harbor. So, keep the exploration till kayaking and do not step down on the island or roam around it. Taking care of such rare pristine gems are our own responsibility. The responsibility increases more when it is considered as a holy place by a lot of Maori tribes and Whangamata locals.


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