From Milford Sound up to the Bay of Islands, New Zealand has an abundance of world-class kayaking destinations. The guiding companies below will help make your kayaking experience easy by providing equipment, transportation, and assistance on the water. The tours themselves paddle through some of the country’s most scenic terrain. For more, see our guide to kayaking in New Zealand.


South Island

Rosco’s Milford Kayaks (Milford Sound)

  • Milford Sound’s original guiding company
  • Five different tour options between 5–6 hours total
  • “Morning Glory” tour paddles the length of Milford Sound out to the Tasman Sea

Queenstown Sea Kayaks   (Queenstown) 

  • The first kayak guiding outfit in Queenstown
  • A range of half-day and full-day kayaking trips on Lake Wakaptipu
  • Great views of the Remarkables Mountain Range and surroundings

Rippled Earth (Glenorchy)

  • Located 40 minutes from Queenstown
  • Off the beaten path tours of Lake Wakatipu and its island nature reserves
  • Offers packages including sunset kayaking with dinner

Sea Kayak Company (Motueka)

  • Small, eco-friendly guides in Abel Tasman National Park
  • Tours range from a half day up to five days
  • Independent rentals also are available

Kahu Kayaks (Marahau)

  • Specializes in Abel Tasman National Park
  • Small guiding company that is locally owned and operated
  • Highly regarded day-trips

Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company (Picton)

  • Kayaking tours of the Marlborough Sounds from a half-day up to four days
  • Paddles in both Queen Charlotte Sound and Kenepuru Sound
  • Independent rentals are available

Driftwood Eco-Tours (Blenheim)

  • Guides in a tidal estuary on the Opawa River
  • Specializes in bird and wildlife viewing
  • A relaxing and unique kayaking option for those in the Marlborough region

Kaikoura Kayaks (Kaikoura)

  • Half-day and full-day kayak tours off the beautiful Kaikoura Peninsula
  • Prime marine life viewing including seals, dolphins, and whales
  • Kayak fishing excursions on kitted sit-on-top kayaks

Rivers Wild (West Coast)

  • Whitewater kayaking and rafting specialists
  • Guided trips from 1 to 12 days
  • Heli-kayaking trips with helicopter transport to the remote rivers of the Southern Alps


North Island

Wilderness Escapes (Taupo)

  • Specializes in freshwater kayaking on Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake
  • Half-day tours to ancient Maori rock carvings
  • Evening paddles under the sunset

Canoe and Kayak New Zealand (Auckland)

  • Based in Auckland with 8 branches on the North Island
  • A range of guided tours including lake tours, river tours, and ocean tours
  • One of the few guiding companies to offer whitewater kayaking

Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours (Hahei)

  • Based on the Coromandel Peninsula
  • Only kayaking company licensed to land at Cathedral Cove
  • A range of tours, from a half-day to challenging multi-day trips

New Zealand Sea Kayak Adventures (Paihia)

  • Over 25 years of guiding experience in the Bay of Islands
  • Fully catered sea kayaking trips from 2 hours up to 10 days
  • Also offers advanced ocean kayaking training including technical paddling

Island Kayaks and Bay Beach Hire (Paihia)

  • Located on Paihia’s main beach in the heart of the Bay of Islands
  • Half-day kayak tours and winery kayak tours
  • Rentals include equipment briefing, trip planning, and maps
Powered by Drupal