Kayaking on the Waitangi River

Kayaking on the Waitangi River

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking

NickyYou come across a few large river mouths following the east coast, and for this one the trail notes suggest kayaking around. A bit of sea kayaking sounded like fun! I was secretly a little apprehensive beforehand about going out to sea in a kayak after only having paddled around a lake before. Not knowing how choppy it might be, or how strongly currents might affect us. But it turned out to be an absolutely fantastic day!

We had awesome weather, flat seas, and glorious sunshine – perfect conditions. And our guide Mark taught us well as he took us through rock channel formations and round the headlands, with a quick stop on Goat Island for a picnic. ( I can recommend his lentils and pickle – tasty! ). A spectacular way to check out the coast. It feels surprisingly relaxing and graceful, ( not hard work at all ) silently gliding through the water, admiring it’s turquoise colour, and gaping at a few exotic looking sea birds. And lots of fun with a few more waves! If you come this way you have to give it a go! 

Kayaking was an amazing experience, and so much easier than I’d imagined. Get’s the miles done swiftly too ;) It was easily my most favorite part of our month so far in NZ, and I’m tempted to try and squeeze in as much as we can on the route ahead. There’s a few rivers and lakes I have my eye one – it’s still arm and leg power so it counts eh ;)    

Puhoi River Canoe Trip

Nicky in the Canoe

Hunting the Dirk

Hunting the Dirk!

NickyWhen we got to the hire place and they saw our packs they knew immediately we were on the Te Araroa trail. We’ve been following in the footsteps of 3 hikers for over a month now, and it turns out we’d missed one of them – the infamous Dirk – by about 15mins! We’d been hearing about him everywhere we’d been. We had to jump in the water and chase him down!

Well, it seems that paddling with massive wooden paddles in a chunky boat is much slower than a slick streamlined sea kayak with double paddles … Especially when you stop every 5 mins to film another angle, or backtrack to re-take a shot ;) There was also a bit of a wild goose chase ( quite literally ) … We thought he was a swan.. and after ‘furiously paddling’ to get an up close shot he turned out to be the ugly gooseling instead.

Anyway, it was lots of fun, and thinking we’d missed our hiker compadre we pottered up and down tributaries merrily in the sunshine, shouting at wildlife, and singing pirate songs.

When we finally rocked up at the beach and clambered ‘gracefully’ out, we spied a hiker, socks-off under the tree… We’d got him! It was The Dirk! :D We couldn’t believe we’d caught him up. ( But then we realised he’d actually been waiting about an hour for us! Haha :o – Sorry Dirk!  ).

06. Whanganui River

Left, no right, oh shit.. We hit the rock, again..

Washed up on the Wanganui River

High & Dry on the Wanganui River

High & Dry on the Wanganui River

What Next? Whanganui the Sequel!

What Next? Whanganui the Sequel!

Back on the River with Josh & Mitchell

Back on the River with Josh & Mitchel

Round Two! Riding With The Pros.

Nicky & Josh Canoeing

NickyBit nervous I was as we set out again. My knees were still pretty sore to move after smacking into those rocks! But the high water, although browner and less pretty to look at was smooth flowing, flat, and wide with no boulders, logs, or steep bits to be seen! And with Josh telling me there was absolutely no way I’d be falling in on his watch, and me a little surprised his mate Mitchell was happily taking on the challenge i started to feel like i’d been a bit of a wuss haha! We were soon all happily paddling along, listening to their banter, and learning how to read the river :) A totally different experience to last time! Good fun :)

CookieI was more nervous about Nicky riding with a well built, bare-chested bloke in the back of her canoe, than the river today.. Thankfully I don’t think the peck-flexing impressed her too much ;) Josh was a good lad though and so pro that he didn’t even need a life jacket.