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Home arrow Human Interest arrow Local arrow 10 Top Kayaking Spots
10 Top Kayaking Spots PDF Print
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Human Interest - Local
Written by Kerry Howe, Wilderness Magazine   
Thursday, 29 March 2007

Kerry Howe, author of the sea kayak touring manual, Coastal Sea Kayaking in New Zealand, gives his pick of 10 top places to paddle this summer

Tutukaka Coast

This is simply quintessential Northland, heartland summertime New Zealand. It is a rocky indented coastline with stunning small bays and coves, crimson pohutukawa, glistening white sandy beaches, and pristine estuaries. My favourite coastline stretches over 40km from Ngunguru to Whangaruru and incorporates magnificent locations that have long offered holiday pleasures - Tutukaka, Matapouri, Whananaki, Mimiwhangata, Helena Bay, Oakura. While this stretch of coast is exposed to north-easterlies, even in a large swell there are always places for safe, sheltered landings and departures. And there are some great estuaries to sea kayak if it is too rough at sea - such as at Ngunguru, Matapouri, and Whananaki. There are a few commercial campgrounds, plus the DoC camps at Mimiwhangata and Whangaruru, but you can usually always find your own private camp spot, providing you keep away from the main holiday beaches. You can paddle, go snorkelling, walk bush tracks, go fishing. The snapper fishing is not what it used to be, but there are plenty of kahawai to troll for. In settled weather, the best paddling is usually early in the morning, before summer sea breezes get up, and they can be quite strong. Spend hot afternoons slumbering under some flaming pohutukawa, and contemplate the intriguing Poor Knights Islands floating on the horizon.

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