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by Shaye Boddington

Want to Sea Kayak in NZ? This World Class Mini Kayaking Adventure Blew My Mind...

I just returned from a mini sea kayak adventure in the Coromandel, NZ. 6 hours of un-fricken-believable beauty.

Every summer I grab a bunch of mates and head to the coromandel to immerse myself in it's white sand beaches and mind blowing scenery - but always in the past, that has been from land...

Seeing this spectacular part of NZ by sea kayak took it to a whole new level.


Leaving For our Kayaking Trip from Hahei Beach

sea kayak nz

Just to set you up with a taste of what's to come, the departure point for this kayaking trip is Hahei, Coromandel. Hahei Beach is a perfect strip of white sand being lapped at by a sparkling blue ocean. And just to add a sprinkle of extra-awesomeness, your view out to the water is dotted with islands dressed in dense green forest. For a chick who grew up in a land locked country (Zimbabwe) this is as heavenly as it gets!

...And one of the best things about hitting the water in your kayak is how bad arse you feel. Like an explorer going on a mean little adventure...

sea kayaking nz


Kayaking to Coromandels Outer Islands

So once you leave Hahei beach, I'd suggest hitting the outer islands. If you're kayaking alone without a guide, make sure you check weather and wind conditions and take all safety precautions. I'd probably only recommend this if you have a bit of experience kayaking. If you are going with a guide then make sure you ask to go to the outer islands and see which adventures include trips out that way.

A lot of people only go to Cathedral Cove and although this is amaze-balls you'll be missing out if you just go there!

It's just a quick +/- 30 minutes to kayak out to the first of the islands. Out there, the water is even clearer than at Hahei Beach and full of bright coloured seaweed, sting rays, KIna (a spiky sea urchin endemic to New Zealand). You're also completely away from any other people (other than your kayaking group).

You'll have a grin on your face that just will not disappear.

sea kayak coromandel

The outer islands are a combination of green forest, sheer cliffs and big boulder beaches... The water around them is crystal clear. Perfection.

They're also dotted with caves and arches to kayak through...


sea kayak

...And if you're lucky you might get to share your trip with a handsome guide ;) hehe

The Most Beautiful Spot You Could Ever Sea Kayak to...

This spot was a bit of a surprise. My 'guide' played it cool - acted like we weren't going anywhere special (or more special than everywhere else we'd already been!) - and then BOOM... we're kayaking into a tunnel...

All I could see was a light at the other side and some clear water shimmering in the distance...

And then we came through to the other side...

sea kayak nz

A secret beach, hidden from the world, surrounded by sheer cliffs - and accessible only by kayak through that one tunnel.

Created by a collapsed blow-hole, this spot took my breath away and even brought tears to my eyes. I'm not sure I've ever been in such a beautiful place. In that moment, I felt like the luckiest person in the world.

The photos don't to it any justice. There's no way you could capture this place without going there and experiencing it yourself.

This is your view looking upwards...

sea kayak nz

So when you are planning your sea kayaking trip in the Coromandel - this is another spot to let your guides know you want to visit!


If perfect beaches, clear waters and collapsed blow holes weren't enough, there are also freaking cliffs to climb and jump off...


Get Your Heart Racing With These Spectacular Cliff Jumps

In my world there's not a lot that beats jumping off high things into clear waters... So when I spotted this cliff diving opportunity, my heart almost jumped out of my body with excitement!

sea kayak nz coromandel

Clear water, easy to climb cliff, spectacular views - how could I say no?

cliff diving nz

coromandel sea kayak

If you enjoy getting your heart racing by leaping off high things - make sure you show these pictures to your sea kayaking guide - They'll know the area and might be able to take you to the spot... Just make sure you talk to them about it well before hand so the trip can be planned :)


Make Your Way to Stingray Bay and Cathedral Cove

After exploring the outer islands, collapsed blow hole and cliff diving spots, we turned around and began our kayak trip to String Ray Bay and Cathedral cove. (Cathederal cove, Coromandel is one of NZ's most famous beaches). When people think of sea kayaking in nz, this is one of the spots that usually comes to mind... and for good reason - it's beauty is picture perfect.

This world class kayaking spot is blessed with...

Perfect white sandy beaches...

coromandel nz


Pohutukawa trees... (They're the red ones and they flower around Christmas!)

cathederal cove nz


Weird and awesome holes in rocks... aka The Cathedral of Cathedral Cove... (The picture below as taken on a public holiday so the beach was busy busy, but had a great atmosphere!)

coromandel cathederal cove


Crystal clear turquoise waters...

coromandel sea kayak


Cliffs dressed in their finest forest...

sea kayaing coromandel


Stingrays at Stringray Bay...

stingray bay coromandel


Bring Your Kayak Ashore and Explore Cathedral Cove

When you get to Cathedral Cove, make sure you bring your kayaks ashore and explore this iconic Kiwi beach... Most of the oranised tours will allow time for this. Once your kayak is secure and safe from the changing tide, please chuck on your toggs (swimsuit, cozzie, whatever it is you call them!) and do a bomb for me off this rock... (It's the perfect height for beginners!)

coromandel nz

And since you've going to be wet anyway from kayaking and bombing... You might as well take the tiny swim to the right (when looking towards the ocean) of the 1st beach to a nifty little cave. Inside it is a small sandy beach - perfect for making out ;)

And once you've bombed and swum and explored to your hearts content - hop back in your kayak and head back to Hahei beach with a smile on your face :D

new zealand adventure

It really doesn't get a lot better than this!