It’s easy to forget we live on island in New Zealand—we mean, it’s hardly tropical! However, this means Auckland is home to not just one but two coastlines—how lucky are we?! We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to water adventures with everything from kayaking and rafting to surfing and sailing. Yep, there’s something for everyone!
We’ve rounded up the top water activities in and around Auckland. So dive on in. The water’s fine.
Kayak To Rangitoto Island… At Sunset!
Chances are you’ve taken the ferry across to Rangitoto Island to get up close and personal with Auckland’s largest volcano. However, did you know you can kayak to the island?! Auckland Sea Kayaks offer a sunset kayaking tour like no other. Jump aboard a sea kayak and paddle over while the sun sets before embarking on a trek to the summit. Refuelled by a Kiwi-style barbecue, you’ll then kayak back to the mainland with the city lights sparkling in the distance—magical!
Take A Jet Boat To The Pub
You can’t call yourself a New Zealand until zoomed the water by jet boat—our country is famous for it! Luckily, you don’t have to travel to the South Island to get your heart-racing fix. Auckland Jet Boat Tours will have you hanging on for dear life as you whoosh around the Waitemata Harbour. Want a beer with that? They team also operate tours to the iconic Riverhead Pub. Trust us when we say: you’ll definitely deserve a drink after you’ve recovered from all that adrenaline.
Discover Whales… In Auckland!
In case you missed the memo, Auckland is home to not only dolphins but whales too. Discover the wonders of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park with Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari. Operating four-and-a-half-hour tours, you’ll be able to see wild marine mammals and rare birds living in their natural habitat. What are the chances of seeing Nemo’s friends? You’ve got about a 90 per cent chance of seeing dolphins and a 50 per cent chance of catching a glimpse of a whale—we like the odds! Miss out? They’ll host you again for free! And remember: this is one trip you’ll want to pack your camera for.
Embrace The City Of Sails
We all know and love Auckland as the City of Sails but when was the last time you *actually* boarded a sailboat? Get your much-needed fix with Explore’s sailing tours. Doubling as the perfect date, their one-and-a-half-hour cruises showcase Auckland’s picturesque harbour at its finest. Soak in views of the city’s skyline from the 50-foot monohull yacht with the opportunity to give the crew a helping hand—ay ay, sailor! Wrap your hands around a hot cuppa or check out the on-board bar for a cheeky wine (or two).
Paddle Down The Puhoi River
Head 50km north of Auckland to the quaint town of Puhoi. Explore the region the best way possible: by kayak! Puhoi River Canoe Hire will set you off with everything you need to explore the tranquil Puhoi River (think: kayaks, buoyancy aids, maps). Meander 8km from the bohemian village to Wenderholm Regional Park. Return upstream or take advantage of the courtesy coach back to the village. Afterwards, refuel with a refreshing bevvy and a bite to eat from the famous (and delightfully quirky) Puhoi Pub.
Raft Down A 4.5-Metre Waterfall
Did you know Auckland is home to the world’s highest man-made waterfall?! And guess what? You can totally raft down it! Experience the adrenaline-pumping waterfall at Vector Wero’s epic whitewater park. There are two rivers that can be tackled by either raft of kayak. The Tamariki River boats gentle dips, while the River Rush will get your heart racing with its mammoth rapids. Want more? Scream as your drop down the Rush’s famous waterfall—eek!
Discover Tiritiri Matangi Island (& Meet A Kiwi)
Calling all nature lovers! Catch a ferry to the stunning wildlife sanctuary that is Tiritiri Matangi Island. A 75-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland (or 20 minutes from the Whangaparoa Peninsula), the island is home to New Zealand’s most endangered birds. Keep and eye (and an ear) out for the likes of the tiny North Island robin, kokako and vivid blue takahe. Explore the island by foot, stopping for a well-deserved picnic and refreshing swim at Hobbs Beach. Stay overnight at the bunkhouse and keep an eye out for kiwi before waking up to the most beautiful birdsong.
Live It Up Large On A Luxury Yacht Charter
So your dream of owning a yacht hasn’t quuuite come true. Don’t give up the dream just yet! Embrace the life you deserve with Savoy Charters’ luxury yacht charters. The team know how to put a celebration with charters for everything from birthday shindigs and weddings to Christmas dos and corporate events. You can even stay overnight with the vessel sleeping eight people and including a kitchen, bathrooms and dining area. The best part? You can BYO alcohol.
Channel Your Inner Kelly Slater
Ever wanted to learn how to surf? Well, you can with Aotearoa Surf. They operate surfing lessons from the beautiful Te Arai (its perfect for newbies) and nearby beaches along the East Coast north of Auckland. Their two-hour surfing lessons are suitable for first-timers, beginners and those wanting to refresh or refine techniques—they’ll make sure you’ll be riding waves on your first lesson! Aotearoa Surf also offer group sessions and one-on-one lessons. Make a weekend of it and base yourself at the beautiful Mangawhai Heads.
Ride A Duck (Like Actually)
No, you haven’t read that incorrectly. You can ride a duck (well, kind of) with Auckland Adventure Duck. The vehicle-slash-boat drives along Auckland’s waterfront before splashing into the water—just like a duck! The amphibious vehicle floats around the Waitemata Harbour at just 5 knots (aka reeeally slow) to ensure you have a leisurely and oh so peaceful cruise. Nab tickets and see what it’s really like to be a duck—quack quack!
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Image Credit: Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari