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Whangamarino Journey

About the Whangamarino Journey

We go exploring on lakes, rivers, causeways and wetlands. An experience that less than 1% of the population has experienced and more than 20,000 daily drivers pass by without noticing!

Imagine, within the Auckland district, you embark on a local adventure, easy to participate in for anyone, and you sit among an expanse of nature wondering why all those people in the faintly-heard cars driving by next to us have never seen nor experienced this. What people need help wiht is discovering experiences like these. People talk of hidden gems, top things to do and see and other superlatives that all the masses know of and is shared all-over social media. Yet you do not have to spend too much money, go too far or stress the logistics when you can partake in a sub-urban adventure.

Lake Waikare covers 34 km² thus the largest of several shallow lakes in the upper floodplain of the Waikato River in New Zealand's North Island. It is a riverine lake – one of 14 in the Waikato region – formed when alluvial deposits diverted the original path of the Waikato River, leaving blocked valleys and tributaries. Lake Waikare has a shallow nature with a depth never more than two metres.

Whangamarino Wetlands experiences

Join us on this trip that less than 1% of the population has experienced.

Discover the Waikato wars and visit a Pa that 20,000 daily drivers pass by without noticing.

Experience the Whangamarino Wetlands by kayak tour of an area that is larger than the greater Auckland CBD.

Discover why over one billion people make a living from wetlands.

Paddle the ‘Mighty Waikato’; New Zealand’s longest river,

Travel the same waterways that started New Zealand’s first “navy”,

See remains of steel-plated battle barges used during the New Zealand wars,

Get high physical results with low-impact exercise,

Join us on a trip that less than 1% of the population has experienced,

Learn about the Waikato wars and visit a Pa,

Experience the Whangamarino Wetlands that are larger than the greater Auckland CBD,

Discover why over one billion people make a living from wetlands,


Colonial history of the Whangamarino journey

It was once the centre for a thriving sailing and boating club, and locals recall spending school sports days swimming in the lake. And today it is our water-based activity and adventure showcasing important New Zealand history while sharing a nature experience that helps you connect with yourself, your surroundings and each other. You will see many maimais', duck shooting shelters, but don't worry as we do not operate here during duck hunting season!

You can create history for yourself by discovering modern means of travel and contrasting them with how it was done when they only had the technology and resources they could. Steel barges show a time when protection from gunfire was necessary and recreaitonal firbreglass would be a thing to come. We will also show you working farms and operating dams, small enough for you to understand the processes and politics.


Whangamarino journey Sustainability and Environmentalism

We work with the National Wetlands Trust for planting and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) for water quality testing and improvement.

It is also the national stronghold for Australasian bittern/matuku with 20 per cent of New Zealand’s bittern population estimated to be living here.

Riparian planting, integrating GIS mapping and following National Wetland guidance.

Go hunting for the tiny, critically endangered swamp helmet orchid (Corybas carsei) and learn how to preserve it.



One staff


Activity specific items:

  • Kayak / Canoe
  • Paddle
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD)


Staff carry:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
  • Hot thermos
  • Knife and saw
  • Whistle
  • Emergency shelter
  • Repair kit
  • Split / spare paddle
  • Pump
  • Paddle float
  • Throw bag
  • Tow line





Check out our booking tab, click the book now button or fill an enquiry here.

No details found.

This changes depending on what we do and where we go, but generic items are:


  • Thermal bottom leggings,
  • Underwear,
  • Shorts
  • Pants
  • Swimwear
  • Socks
  • Thin merino shirt / thermal shirt x 2
  • Fleece jumper x1
  • Woolen jumper x1
  • Wind and Rain-proof Jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Warm beanie
  • Neck warmer / scarf
  • Warm gloves


  • Jandals
  • Closed-toe footwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Personal medication
  • Water bottle,
  • Head torch,
  • Toiletries.
  • Waterproof pack liner
  • Backpack to put all of the above in

Because we are staying overnight, should you choose not to be accommodated and fed by us, here is what you will need:


  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Inflatable mattress
  • Tent


  • Cooker
  • Fuel / gas
  • Lighter / matches
  • Pot / frying pan
  • Cutlery
  • Crockery

All of the above is available to rent / hire / buy

  • Pricing Name
    Group (Min-Max)
  • Pricing Name Price
    4 - 12 Pax
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 4 - 12 Pax ) $0.00 $0.00 /Person

    - +

    Child ( 4 - 12 Pax ) $0.00 $0.00 /Person

    - +