Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking is one of the best ways to explore thousands of kilometres of New Zealand’s magnificent coastline and inland waterways

Choose your sea kayaking tour

From short and local half-day (4hr) sea kayak tours to further afield multiple day and overnight expeditions

Bioluminescent Sea Kayak Tour

Experience lively waters in bright glowing hues known as ‘sea sparkle’ and imagine yourself in ‘Milky Seas’ like the Life of Pi

Browns Island Motukorea Sea Kayak Tour

Browns Island Motukorea Sea Kayak Tour

Greenhithe Wharf to Lucas Creek Waterfall Sea Kayak tour

Greenhithe Wharf to Lucas Creek Waterfall Sea Kayak tour

Puhoi Pub Sea Kayak Tour

Puhoi Pub Sea Kayak Tour

The Riverhead Tavern Kayak Tour

The Riverhead Tavern Kayak Tour

Hallertau Clevedon Kayak Tour

Mataitai Bay Beach to Clevedon Sea Kayak tour

Te Ara Moana Sea Kayak Trail

Te Ara Moana Sea Kayak Trail

Rangitoto Island Volcanic Sea Kayak Tour

Rangitoto Island Volcanic Sea Kayak Tour

Waiheke Island Sea Kayak Tour

Waiheke Island Sea Kayak Tour

Select something special for Sea Kayaking

Unique sea kayaking to SNM, do something different, go somewhere unique

Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Sea Kayak Journeys

Duke of Edinburgh Award for Bronze, Silver, Gold, Training, Planning, Practice and Qualifier

Astronomical Sea Kayak Adventures

Sea Kayaking during sunrise, sunset, full moon, stargazing and cosmic experiences

Open water sea kayaking skills courses

Learn sea kayak basics, get started in sea kayaking and advance to surfing, rescues, racing, rolling and more…

Comprehensive sea kayak course

Learn open water sea kayaking. Introductory beginner course becoming independent paddlers

Sea Kayak surfing and rescues course

How to go past the breakers and back to shore safely. Master basic self-rescue skills too

Sea Kayak Adventure Race Training

Team work, leadership, synchronicity and mastering the waves, winds and currents

Sea kayaking extras

Sea kayaks for hire, paddle rentals, camp cookers, kayak safety equipment and tailor-made experiences

Sea Kayak gear hire / rental

Single sea kayaks double sea kayaks, 2-4 person Macpac tents, 3-4 person Trangia cookers and PLB

Auckland Kayak Repairs

Damaged kayaks and paddles repaired in Auckland. Function and look as new

Google Reviews

Google Review
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Thanks very much for the great day Chris! It was an awesome experience going to Browns Island and back. Thanks for your help along the way 🙂 Really recommend
Fernanda Burgo
Fernanda Burgo
Google Review
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Amazing experience doing a group activity / kayaking with SNM. Great weather, great company and the assurance that we were well assisted. It was just PERFECT! Thanks, guys. Keep up the good work.
Anh Nguyen
Anh Nguyen
Google Review
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Great experience kayaking to Browns island. Chris instructions were really easy to follow that made me feel safe and confident during the trip. Definitely recommend!
Kiwi Cam
Kiwi Cam
Google Review
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I had a great day out sea kayaking with Chris. We were blessed with a bluebird day on the trip to Browns Island which was a first for me. Chris gelled very well with everyone and is a great communicator. Safety was a priority and all equipment was modern and in great condition. Clear instructions were given periodically and questions were encouraged. He provided and really tasty lunch that catered to my quirky food intolerances. Highly recommend Chris and the team.

Sea Kayaking in Auckland

Visit coves, caves and other splendid seafaring locations, beneath rocky cliffs where only sea kayaks can reach by ocean exploration. Feel the expansive ocean freedom, relax in our comfortable kayaks and let your ‘blue mind’ spirit soar as we paddle in Auckland onto the Pacific Ocean. Sparkling swims, exfoliating sand between your toes and shells/fossil finding is all possible along with constant photo opportunities.

The first thing you will notice on SNM ‘s sea kayaking tours is our enthusiasm and pride in our waterworks, and the water-based areas we call home.

SNM caters kayak tours for a wide variety of groups ranging from Schools, Polytechnics, Tourists, Corporate Groups, and Outdoor Clubs, through to every kind of traveler you can think of. We put together school packages within the EOTC guidelines or even run a Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Journey. At SNM, we love to put together special sea kayak packages to suit anyone.

Origins and developments of Sea kayaking

A sea kayak or touring kayak is a kayak developed for the sport of paddling on open waters of lakes, bays, and the ocean. Sea kayaks are seaworthy small boats. They trade off the maneuverability of whitewater kayaks for higher cruising speed, cargo capacity, ease of straight-line paddling, and comfort for long journeys.

The term “sea kayak” is said to have originated with the 1981 publication of a book by John Dowd, who said “it wasn’t called sea kayaking until my book came out, it was called kayak touring or sea canoeing or canoe touring, blue-water paddling, coastal paddling, all those things.”


Sea kayaking facts

Contemporary sea kayaks trace their origin to the native boats of Alaska, northern Canada, and Southwest Greenland. Inuit (formerly Eskimo) hunters developed a fast seagoing craft to hunt seals and walrus. The ancient Aleut name for a Aleutian kayak is Iqyak, and earliest models were constructed from a light wooden frame (tied together with sinew or baleen) and covered with sea mammal (sea lion or seal) hides. Archaeologists have found evidence indicating that some kayaks are at least 4,000 years old. Rotomolded plastic kayaks we use today first appeared in 1984.

Sea kayaks are used around the world for marine (sea) journeys from a few hours to many weeks, as they can accommodate one or more paddlers together with room for camping gear, food, water, and other supplies. A sea kayak usually ranges anywhere from 3.0–5.5 m for solo craft, and up to 8.0 m for tandem craft. Beam width may be as little as 53 cm, and may be up to 90 cm.


SNM Sea Kayak Tours

SNM operating thresholds:

Wind: up to 20 knots, maximum

Waves: up to 1 meter, maximum

Swell: up to 1 meter, maximum

Do it all: Kayaking, Paddling, Camping, Cooking, Snorkeling, Sunbathing, Amazing scenery, Beautiful beaches, unique NZ Flora and Fauna all combined in making our sea kayak tours some of the most brilliant in New Zealand.

Experience New Zealand at its best with our range of Sea Kayak Tours to inspire you. SNM are specialists in all things kayaking. Get the correct, independent expert advice from experienced and qualified staff to show you Auckland’s best kept secret marine gems.

Our amazing sea kayak tours are for those looking for the iconic kiwi adventure, needing look no further than Auckland sea kayaking. Every trip is unique like each of our clients.

Perfect for families and those wanting a short sea kayaking experience

We have easy ocean paddles for families and those looking to explore the Hauraki Gulf and Waitemata Harbour. Explore with your sea kayak guide the coastlines of Auckland. Check out sea caves, learn about the shag (Coromorant) colony and explore small islands before returning to shore. There is plenty of time to take that perfect picture of the skylines, before enjoying an afternoon snack and refreshments on the beach.

Most of our kayak tours are set up for people with no sea kayaking experience. Many of our tours stick to the coastlines so we are never too far away from the shoreline. Spend sunny days out on the water, away from crowds and getting in touch with nature again. Auckland Sea Kayaking with SNM explores the special areas of the Hauraki Gulf and gives paddlers the true sense of adventure.

Treat yourself to marine memories you’ll cherish for life. Our fully-outfitted sea kayak adventures take you along Auckland coastlines. Completely immerse yourself in the natural aquatic wonders of Auckland. Experience our blue planet from paddling with seals, penguins, relaxing on numerous beaches, exploring lagoons, local islands and Maori Pa (village) sites to learning about local history and lore. Be wowed by the night sky, the milky way is truly amazing from where we camp. Enjoy drifting off to sleep listening to the waves before waking up to hear bird song.

Auckland sea kayaking a relaxing, content rich guided kayak and camping experience, fully catered with food. You can rest and recharge with a snack before returning to your sea kayaks and paddling home across the mighty Waitemata.

Join us if you are new to the watersport and keen to learn. You will become familiar with setting up your sea kayak and how to paddle effectively, as well as potentially learning how to rescue yourself or someone else in the event of a capsize.


Auckland Sea Kayaking

Our Auckland sea kayak trips offer many special facets of the Manukau and Waitemata Harbours. The Hauraki Gulf is also home to many of New Zealand’s best sunny sandy beaches, some voted the best in New Zealand, with clear waters and sheltered bays making it a stunning place to paddle.

Social Nature Movement also offers Auckland sea kayak lessons.

Check out our booking tab, click the book now button or make a trip enquiry.

Get help booking. Have questions? Click our FAQ’s, call a specialist (0800 76 62 66) or message one (

Auckland Sea Kayaking FAQ's

  • Who are you guys and what is your link to Sea Kayaking?

    We're your local experts and touring operating in Auckland, New Zealand. Social Nature Movement was formed by a group of passionate adventurers who decided to change that passion and fun into a wonderful business platform to share with both locals and overseas visitors. We have carefully curated the best possible areas to do touring with a sea kayak, and ensure that whichever package or area you choose to explore, you will leave completely satisfied. We are fully focused on experiences within nature, and that's where we find the most pride.

  • Why Sea Kayaking?

    Sea Kayaking is a fun and safe experience where you and your friends can explore the open waters, and discover areas that are not always accessible by foot! It also combines a great upper body workout, so you can be on vacation and still be exercising! A big question is where should you go on your sea kayak adventure in Auckland? We cover this too.

    We have selected some of the best locations in the area for both locals and overseas visitors. It all depends on what flavour of touring kayak exploration you're looking for? Are you looking for a casual pub crawl with a mix of adventure, or are you planning on going on a multi-day adventure, circumnavigating some of our beautiful islands? The options are limitless, and we cater to all types of tourism.

  • Who should I go Sea Kayaking with?

    Sea Kayaking is fun for all ages and we offer a variety of options from leisure intensive to action intensive to fit all body and mind types. Keep in mind that this is a physical activity, so you should always consider that before joining us. We will always do our best to cater to the groups we do have. The bigger question you should have is who will you forget to bring with you on your sea kayaking ventures? We can cater to large groups that want to go together (up to 8 people on our long haul journeys). This can help provide an intimate bonding experience with your loved ones and those that are closest to you.

    You can also feel free to come solo and use this opportunity to disconnect for a brief time. Just enquire with us, and we will ensure to form a group of like-minded individuals, with their intent to do a beautiful sea kayaking tour. This is best for those that are fully focused on taking a step back and being immersed in the adventure.

  • What should I bring when sea kayaking?

    You don't need to bring any specialised equipment with you, just some swimwear and your spirit of adventure. We will provide all the necessary safety equipment and properly maintained sea kayaks are always available to rent for affordable pricing. We highly recommend that you simply come prepared to use our equipment, as this can improve your safety during your sea kayaking.

    We only use highly durable sea kayaks that can handle the local area better than you can consider. We also swap them out on a regular basis, to keep our fleet and equipment as fresh as possible.

  • When is the best time to go sea kayaking?

    The most popular time of the year is the summer of course! Our summer season has just started, so now is the perfect opportunity to enjoy that beautiful sunny weather and calmer waters. The real questions you should be asking yourself are when can you take time off of work to come visit us and get on a touring kayak? Or When can I fly to New Zealand and do sea kayaking?

    Don’t be dissuaded if you cannot join us during this prime time, consider a few months before when it is Spring. If you aren’t afraid of slightly colder temperatures, but with a smaller amount of tourism around, feel free to enquire about specialised packaging for the fall and winter months.

  • Why do I need to check my gear free of pests?

    The Hauraki Gulf is a nationally significant marine park. Many of the islands of the Gulf are pest free, or partially pest free. This means they are now home to some of New Zealand’s rarest and most endangered species – eg tuatara, takahe, shore plover and kiwi. The islands are also recovering naturally as birds reintroduce themselves to these safe havens.  It is important to keep them pest free – and we need your help!

    Pest animals and plants can invade our islands by stowing away on or in your footwear, gear or boat. Rats canm squeeze through a 12 mm gap andm mice can squeeze through a 7m mm gap. Insects could hide in your bag, and weeds, seeds and soil could cling to your clothing and shoes. Pests threaten New Zealand's native wildlife:

     Rats eat birds, eggs, reptiles and insects.
     Mice prey on insects and eat small birds and reptiles.
     Argentine ants can reach large numbers and have a big appetite killing our native insects, skinks, geckos and baby birds.
     Plague skinks compete with native lizards and other animals for food and habitat and have displaced our native skinks on the mainland.
     Soil can carry plant diseases such as kauri dieback.
     Weed seeds can become a weed forest and smother native plants

  • How do I best prepare for my pest-free trip?

     Make sure all food is packed and sealed in plastic containers with lid. Ensure cardboard boxes are closed and taped – there must be no nopportunity for an nunwanted pest to access the container/box in transit.
     Ensure all footwear and gear is clean and free of soil.
     Thoroughly check any camping or overnight gear for stowaways. Gear that has been stored away is high risk.
     Thoroughly check seedlings, potting mix or plant matter to ensure there are no hitch- hikers.
     Seal up your gear/food as soon as you have finished packing and leave it closed until you reach your destination.

Sea Kayaking Credentials

SNM are KASK members.

KASK was initially set up to promote and encourage the sport of sea kayaking, promote safety standards, develop techniques and equipment, deal with issues of coastal access and protection, organize a biennial sea kayaking forum and publish the New Zealand Sea Kayaker Newsletter.

Adventure Mark
SNM are externally audited in Adventurous Activities.

AdventureMark™ is New Zealand’s largest adventure certification body. They work with over 200 operators here in New Zealand and in several countries worldwide providing our health and safety audit and adventure certification services across the globe.

SNM are approved Sea Kayaking (Open Water) operators through:

WorkSafe is New Zealand’s primary workplace health and safety regulator. Our audit is registered by WorkSafe New Zealand under the Adventure Activities Certification Scheme

Boating Education Coastguard
SNM are Day Skipper, Sea Kayak , VHF Marine Radio and Boastmaster trained.

Coastguard Boating Education courses for all members of the family or crew, including those new to boating. Particularly suited to those with responsibility of being a skipper on their own vessel.

Manukau Harbour Restoration Society
SNM are Manukau Harbour Restoration Society members.

The Manukau Harbour Restoration Society (MHRS) was formed in 2011 by Auckland residents living around the harbour committed to improving the condition of the harbour and its environs.

Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Vector Logo
SNM are proud protectors of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park was established in 2000, and protects the natural and historic features of the Hauraki Gulf.

Pest Free Auckland
SNM are Pest-Free operators within the Hauraki Gulf

Helping keep Hauraki Gulf islands pest free by checking bags and gear for pests, cleaning shoes and gear, closing bags and containers. Read more here