Water Sports in New Zealand

New Zealand is not just all about beautiful and serene landscapes, there are also a lot of sights to behold on its waters.

The Tasman Sea, Pacific Ocean, the lakes, nth-tiered waterfalls, New Zealand sure did make the most out of these with the many water sports it offers. From simple kayaking on the calm waters of the sea to the more extreme of cage diving with the white sharks, the things you can do with New Zealand waters are endless.

Water Sports in New Zealand

New Zealand is composed of thousands of kilometres of coastline, rivers and lakes making it one of the world’s best places for water sports. If you are passionate about the many activities you can do with water then this country is definitely a place to be. This country ensures all enthusiasts that there’s always a water activity fitted for them.

  • Kayaking

If you want to discover the magnificent coastline and inland waters of New Zealand, the best way to do it is through kayaking.

Go on a kayaking tour in New Zealand where it’ll take you to some of its best places for such activity like the crystal clear waters of the Abel Tasman National Park or the Marlborough Sounds or to the immense beauty of fiords that will lead you to its water safaris.

Kayaking in New Zealand feels like you’re on a cruise paddling along with dolphins, go around a marine reserve wherein you can pause for a while and explore its underwater beauty or even try kayaking with a Maori waka.

If the seas don’t appeal to you, you can go paddling on its fresh waters with the Whanganui River to offer you the longest way to navigate. You can also go on kayaking against fresh water rapids that even beginners can safely paddle through.

Traversing through the Rangitaiki and Mohaka waters in the North Island or the Clutha and Kawarau waters in the South Island will let you experience the thrill of whitewater rafting.

If it’s tranquillity and beauty you want for your kayaking experience then the Lake Taupo will offer you with such giving you beautiful sights of the Maori rock carvings.

In many places you can rent a kayak or canoe and explore the beautiful scenery of New Zealand by yourself and your companion. If you are looking to kayak more often, you could consider buying a kayak to save you multiple rent fees. Nowadays you can get high quality kayaks that are inflatable so you can easily throw it in the trunk of your car when you’re not using it and inflate it in a few minutes when you want.

  • Sailing

New Zealand has 15,000 kilometers coastline and these coastlines are really stunning. If you fancy riding on yachts or you’re an experienced yachtsman then a sailing activity might just be perfect for you.

This country offers skippered voyages and sailing tours that may range from the expensive and leisurely ones to the ones you can afford to. The boats that will be used differ as well in character and speed.

If you’re wondering where to go to with a yacht, then the choice is really up to you. There are plenty of choices actually like the Bay of Islands, Marlborough Sounds and the Hauraki Gulf.

  • Standup Paddle boarding

Another best way to explore the wonders of New Zealand’s waterways coastlines and waterways, Stand Up Paddleboard is a fitting activity for people of all ages. Here are the top places to go to if you want to go on SUP boarding in New Zealand:

  • Bay of Islands

Lying on the north, the Bay of Islands’s subtropical climate is a home to many sheltered coves, inlets and bays. This spot is just 3 hours’ drive from Auckland. Stand Up Paddle boarding in the Bay of Islands might give you the chance to join in with the dolphins.

  • Goat Island

SUP boarding in the Goat Island will treat you not only with the experience to paddleboard and see the beautiful sceneries but also snorkel so you can see beautiful species underneath its crystal clear waters.

  • Raglan

The surf town as they say, Raglan always has something to offer when it comes to water activities. It has a calm harbour, waters great for surfing and stand up paddle boarding as well and of course, the its stunning pancake rocks.

This place is a haven for those who will try SUP boarding for the first time. Its waters are pretty calm without the waves and swells.

  • Abel Tasman

Located at the tip of the South Island, Abel Tasman is best known for its weather conditions as well as its crystal clear waters, stunning white sand beaches, magnificent backdrops and enthralling wildlife. Paddle boarding in this side of the South is fun because you get to share the waters with the locals – dolphins and fur seals.

  • Boat Cruising

Exploring New Zealand won’t be complete if you don’t go on boat cruising. This activity will let you discover the beautiful islands, gulfs, beaches and harbours of the country. You can go on cruising on your own, hire one for few hours or days. There are always plenty of options for you.

There are four cruising grounds in New Zealand: the Bay of Islands, Hauraki Gulf in the North Island, Fiordland in the South Island and the Marlborough Sounds.

  • Diving

New Zealand is wonderful under the sea as it is above sea level. It’s a diving mecca. It is home to many marine reserves and offshore islands. You will be treated to a diverse and wide underworld of which you can only find and truly experience here in New Zealand.

Diving the waters of New Zealand lets you see the beauty it beholds. You get to explore wrecks, sub-tropical reefs and drop-offs. Go swimming alongside dolphins, school of fish and see huge kelp forests. The sights and sceneries are just awesome, it never ceases to please.

The popular spots for diving may be accessed from its mainland coast or you can simply embark on a boat to lead you to the diving site. A newbie? No problem. Diving tour operators offer first time divers with lessons and certification in scuba diving.

If you’ve been doing diving for quite a while now, operators will only require you your diving certificate card.

  • Fishing

Of all water activities that may be done in New Zealand, fishing is probably the most popular. In fact, locals do this as a hobby. Well, it’s no-brainer because New Zealand is abounded with lots of lakes, rivers and ocean.

Fishing on the northern part, snapper, kingfish and tarakihi are common catch while fishing south trumpeter, grouper and blue cod are the likely catch for a sumptuous dinner. For most fishermen, catching a snapper is an achievement and it sells pricey too.

New Zealand hosts big fishing season and is usually held from December to June. From north to south there’s just plenty of fishes that includes the really big ones like the Marlins, Yellowfin Tuna, Billfish and the Kingfish.

Freshwater fishing is as equally enticing as it is when fishing on the sea. Common catches include rainbow and brown trout.

  • Surfing

Have the heart for surfing? Well, New Zealand’s going to please you with their really enthralling seas. If surfing is something you really dreamed of doing but never find the time (or guts) to do so, you can also sign up for their surf schools. They sure can guarantee you that they will let you go home as an already skilled surfer.

Surfers will also find New Zealand a haven because of its many beaches, reefs, and river-mouth breaks. Do not forget to experience the Surf Highway 45 found on the Taranaki coast. This surf area will make waves that curve 180 degrees. Heading north, the Raglan is world acclaimed for its epic left-hand point brake while on the south the Kaikoura and Dunedin are great surf spots as well.

  • Windsurfing and Kitesurfing

Want other ways to enjoy the waters? Try windsurfing and kitesurfing. It’s basically a wind inclined activity because you’ll rely on the wind’s prowess.

The wind, the sun and the stunning coastal and lake side all make a perfect and enjoyable windsurfing and kitesurfing – all of these under one country, New Zealand. Whether you prefer calm waters or rampaging waves there is always a good spot for you.

Popular areas for windsurfing are Auckland, Wellington, Bay of Islands, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown.

Kite surfing is a booming activity in New Zealand. It is categorized as an extreme sport because it combines the style of paragliding wherein surfers have a small board attached to their feet and that they will have to go against the force of the wind on the water.

  • Jet boating

Jet boating at Shotover river New ZealandIt’s no surprise if you’ll be offered with a jet boating activity. It is actually a Kiwi invention. This is a super-speed activity that lets you embark on a jet boat while traversing down some of New Zealand’s steep canyons and river gorges.

  • Great White Shark Cage Diving

Looking for a really extreme and badass experience in New Zealand? Then this activity is definitely a must try. This cage diving is being offered off the coast of Stewart Island wherein you can really come face to face with the deadly and most dangerous animal in the underwater world – the Great White Shark.

  • White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting Rangitikei Ngaruroro New ZealandAnother extreme adventure this on the fresh water, white water rafting in New Zealand offers you with different choices depending on your ability and fear level. The rapids are graded from 2 to 5. Here are five of the best rated white water rafting destinations in New Zealand:

  • Rangitikei

Also known as A River of Legend, the Rangitikei is one of the top Grade 5 rafting trips in the world. It has 10 major rapids spanning 11 kilometers that are sure to take your breath away and get your adrenaline pumping.

  • Rangitata

With 10 kilometers of Grade 4 and 5 rapids, the Rangitata begins quite smoothly and then brings the climax in a section of bed rock which has some challenging gradient and rapids.

  • Wairoa

This is actually an awesome rafting destination, unfortunately the Wairoa can only be rafted 26 days in a year because it is a dam release river. Still, whenever it’s open for white river rafting, the Wairoa is a ride to experience.

  • Shotover

Perhaps the most memorable part of this trip is the Oxenbridge Tunnel at the end. The Shotover is graded 4 and 5 depending on the river flow and runs for 12.5 kilometers.

  • Mohaka

Although a great white water rafting spot, the Mohaka is the least accessible river on this list. Still it’s worth the effort to get there with the number of rapids, the stunning panorama as well as the length of the season that you can enjoy the water.

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