Find affordable, high quality kayak rentals and top quality kayaking gear at these highly recommended outlets. These are the best kayak shops and rental companies located in New Zealand's North and South Islands for adventure tourists and family-friendly kayak vacations.
Wherever you plan to kayak in New Zealand, get geared up before you go and you’ll be ready to explore some truly stunning places at your own pace and, possibly, all to yourself. These trusted places in Taupo, Abel Tasman National Park, the Bay of Islands and Kaikoura will help you minimize the time spent mucking around before you begin and maximize your time on the water!
Kayak Rental at Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman Kayaks
Freedom Kayak Rentals provide a rental service through Abel Tasman Kayaks. If you want to explore this amazing area of New Zealand’s South Island at your own pace, rather than by joining a kayak tour, this is the way to do it. The service that Freedom offers is right there in the name: freedom.
Rent kayaks and gear for the whole family – with no extra side costs – and you can enjoy the limitless natural beauty of Abel Tasman National Park in an affordable, easy-going way. Located in Sandy Bay at the entrance to the National Park, Abel Tasman Kayaks have a range of rental-only kayaking packages that are bound to suit your vacation plans. If you want, they can also help you arrange accommodation, water taxis, and anything else to help you explore Abel Tasman National Park.
If you're also thinking about walking the Abel Tasman Track while you're in the area, check out our complete Guide to Walking the Abel Tasman Track blog post for some helpful info to get you started. It has everything you need to know about how to combine hiking and kayaking in this beautiful part of the world.
Abel Tasman Kayaks' office is on Sandy Bay Road on the waterfront at Sandy Bay, just a 15-minute drive from Kaiteriteri.
Kayak Rental & Shop at Lake Taupo
Canoe and Kayak Taupo
These guys are the undoubted local experts on Lake Taupo. Canoe & Kayak Taupo's massive showroom stocks as big a range of kayaks and paddleboards as you’re going to find anywhere, as well spray decks for white-water experts, roof racks to transport your kayak, helmets and buoyancy aids, so you won't need to worry about being short of any safety equipment (although if you want to be totally sure you're doing everything as safely as possible, have a look at our dedicated blog post on Kayak Safety Tips in New Zealand).
Canoe and Kayak Shop & Rental Taupo know exactly the appropriate clothing and safety gear you need for kayaking in New Zealand’s unique conditions. Things like paddle jackets, thermals, air bags, throw lines, and tow ropes. If you need to do any running kayak repairs, they stock latex seal preserver, inflatable puncture repair kits, replacement drain bungs, and so much more. Put simply: it's a one-stop shop for serious kayakers.
Handily located on the corner of Spa Road and Ruapehu Street (just two blocks from Tongariro Street).
Kayak Rental at Bay of Islands
Freedom Kayak Rentals
Guided Bay of Islands kayak tours are great. But if you want to do it on your own, this is the place to contact. Freedom Kayak Rentals, operated through Bay of Islands Kayaking, provide everything you need to uncover all the beautiful nooks and crannies (in other words, bays and coves) of the Bay of Islands on your own.
That doesn’t just mean they have single and double kayaks, but also PFDs/life jackets, paddles, safety gear, spray skirts, Bay of Islands maps, and dry bags to keep your precious belongings dry. Freedom Kayak Rentals also hire out camping equipment, ideal if you want to take your time and camp overnight in the wilderness. If so, we recommend booking a campsite on unspoilt Urupukapuka Island in advance, through New Zealand’s Department of Conservation website.
Bay of Islands Kayaking is based outside Paihia, but for these kayak rentals they offer gear drop-off/pick-up to several places in the Bay of Islands.
Kayak Rental & Shop at Kaikoura
Kaikoura Kayaks is run by expert paddlers with over 20 years experience paddling the wild waters of the South Island. They have a famous try-before-you-buy policy if you’re in the market for a new kayak, with a range of demos from trusted brands on offer with no obligation to buy. If you’re just passing through, you can hire sea kayaks, paddle boards and sit-on-top fishing kayaks (if you'd like to try your hand at kayak fishing in New Zealand) that Kaikoura Kayaks’ team of experts keep in tip-top, like-new condition.
Like many other local operators, Kaikoura Kayaks have done an awesome job to keep providing a reliable, professional service since the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, though it’s always wise to check the current operating status of roads and highways (on the NZ Transport Agency’s dedicated Kaikoura earthquake response page) if planning to drive to Kaikoura from Christchurch or elsewhere.
You'll find Kaikoura Kayaks on Killarney Street, just along the Esplanade from the Kaikoura i-Site (information center).
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