For any New Zealand locals after a different activity or foreigners after a local experience, I highly recommend the kayaking trip from Puhoi Historic Village to the Wenderholm Regional Park with ‘Puhoi River Canoe Hire’. It was a brilliant day of what can be described as pure Kiwiana…highly recommended!
Puhoi River Kayaking
You’ll need a car but what you’re rewarded with is the chance to forget about the rest of the world, travel at your own pace, refreshing water to cool off in and be outside under the warm New Zealand sunshine.
I’m a local Auckland boy who although having lived abroad for over 16 years, was energised by the chance to paddle the snaking, watery, tidal channels for 12kms from the river to the sea. It was the perfect day weather wise, great company and a unique experience.
For those not au fait with kayaking the instructors give a safety briefing, but the only information you really need is how to use the paddle and where to meet at the other end. After all there’s no point in paddling to Australia!
The pathway is a maze of one way channels, carving their way through farm land which widen and gather current until the sea envelops the river. As I coasted downriver I passed native bush, farmland and picture-perfect postcard scenes, finally ending with mangrove forest. Gigantic ferns extend over the water’s edge and birds such as pukekos, herons, darted overhead with a playful energy, almost guiding my passage.
It’s peaceful and that’s what I enjoyed most. The silent hum of nature penetrated the air, only broken by my paddle slicing the water’s surface.
We meandered on down the wide estuary to the Wenderholm Regional Park with its Pohutukawa fringed beaches where we were picked up at the other end and returned to the beginning. In total the journey from Puhoi to Wenderholm took 2 hours at an easy pace, and the folks who run the company are good old Kiwi folk.
My top tip is takes and it pays to plan in advance and take a picnic lunch to eat on the beach afterwards. We relaxed afterwards at Wenderholm Regional Park with a bottle of feijoa wine (a New Zealand fruit which can only be described as sweet and tart in one mouthful), cheese and crackers and an assortment of snacks. The perfect ending to a perfect day!
Happy travelling folks!