Sea-kayak the south

pristine waterways

Enquire now

On the road through New Zealand’s South Island, kayaking a series of pristine waterways deep into the wilderness.

These are trips designed for private groups (eg: kayak clubs, groups of friends). As long as there are at least six of you traveling together we can make it happen. Over eight days you’ll paddle through a diverse range of natural environments including:

  • wilderness lakes amidst the Southern Alps offering magnificent views of NZ’s highest peaks and glaciers;
  • the country’s largest unmodified wetland, from a tidal lagoon into the rainforest along slow-moving streams;
  • high-country lakes fringed by sheep-farms, vineyards, beaches and alpine resort-towns;
  • Milford Sound and Fiordland, where countless waterfalls cascade down sheer mountain walls into the sea.

The trip starts in style with a trip aboard the Tranz-Alpine scenic railway from Christchurch across the Southern Alps to the wild west coast. From there almost the entire remainder of the journey takes place within a UNESCO World Heritage Area called Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand. This vast and mostly undeveloped wilderness covers almost 10% of New Zealand’s total land-area.

Short drives along scenic highways link six sea-kayaking trips and hikes on two of NZ’s Great Walks: the Kepler and Milford tracks. Three boat-rides are included: a water-taxi across Lake Te Anau, a small cruise-boat on Milford Sound and Queenstown's historic steamship, the TSS Earnslaw.

Sea-kayak the South trips are led by Tamarillo Active Travel’s specialist sea-kayak guides with local guides assisting along the way. No experience is necessary. Our team will teach you the necessary paddling skills and keep everyone happy and safe throughout. We provide single and double ‘sit-inside’ sea-kayaks - stable, ocean-going boats complete with spray-skirts, paddle-jackets, pfd's and dry-bags.

Non-paddlers are welcome and will be able to enjoy hikes and other activities while the kayakers are on the water. If weather or marine conditions prevent a kayak trip from happening the guides will be ready with alternative plans such as hikes, bike-rides, boat cruises, scenic flights and winery visits.

More about the accommodation:

Each night you’ll be accommodated in modern, spacious vacation apartments, either 2-bedroom/1-bathroom or 3-bedroom/2-bathroom units. If anyone prefers we can also arrange 1-bedroom/1-bathroom apartments for a slight increase in price.

Each apartment has its own complete kitchen which means you’ll be able to prepare your own meals if you wish. Laundry facilities are available at all the accommodations.

  • Nights 1 & 2: Franz Josef.
  • Night 3: Wanaka.
  • Nights 4, 5 & 6: Te Anau.
  • Night 7: Queenstown.
Click to see Tamarillo's deal on trips for six

'Trips for Six'

Discounts for groups

Get a group of six or more together and reduce everyone’s price.

How it works: Instead of the regular per person price, we’ll give you a special per group price.
As the group's coordinator its up to you to decide how to split the 'Trips for Six' price. You might:

  • surprise your friends and family by paying for everyone.
  • divide the amount equally among all participants.
  • get the rest of the group to share the cost so you travel for free.

Who is it for? Extended families, groups of friends, hiking & kayaking clubs, corporate groups, etc.

'Trips for Six' discounts are available only for bookings made directly with
Tamarillo Active Travel. Contact us to learn more.

Other packages

Photo credits. Main image, Chris McLennan. Right-side top, Holger Leue. Right-side bottom, Chris Sisarich. Sea-kayak the South, Ian Trafford. Sea-kayak the North, Scott Venning. Southern Frontier, Jocelyn Carlin.