It's a common misconception that Auckland is just a gateway city, that there's not much to do and that Auckland is boring compared to the rest of New Zealand. However this is very wrong as there are heaps of things to do in Auckland. Just this last weekend I did one of the best things I've ever done in my life. Sea Kayaking! The Auckland Sea Kayaks 2 day tour was a physically active trip, with a nights camping on the stunning islands of the Hauraki Gulf. There was lots of sun, sea, good food and great company.
Sea Kayaking Auckland
Day 1 - Island Hopping
We set off on Saturday morning after packing up the supplies for our overnight trip into the kayaks. The first kayak leg was from St Heliers to Browns Island. It was a nice cruisy introduction of around an hour, before beaching on Browns Island and walking to the summit. This was only a short walk but provided stunning views of the harbour and East Auckland.
Day 1 - Delicious Lunch and more kayaking!
The best part was when we got back to the beach our kayak guide Nic had laid out an amazing picnic lunch. Awesome healthy tasty sandwiches and even plunger coffee! After stuffing ourselves, our group of 5 made our way over to Motuihe Island. This was another easy 1.5 hour paddle with lots of sunshine and chatting on the way. When we beached on the white sands of Motuihe we carried our kayaks up to the Department of Conversation campground before stripping off and running into the water for a refreshing swim. Not a bad afternoon splashing around, exploring the island and setting up camp.
Day 1 - Camping & Excellent Food
After pitching our tents and setting up with all the camping gear provided we sat around admiring the view and feeling very well exercised and sun kissed. We had a couple of hours to eat, drink and enjoy being on an island in the middle of the gulf before dinner. Dinner was an amazing Thai Green Curry and even a glass of wine followed by cake and custard for dessert. It really helped having all food prepared and organised for us. After dinner we took off to explore the old Prisoner of War camp on Motuihe and as it got dark headed further into the island to try and spot some Kiwi birds. After trying our hardest to be quiet and hear our national icon in the bush, we headed to the beach where we saw 3 kiwis running across the shoreline – such an awesome feeling!!
Day 2 - Rangitoto Island
Getting to sleep that night was easy and of course we woke up to boiled eggs and coffee in the morning, such great service! It was a little windier on day 2 but we got into our kayaks and paddled across to Rangitoto Island and then had a leisurely hike to the summit. It was fun with a little more wind and we managed to get nice and salty! After hiking to the summit and checking out the 360 degree views of Auckland and the Waitemata Harbour we headed back to our boats for our final picnic lunch.
Day 2 - Heading Home
The paddle back to St Heliers was perhaps the toughest of all because of slightly more wind and possibly because our shoulders were a bit fatigued! When we beached up on St Heliers it was a great feeling of satisfaction and achievement. It was such an amazing trip for people that like to be outdoors and get active.
I can't recommend this enough, the team at Auckland Sea Kayaks put on an excellent trip!