The Kayak Classic and Kayak & Walk tour. Let us help you choose! They are both excellent trips with many similarities and also some big differences. We’re here to help you choose which tour is the right one for you! Here’s a full description of either tour here:
The Kayak Classic Tour – our original Lake Mapourika adventure!
Our original adventure, which has been run on the pristine freshwater of Lake Mapourika for the last 21 years! There’s a reason this tour hasn’t changed in so long, it’s the perfect recipe for a good time on the water. The 3 Hour (round trip) Kayak Classic Tour departs up to 3 times per day in the summer whereas the Kayak & Walk departs only twice, so it’s something that can work into anyone’s busy travel schedule!
Kayak Classic Route:
Setting out on an epic route across the lake and into our favorite creek and bays on the far side makes this trip a serious crowd pleaser. On both the Kayak Classic and the Kayak & Walk tour, the towering glaciated mountains set the stage as your scenic backdrop. Our tours are often small groups, and the pace of the tour is set by the clients on the trip. Our guides are all extremely knowledgeable and will take breaks for fascinating chats and stories where needed. We always have a wee break for some unbeatable echo’s in Echo Bay on the far shoreline. Once we’ve reached the far side, it’s time for us to explore an area which we refer to as “Mirror Creek”. This area is a rainforest-clad meandering creek which goes on and on into some of Westland’s oldest untouched Jurassic Rainforest!
The creek is often guarded by our resident White Heron’s (Kotuku) which are rare birds that breed nearby. Other commonly spotted birds are Tui, Bellbirds, Wood Pigeon, Kea, Fantails, King Fishers, Black Swans, Paradise Ducks and Oyster Catchers. Last week we spotted a Royal Spoonbill fishing on the lake’s shoreline, this is a rare but not uncommon sighting!
Tour Highlight: Mirror Creek
We provide: Splash Jackets or Wet Weather Jacker & Pants if raining, Dry Bag, FREE PHOTOS, Sunscreen and insect repellent
Fitness level: Moderate, but many of our guests are first time paddlers so don’t let that put you off trying!
*Note this trip has slightly more kayaking than the Kayak & Walk tour but is an hour shorter in length.
Can kids join?
Yes! We’re happy to have children from ages 3 or 4 and up join us on our tours. We do have a shorter tour option available upon request, and we run this tour for families travelling with infants. There’s a variety of ways we can put children in boats, with parents and/or guides. Even in a center hatch with mom & dad. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions!
We always recommend booking a morning tour when you’re paddling with children! This is almost always the calmest time of day on the water.
The Kayak & Walk Tour – an epic West Coast rainforest & wildlife expedition!
The Kayak & Walk Tour was a labor of love by the company owners Dale & Bronwyn. Being granted access by the Department of Conservation to form our own exclusive track through the Kiwi Sanctuary which also lies within the Westland National Park, was something dreamt about since purchasing the company. The Rainforest Trail is a track like no other, as it’s hand made touches along the way keep the trail unique and interesting. The track was made to keep the bush as intact as possible, so you will find it narrower and a little bit slower to walk than other tracks in the region. Most people indicate this is what makes the trail so magical.
Kayak & Walk Route:
Taking on the same route across Lake Mapourika as the Kayak Classic Tour, you will get to enjoy the outstanding vistas of the Southern Alps and many different Glaciers (including the Neve of the Franz Josef Glacier) as you paddle to the far side. Once having reached the far shoreline, your guide will take you to the small beach where the track begins. Our groups get out of their kayaks here and head out for a walk through another world of Jurassic-era rainforest and abundant birdsong!
Our knowledgeable guides spot the native birds, unique flora/fauna and are even known to weave flax flowers. The track is a short 2 way trail through along a peninsula which takes our groups to a scenic lookout across the water at the Franz Josef Glacier Valley. Long finned eels and Brown Trout can often be spotted along the shoreline and in the summer months some groups choose to take a swim! We enjoy a cup of tea here at this spot and enjoy the view and some snacks to refuel before our return paddle.
Tour Highlight: The Rainforest Trail
We provide: Complimentary Tea/Coffee Splash Jackets or Wet Weather Jacker & Pants if raining, Dry Bag, FREE PHOTOS, Sunscreen and insect repellent.
Fitness level: Moderate, but the kayaking is very easy. We recommend sneakers or solid footwear for the track, and please remember to pack a snack!
Can kids join?
Yes! We have the same age restrictions as our Kayak Classic Tours (3 & up). The track itself is only 500 meters so a quick piggy back can often help out a tired younger child. The guides are equipped with hot chocolates for the break at our scenic lookout!