A great way to explore Kerikeri is by kayak, on the Kerikeri Inlet – and it looks very different from the water than from the land!
We launched our kayaks at Waipapa Landing – this is a good all-tide launching spot, with a concrete boat ramp, plenty of parking and also a toilet block.
Map of Waipapa Landing boat ramp:
The pin below shows the location of the boat ramp at Waipapa Landing (click on the map to zoom in/out, move it around, etc.):
From Waipapa Landing boat ramp, we paddled round to the Stone Store – it took about an hour to get there.
If we’d had more time (and our wallets with us), it would have been nice to stop at the Pear Tree Cafe for some refreshments before heading back. The cafe is right next to the Kerikeri Inlet. We’ll have to do that another day!
Hint: even at all-tide launching spots, it’s a good idea to leave close to high tide if possible. For the simple reason that the Kerikeri Inlet looks a lot prettier when filled with water… otherwise it’s a bit of a mud hole!
Note: there are other places to launch kayaks on the Kerikeri Inlet too. I’ll add those in the future, as I discover them. 🙂
Important things to know before you kayak on the Kerikeri Inlet:
There are no kayak rental places in Kerikeri, as far as I’m aware. So you need to bring your own kayak. I guess you could rent a kayak in Paihia and bring it over in your vehicle, if it will fit.
Geography and weather
The Kerikeri Inlet is where various streams and rivers meet the sea. The “sea” part of this means that it’s tidal. And the “river” part means that the water is greeny-brown. (Do not expect clear blue water, you will be very disappointed!)
Check the marine weather forecast for wind and tide before you leave. Even though the Kerikeri Inlet is relatively sheltered, the wind can still get up and make the paddling less fun. Here’s the marine forecast for the Bay of Islands.
Traffic on the water
Numerous boats are moored on pile moorings on the Kerikeri Inlet. So, be prepared for boat traffic. Boats will need to use the deepest part of the channel, so if you stick to the sides you’ll be fine. The sides are more interesting anyway, as that’s where you’ll find mangroves, birds and other wildlife.