When I was travelling around the North Island of New Zealand on the Kiwi Experience I was lucky enough to take a trip around Cathedral Cove with Cathedral Cove Sea Kayaking. You may know Cathedral Cove from the Narnia films and, most recently, the Macklemore & Ray Lewis video of “Can’t Hold Us”. Basically it is one of the most stunning beaches in New Zealand.
Who Are Cathedral Cove Sea Kayaking?
A group of wildly enthusiastic, charming Kiwis. They are the ONLY kayak company licensed to land at Cathedral Cove and have been doing this for over 10 years. So I reckon they know what they’re talking about. Their trips cater for all levels and abilities. My favourite bit about kayaking in Cathedral Cove with these guys is that the guides take TONNES of photos along the way and post them on Facebook so you can download them for free. In a world where most tour companies/ excursions charge for pictures, this is a big plus.
On the way to the beach we were told that occasionally orcas are seen and once an orca even surfaced directly under a kayaker. Excellent. No offence Caco/Shamu/Willy…… you’re magnificent, but I’d rather admire you from a distance. The point of me going kayaking in Cathedral Cove was NOT to be worn like a hat!
As if I wasn’t nervous enough! I’d spent so much time in Byron Bay watching the kayakers capsize trying to get through the break and out into the open sea, the last thing I needed was to worry about orcas AS WELL. However, once I met my guide I knew I was in safe hands.
So first things first you get into pairs. Grab someone that has decent arm strength and hand-eye co-ordination, you’ll thank me later. Then it’s time to get kitted out in your sexy wetsuit-like skirts (so water doesn’t get into your kayak) and life jackets. Yep, it’s a fashionistas dream. Once everyone is dressed then you get the standard safety talk. You know, don’t rock the boat, how to not drown, THE USUAL.
Hitting The Water
Soooo then it finally comes time to get in the water. The moment I’ve been dreading! The first boat out capsized. REASSURING. Then it was my turn. There were waves crashing and I was feeling like Tom Hanks in Cast Away trying to get past the reef and out into the open sea. Luckily, I managed to get past the break and into calm waters without losing anything or anyone. VICTORY!
After that we finally started our kayaking in Cathedral Cove. We followed our guide around the coast line, taking in the magnificent scenery, snapping photos and working our muscles. The person in front sets the pace and the person at the back on the kayak matches it. Of course, this didn’t really happen in my kayak. But that’s the AIM.
One of the most fun parts was when we all linked our kayaks together and made a sail boat. Yep, you heard me, a sail boat. I’m not sure how to describe this other than with a photo, so I’ll just show you. I do recall feeling like a pirate though. Basically it gives you a bit of a break and lets your biceps/triceps chill for a few minutes.
Then it was time for a coffee break at the next cove. Here our handsome (yep, they’re all pretty easy on the eyes ladies) guide prepared us some cappuccino/hot choc/tea and cookies. They SAY you can go for a walk while you wait, however, you will be bare foot and wet so I recommend just chilling on the rocks and soaking up some sun. Now, the cappuccinos made by the guys at Cathedral Cove Sea Kayaking are legendary, so if you’re into coffee I have to recommend that you try the cappuccino. Personally I had the hot chocolate and it was wonderful. It had a cute little face on the top of it too. It’s the little things.
Back To Land
Once we were all warmed up it was time to slide back into the kayak and paddle off again. We were headed back to land but first we were in search of stingrays. Luckily we found the alien-like creatures without anyone crashing into the coastline. The clear waters gave us a wonderful view of the rays. This is a real highlight of kayaking in Cathedral Cove.
Then there was only one thing left to do, SURF back into shore. Ok, so I didn’t actually do this. But it is an option. You surf the waves on your kayak back into shore, obviously this can go wrong (think capsizing), hence why I didn’t do it. BUT some people managed to get it right and it did look amazing.
After all that we were back on land and ready to dry off. Don’t forget to take your belongings out of the dry area in the kayak. It does happen. Most importantly don’t forget to log onto the Sea Kayaking Facebook page and check out all your amazing photos from kayaking in Cathedral Cove.