Frequently asked questions
Do you offer freedom rentals so I can just take a kayak on my own?
We paddle on a stretch of coastline that is simply not suitable for freedom rentals. Safety is paramount in our business, we specialise in small personal tours run by one of our qualified guides. We know all the secret spots out there and love to share our favorite places with you.
I have never kayaked before, can I take part in this activity?
Yes! The great thing about kayaking is that it is easy. After a quick introduction and safety briefing you are out there doing it.. sea kayaking the Pacific Ocean! The guide is with your group the whole time and is there to make your trip safe and enjoyable.
Do you use double or single kayaks?
We use double kayaks. They are modern, stable and fast. We find with two people working together we can go further and see more. If people have a lot of kayaking experience we can put them in single kayaks.. (if they can keep up!).
What's the difference between the Cathedral Cove Classic, The Remote Coast and the Big Day in the Bay?
The Cathedral Cove Classic heads north of Hahei Beach and explores the Marine Reserve and Cathedral Cove. The Remote Coast Tour heads south of Hahei and explores the volcanic coast between Hahei and Hot Water Beach including the blowhole. The full day tour is a combination of both tours. The Remote Coast tour covers coastline that is more exposed than the area explored on the Cathedral Cove Classic. This means the Remote Coast tour is more weather and sea dependent than the Classic tour.
I booked for the Remote Coast Tour or the Full Day tour but it is not running due to sea conditions, can I transfer to the Cathedral Cove Classic tour?
Yes. Because you were booked on the Remote Coast tour with us you have priority to join the classic if you wish.
Is lunch provided on the Big Day in the Bay tour?
You need to bring your own lunch. We stop back at the starting point for the lunchtime break so you have access to your car if you wish. We provide afternoon tea at Catheral Cove on the second half of the tour.
Can I bring my camera, swimming gear, towels and sunscreen etc?
Yes. We have dry bags for your camera and there are storage compartments in the kayaks for other items.
What's the difference between the Family Classic and the Cathedral Cove Classic tours?
They are often exactly the same. We try to keep the trips enjoyable for everybody so often keep young family groups on their own tour. This means there is no pressure to keep up with the faster members of the party. Often the family tour does exactly the same trip but it just takes a little longer.
Do I need to stop in at the office at 88 Hahei Beach Road?
No. We meet beside the kayaks on Hahei Beach in front of the main car park. It just keeps things simple for you.
What happens if the weather is bad on the day?
If the trip is cancelled due to weather conditions there is no charge whatsoever. If you have prepaid for your tour then you will be refunded in full. If you booked via a travel agent then they will provide a full refund (you will need to contact them to arrange).
You will have priority to rebook if you are staying in the area another day and wish to try again.
How does the Ferry Landing pick up service work?
If you are staying in Whitianga and you do not have a car then this service is for you (or if you do have a car but don't feel like driving!). Whitianga is a 35 minute drive from our starting point on Hahei Beach. If you have a car you just need to drive to Hahei Beach and meet us on the beach at the scheduled meeting time.
If you don't have a car then you need to use our pick up service. You take the Whitianga Ferry accross to Ferry Landing. It is a 5 minute crossing and costs $6 return. The Ferry departs approximately every ten minutes. We will arrange a time to meet you at Ferry Landing when you call us to check the weather forecast the day before your trip. The shuttle service is $10pp return.
How do the free Facebook photos work?
Our guides carry waterproof digital cameras and will be snapping a few shots throughout the trip. We post the photos that come out clearly on a dated album on our Facebook page (search Cathedral Cove Kayaks on Facebook). We can't guarantee that we will get photos of everyone so we always encourage you to bring your camera too, we have drybags to keep them safe.
You are welcome to ask your guide if you want them to take more or less photos of you on the day.. they will do their best to accomodate your needs.
Do any of the kayak trips visit Hot Water Beach?
No, Hot Water Beach is a very exposed beach that often has big waves and rough sea, not suitable for kayaking.
However, it is a very popular attraction that sees people from all over the world sharing the same natural spa pool in the sand. The hot springs are only accessible at low tide so we suggest doing some reseach to plan your day.. aim to visit 1.5 hours either side of low tide. Spades are available for rent from the local cafes.
Click the link below to check tide times. You'll be able to work out the best way to join the kayak trip AND visit Hot Water Beach on the same day.
Select location as 'Whitianga Entrance' and enter the date(s) that you will be in the area. The tide heights with a minus sign are the low tides that day.
N.B. The tide does not affect the kayak tours.