Kayaking the Ruakaka Estuary

IMG_7660October Long Weekend – a big high was predicted, and a morning high tide – perfect conditions for a paddle in the Ruakaka Estuary and wildlife reserve.  Simon Ellison lives in a small cottage on the estuary in Princes St.  From this location he hires kayaks, we rang him and made sure he had a double kayak waiting for us.

The estuary was full tide, with the water crystal clear, the view out to the sand dunes and off shore islands was magic.  We set off to paddle up the river to the bridge at Bream Bay College – 1.5 hours return – 8 kms.  We were on our own, as we paddled through mangroves, spotting Kingfisher and nesting Oyster Catchers.  The potutukawa lined river banks were exquisite – another month or so and they will be a riot of red.  Kayaking is so quiet – it is blissfully relaxing.  You stop paddling and still keep moving as the momentum carries us forward.

Variable Oyster  Catchers

Variable Oyster Catchers

Simon also leads a 2.5 hour eco tour which I have also done – it is a fabulous way to find out more about the shorebirds that make this estuary their home.  Simon used to work for DOC and is very knowledgable about the area.  Low tide is ideal for the eco tour, but any tide will do.

Afterwards we drove along to the Marsden Cove Marina and the Waterline Café where we enjoyed a coffee as we watched the boats coming and going from the Marina.

Prices:  $15/hour single kayak  $25 double kayak
Ecotour: $60 for 2.5 hour guided paddle and introduction to the shorebirds

To book or find out more contact Simon  09 432 8668



  1. Chris Scott on November 5, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Hi Guys, I recently joined Energy Online and they said they were giving me a $50 voucher to spend on Grab One site, and that you were doing a deal for a tour for two (one adult, one child?) for $50 before December.
    I can’t find your site on Grab One, so just wanted to confirm with you if this is correct.
    Kind Regards
    Chris Scott

    • Rosemary Neave on November 9, 2015 at 7:40 am

      Hi chris, you will have to contact Simon directly by phone

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