Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pacific Coast Kayak Tours, Te Araroa trail, New Zealand

Te Araroa trail Kayaking section, Ngunuru to Pataua South.

Mark, the owner of Pacific Coast Kayak Tours in his well stocked garage.

dbBrad is hiking the Te Araroa trail 2011.  While most of the trail is in the bush, some of it is on the road and a surprising amount of it is in the water.

dbBrad ready to paddle, but where is Mark?
To date I've hiked over 20km in streams and Kayaked almost 40km.

Kayaks being picked up at end of journey.
For the first section of kayaking from PaiHia to Waikare I rented from  I was with two fellow travelers, Phlip and Medalin and we simply rented the boats which were picked up at the end.  Fun, but nothing compared to the adventure I had with Mark.

Not only is Mark an expert paddler and tour guide, he's quite the chef too. All veggies from his personal garden, hot coffee and tea and all organic!
But for the section between Ngunuru and Pataua, renting a boat for a self guided tour was out of the question.  Open ocean kayaking in the pacific ocean is a bit more technical than paddling in calm cool bay of islands.

Just one of the Caves I was shown on my 19km tour of the coast.
Though he wouldn't rent me a boat for a solo paddle (no one in their right mind would) he did cut me a bit of a deal since I was by myself.  It would have been considerably cheaper with other paddlers but the memories I have of that day will last a life time, easily worth the extra few dollars.

My kayak fitted with a sail and a map.  Paddle float and pump are extra!!
We had a great time, enjoyed great food, paddled and sailed in the open ocean and had several great laughs together.  Mark is a great host, very knowledgeable kayak guide and a lot of fun.  Clearly the best option for kayaking this leg of the Te Araroa trail.

Mark and Leon at the end of the paddle.  Leon operates the vehicular logistics division of Pacific Coast Kayak Tours.
Follow this link for a quick video of Mark describing our paddle, filmed by dbBrad.
Follow this link for a quick video of Cave crawling, dbBrad.

dbBrad in his own boat, a Klepper, at Tofino on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver Island.

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