Being an archipelago, New Zealand is blessed with our 10,000 km / 6,200 miles of coastline. The ocean, together with the lakes and rivers, offer a lot of possibilities to practice water sports.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Canoeing and kayaking are starting to gain more and more popularity in New Zealand. They are practiced on river, lakes and ocean. The most popular river for canoeing is Whanganui.
There are several operators which offer guided tours. The equipment and basic training is provided by them.
Scuba diving and snorkeling are very popular in New Zealand and can be enjoyed pretty much all over the coast. The warmer seas in the north are generally preferred but the water is clear everywhere near the coast and the diving spots are close to accommodation.
Among the popular diving areas we can list: the Coromandel Peninsula, the Bay of Plenty, the Three Kings Islands north of North Cape, Poor Knights Marine Reserve (Whangarei), the Bay of Islands Maritime, the Sugarloaf Islands Marine Park and Historic Park, Hauraki Gulf, Stewart Island and Goat Island (Warkworth).
Jet Boating and Jet Skiing
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Jet boats are very popular in the shallow river waters of the South Island. The most popular rivers for this water sport are Shotover, Kawarau and Dart in the South Island and Whanganui, Waikato and Whakatane in the North Island.
Jet skies can be rented in pretty much any sea resort on the New Zealand coast. Some operators even offer over-night tours.
The beautiful mountains in New Zealand are the perfect places where to find fast rivers. And that’s what rafting is about: fast, untamed rivers. The West Coast of South Island as well as Nelson and Marlborough regions are just perfect for this water sport.
Operators offer all kinds of experiences, from the short decent on some rapids to several days tours of adrenaline rush. Tours can be booked year round but the most popular times to practice rafting are spring and summer.
Wherever there is a beach exposed to the open sea, there are surfing conditions. But the best surfing is around Auckland in the North Island. The beaches of Piha, Raglan, New Plymouth and Wellington offer perfect surfing conditions year round. In the South Island, surfing is mostly a summer sport but there are a lot of places where it can be enjoyed, among which we can list the beaches of Kaikoura, Christchurch and Dune.
Windsurfing is popular both on lakes and in the open ocean waters.
Yachting is a very popular sport in New Zealand and you’ll see a lot of harbors filled with yachts all summer long.
Among the most popular areas for sailing we can list the Bay of Islands (Northland), the Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf (Auckland).
Charter boats are available all over the country. There are cruises available but also skippered charters, where you have some control and participation.