Kayaking in Whakatane – Day 282, Part 1
Kayaking among pohutukawa trees and underwater forests!
Today we are kayaking in the Ohiwa Harbour in Whakatane. If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then jump on over to our amazing YouTube Channel and Subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!
Today we’re going to explore the Ohiwa Harbour by kayak and then by night we’re gonna the Whakatane forests.
Alright today we’re gonna do two epic activities we’re gonna be kayaking and then we’re gonna be spotting some kiwi birds at night so here we go for another two parter episode of New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year. I can’t believe we’re doing that much. We are joining Kenny from KG Kayaks for a kayaking tour on the Ohiwa Harbour.
Although the original plan today was to kayak over to Whale Island, which is a bird sanctuary island, unfortunately the weather is not playing ball today and the swell is a little bit too dangerous to kayak over there. But because Ohope is a really awesome place to do water activities and there’s lots of places to kayak to we have the awesome alternative of the Ohiwa Harbour.
There is about a hundred birds coming for my face right now.
As you can see the Ohiwa Harbour is famous for its abundance of bird life especially birds like herons and kingfishers and we see heaps of them today but the Ohiwa Harbour also is known for having orca visit the harbour several times a year as well as seals, and penguins, and also on the way we are looking out for stingray but unfortunately we’re not lucky enough to see those little guys today.
What I really like about the kayaks that KG Kayaks have is that it’s an open kayak it is super comfortable especially for someone as tall and lanky as I am. it is perfect to sit on top of it and do our thing. I really find it so much easier to maneuver and enjoy the tour. After about 45 minute kayaking we arrive at the mangrove section of the Ohiwa Harbour. I really like mangroves because it’s a breeding ground for wildlife. Heaps of fish actually live and feed in the mangrove which are trees growing literally from inside the water it’s a really cool area to explore and if the water were a little bit clearer, without the massive rain that we had this morning, we would be able to see so many fishes just below us.
The turning point of our tour today is going to be one of the four main islands of the harbour. This island is Uretara Island and it’s really well known for its pohutukawa trees which are those massive trees right here on screen, which are overhanging above the water. Making it for a really fun kayaking area.
The area is looking absolutely fairy tale the water is turquoise the trees are peaceful overhanging and the trunks of the trees look absolutely gorgeous so we take the time to relax here we don’t really kayak too hard as we kayak along the coastline of Uretara Island.
As we kayak along the stunning Uretara Island to explore it also has a wealth of history as well which our guide Kenny tells us all about as we’re kayaking around the perimetres. He tells us that it used to be a famous Maori settlement and then a European family used to live on the island around the 1900s living a pretty isolated life out here.
Today the island is more famous for being packed with wildlife thanks to its regenerating forest and in particular the pohutukawa trees which Robin has been talking to you about. But these trees are best seen during the Christmas period around December because they start to blossom red flowers and that is why the pohutukawa tree is better known as the New Zealand Christmas tree.
Aside from learning all the fascinating history of Uretara Island and the surrounding Ohiwa Harbour another reason to have a guide is so you know how to utilise the tide which is every changing in the Ohiwa Harbour. He is teaching us how to utilise the tide so we can use the current so we can get back toward base as we start making our way back on the return journey.
I have to say that utilising the tide on the journey back makes it so much easier and so much faster than the journey in. I feel like every single time we’re doing one of those kayaking tours we are learning a new skill and that really helps us become much more advanced paddlers and that is so cool.
I can’t believe that even on the first day of arriving in Whakatane we are finding two activities to do in one day and that just goes to show that there is so much to do in this area and it should definitely be on your itinerary for travelling around the North Island of New Zealand.
Next on Day 282 part 2 we are going with the Whakatane Kiwi Trust on a kiwi spotting night tour where we’re going to be trying to find this iconic kiwi bird inside one of the local forests and trust us we’re gonna get much more than what we bargained for. So join us then.
Owiwa. Ohiwa. Ohiwa. Ok. Today we are going to explore the Ohiwa… Ohiwa. Today we’re gonna explore the Ohiha Hahihaha. Ohiwa. Ohiwa. Today we’re going to explore the Ohiwa Harbour by kayak.