About us

Pacific Coast Kayaks is a flexible, mobile operation based in Onerahi, Whangarei, and has been operating on the East Coast of Northland for over 15 years.

Pacific Coast Kayaks run local half-day and full day tours, or hireage, for travellers, locals, school and groups. We can take you to secluded coves, white sand or pebbly beaches, spectacular coastal formations, volcanic landscapes. The diversity of sea kayaking in the Whangarei area means we can offer superb kayak trips to suit every level of ability, age and motivation. Families are catered for and encouraged to book with us.

Whangarei ("Love it here") has a subtropical climate with warm Summers especially suitable for swimming and snorkelling. Sea bird life is often prolific with cormorants, terns, heron and spoonbill frequently observed. Special tours to observe birdlife, or paying particular attention to historical or ecological interests can be arranged.

Due to our small group sizes, our trips are always customised to include your preferences. If you're interested in sailing, snorkelling, walking or fishing, these can be arranged, especially in the Summer months. Pacific Coast Kayaks can utilise other assistant guides and experienced personnel for larger groups. All of our guides offer a safe and fun experience.

When you paddle on one of our tours, we can also explore the culture and history of our region. The East Coast was settled first by Maori and we will be able to visit Pa sites and other archaeological sites as part of your trip. Early European settlers have also left ruins on the changing landscapes. See our eco and historical tours for full details.


  • Safety is always our number one priority
  • As our groups are generally small and we know our area, we are able to respond more quickly to changes in weather and conditions
  • We are the only sea kayak company operating on the East coast of Northland from Whangarei to Rawhiti area
  • We access a more diverse range of environments in a wide range of locations
  • All trips are customised and designed for all levels of experience and ability
  • We are family friendly and cater for school age children
  • We do the extra to support you with instruction and gear during tours and hire groups receive full safety back up.
  • We are passionate and care about our coast
About us
About us

About Our Guides

The Director and Operator of Pacific Coast Kayaks is Mark Garry, born in Whangarei with an extensive background in water sports including surfing, sailing, and diving.

Mark is an NZOIA qualified NZOIA Sea kayak Guide with over 30 years experience in a number of disciplines, including white water, canoe polo, canoe surfing and sea kayaking. His local knowledge of the effects of tide, weather and topography helps to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip for our clients.

Mark who has trained as a teacher in New Zealand, has had a long teaching career coupled with undertaking additional studies in Outdoor Education (Diploma in OE, South Australia) and Environmental Education, Avian Ethology and Natural History. Now his passion is to help people safely access and appreciate our coast. As a result tours often incorporate historical and wildlife information. Observing our abundant bird life becomes a part of most tours and we are happy to go as fast or slow as you like to take it all in.

Additional local qualified guides are employed for large groups. All guides will have extensive local coastal experience.


As with all outdoor and water activities, kayaking has inherent risks. These will be explained in a trip briefing. With good planning, tour selection, preparation and careful management on the water risks can be minimised.

Please book ahead for tours and hire rather than on the day. This enables time to plan thoroughly for your group, choose the best location for the current weather pattern and to ensure our availability.

Pacific Coast Kayaks has been an audited Sea Kayak Company since 2014. Legislation introduced at the time required Outdoor Adventure Companies to upgrade their safety systems to enable them to manage risk in remote locations and where there was a risk of serious injury. Pacific Coast Kayaks has been fully compliant with the regulations and "best industry practice" so your safety is guaranteed. Our guides carry full safety gear including vhf radio, cellphone, flares, bilge pumps, towing devices, first aid kit, emergency clothing and food.

For those people renting kayaks a reasonable level of fitness is required and some familiarity with the outdoors. A safe trip plan will be agreed upon for their proposed journey. Every group must be led by at least one capable outdoors person, with some kayaking experience, who is able to manage risks and changing conditions on the water.


The Covid-19 pandemic has encouraged us to focus more on local tours and hire, family groups, local communities, schools, skills courses and other instruction. All our locations while still challenging, will be of a lower risk. The focus will be on having fun, learning about our environment and exploring at your pace. Time to relax and is guaranteed.

Weather and skill limits apply to all our tours and hire options, to ensure a safe trip plan. Where conditions are not suitable, we are lucky to have a variety of alternative locations. We ask that clients are open minded and prepared to change location if required. The best option is to ask your guide what would be the "Captain's Choice" or Best Trip of the Day



About us

What our happy paddlers say about us