The warm waters of the Pacific, often calm, clear, and shallow offer some of the world’s most tranquil paddling conditions. There is much more than a Gauguin painting though. For instance, look at New Zealand, a longtime magnet for paddling enthusiasts. The wild landscape and diverse coastline has some of the most challenging paddling routes on the planet. The sheer mystery of Papua New Guinea is luring, as is Tonga. Routes are well established here and the variety of tours offered can be bewildering.
The far southwestern corner of Micronesia is home to sea caves, small islets, mangrove swamps, turtles, and sharks.
- Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand
New Zealand’s Golden Bay is one of the premier kayaking destinations in the Pacific. There’s year-round tropical weathe and small coves, caves, secluded beaches and orchards. It’s an ideal setting for the beginner and intermediate paddler.
- Bay of Islands, New Zealand
This string of small islands off New Zealand’s North Island make up a 100 square mile marine reserve. Basalt formations and caves are commonplace, but the highlight is without question the Hole-in-the-Rock, which you can paddle through.
- Papua New Guinea
Explore a vast array of little known islands covered in primitive jungle, volcanoes, and coral reefs. This is one of the most culturally diverse areas on the planet, although proper kayaking facilities are lacking.
- Shark Bay, Australia
Australia’s most westerly point, a UNESCO world heritage site, is home to turtles, rays, and manatees, among others. Battle your way around the cape and stay at an ecolodge for added adventure.
Tranquil narrow waterways, inlets, channels, and limestone islands dominate the Vava’u Group. This kind of paradise is as rare as seeing another tourists.
- Flinders Island, Australia
The largest island in the Furneaux Group at 37 miles long is a nature lovers dream. Spot wallabies and wombats from the comfort of your kayak while basing yourself in the islands two main towns.
- Tasmania, Australia
Remote Tassie’s southwestern shore in the roaring 40’s, offers huge swells and ultimate conditions for the extreme adventurer.
The honeymoon is just beginning of this tropical paradise. Paddle your way through mangrove forests and past swaying palms to rustic villages and snorkel sites.
The French Polynesian islands of Raiatea and Tahaa that make up Tangaroa are idyllic retreats for paddlers. You can circumnavigate the islands or spend time paddling the reefs and golden bays; regardless you won’t see a cruise ship or t-shirt stand.