New Zealand Edition: Kayak and Steamship

The adventure: Aukland Sea Kayaks

The beer: Mac’s at Northern Steamship Co

When you hike up a volcano you can’t take a ferry. You have to kayak.

Before our kayak adventure we stopped for lunch and a beer at Northern Steamship Co. It is right on the wharf and our kayak guide offered to pick us up right there. The beer on tap is Mac’s, a local craft brew. Mac’s has a lot of variety and we found them to be one of the most reliably good beers in Aukland. Our favorites were the

Great White – Cloudy Wheat

Black – Porter

The Great White is the perfect summer beer. It is a light Belgian style with lots of fruity flavors.  This was the number one choice for both of us. Coming in second was the porter. It is nice and chocolaty and perfect for a cool night.

When our beer was done, our guide took us to St. Helier’s Bay where we kayaked 5km to Rangitoto Island. We then hiked up the mountain, detouring to crawl through some lava tubes and watched the sun set over the Aukland skyline. Our guide cooked us supper and then we kayaked back under the stars, guided by the Southern Cross. If this sounds magical it’s because it was. Booking the tour, we expected a very touristy experience because it sounded too good to be true.

We were in for a surprise. It was even better than we had hoped. It felt good to work for our adventure and we were rewarded by a nearly deserted island that had a variety of bird species that are extinct on the mainland but have been preserved on the island, a good workout, and a chance to meet some very interesting people.

This is an adventure you can’t pass up. It doesn’t feel like a “tour” and without the guide this trip is dangerous and not allowed. (He was in constant contact with the coast guard while we were night kayaking, and he had the special permits needed to go to the island.) If you are in New Zealand, don’t miss out on this experience.20151107_121141

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