Sea Kayaking Day Tour

Volcanic activity 45 million years ago formed the Banks Peninsula, and the two most significant eruptions formed Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours. As a result, Lyttleton Harbour has become one of the most spectacular and dynamic harbours in New Zealand. Starting and finishing in Christchurch this one-day sea kayaking tour explores Lyttelton Harbour & Quail Island.

Sea Kayaking Highlights

  • Go Sea kayaking in an extinct volcano (Lyttleton Harbour).
  • Discover secret bays.
  • Paddle through a ships graveyard.
  • Explore the quail Island sea caves.
  • Visit Quail Island.
  • Local Guide.
  • Small-group tour.
  • Transport from Christchurch.

Sea Kayaking Itinerary

Morning – Lyttelton Harbour

Starting in Christchurch city centre, it’s a 30-45 Minute drive to Cass or Charteris Bay. Stopping briefly at the top of the Port Hills at Dyres Pass summit (340 meters) for a photo opportunity overlooking Christchurch and Lyttelton Harbour from the lookout before continuing our journey to Lyttelton Harbour where we launch our sea kayaks Arriving at the beach, we unload our boats before getting changed into our kayaking gear and lifejackets. Once you are changed and ready to go, your guide will teach you some basic paddle strokes and emergency procedures before leaving the beach. As you begin sea kayaking away from the beach, your guide will teach you how to steer your boat and paddle efficiently. Heading out towards the Island, there are plenty of bays and sea cliffs and wildlife to explore. Quail Island, the largest of the three islands in the harbour, is rich in local history; the Island was farmed, used as a leper colony and also for Antarctic expedition training. These days the island is a recreational reserve and is slowly being replanted with native trees. If the tides allow we’ll paddle past a ship’s graveyard, and explore the far side of the island including the sea caves at the far end.

Afternoon- Explore Quail Island

Stopping at one of the many small beaches, it’s time for our picnic lunch. After lunch, you can decide how to spend the remainder of the afternoon; you will have the opportunity to explore the island, relax by the beach or continuing exploring the harbour with your guide. At the end of the day, we head back to our starting point, its time to pack away the sea kayaks, grab a bite to eat, and head back towards Christchurch. Arriving back in Christchurch you’ll be dropped back at your accommodation or into the city centre. *Please note that this sea kayaking itinerary is weather dependent and your guide may alter the plan to match and abilities of the group and the local conditions on the day. In some situations, it may not be possible to visit Quail Island.

Sea Kayaking FAQ’s

What time does the tour start?

9 am.

What time does the tour end?

We aim to be back in Christchurch between 4:30-5:00 pm.

Is lunch included?

Yes, morning tea, lunch & afternoon tea.

Is transport included?


Do I need prior experience to come along on this sea kayak tour?

No, prior experience is not necessary.

Is this sea kayak tour family-friendly?

Yes, this is a family-friendly trip; however, we recommend family groups book a private guide.

Are there minimum numbers?

The minimum group size for this tour is two people.

What is the maximum group size?

The maximum group size for this tour is eight people.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We recommend booking at least 48hrs in advance.

Where are the pickup points?

Directly from your hotel – any accommodation within 3.5 km’s of Christchurch city centre – See on google maps Canterbury Museum meeting location- See on Google maps Princess Margarate Hospital meeting location (free all day parking) – See on Google maps Lyttelton Port meeting location (for shore excursions) – See on google maps

1 Day  |  $399 pp

Pick-up Time

9:00-9:30 am 

Finish Time




Do I need prior experience

Prior experience is not necessary.

Shore Excursion

Yes, Pick-up is available from Lyttelton Port for cruise ship passengers.


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