Sunset Tour to Rangitoto Island

The Sunset Sea Kayak Tour to Rangitoto Island showcases the best of Auckland’s Waitemata harbour including Auckland’s highest and largest volcano. The trip is fully catered with a healthy kiwi BBQ for dinner and all equipment is provided.

This tour was rated #1 Guided tour in New Zealand by Wilderness Magazine June 2020.

Sea sea kayak to Rangitoto Island, the largest and youngest of Aucklands volcanoes and the landmark of the Auckland region, while the sun is slowly setting over Auckland and the Waitakere Ranges.

After your safety briefing and paddling instruction you will kayak across the Waitemata harbour, meaning ‘sparkling waters’, where you may see wildlife such as Little Blue Penguins and Cooks Petrels.

We pull our kayaks up to Rangitoto wharf before embarking on a one-hour explorative, fun and informative trek to the summit, viewing the spectacular sites and learning all about the history of the region. Upon reaching the top you will be treated to the finest 360 degree views that the Auckland region has to offer.

At the return to the water’s edge, a healthy Kiwi-style BBQ dinner will be awaiting you. With your guide, you will paddle back in the dark watching the city lights sparkle like stars.

Our guides are very experienced and skilled sea kayakers with a personal commitment and passion for conservation and kayaking. Their knowledge of the area, understanding of the weather systems and catering abilities will ensure your trip is both enjoyable and safe.

Tour departs daily.

Price $ 195 (BBQ dinner and refreshments included)
Meet at: St Heliers Bay boat ramp
Free city centre pick up if requested on booking form (see map for pickup location)

Start times vary due to the every changing sunset time:
2:00 pm winter: April to September
4:00 pm summer: October to April

Group discounts available

Age restriction: Minimum age of 14 years old for this tour

CLICK HERE TO BOOK the sunset tour 

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Check your gear and help keep our islands pest-free.

This tour is fully catered so please inform us if you have any dietary requirements.

What is provided?
We kit you out with all the specialist paddling gear including buoyancy aid, spray skirt, spray jacket, thermals and a dry bag for your camera. This tour is fully catered so please advise us of any dietary requirements.

Kayaking is a water sport and you will get a little wet while kayaking.
What to bring?
• Camera
• Water bottle
• Sun protection
• T-shirt (No Cotton)
• Shorts or leggings to kayak in (No Cotton).
• Sun glasses and hat
• Sport shoes or hiking sandals such as Chaco’s. Flip-flops, jandals and slip on shoes are not suitable.
• Warm top
• Medication

How fit do I need to be?

Moderate level of fitness required.
You must be able to kayak 1 hour fifteen minutes each way to Rangitoto Island.
You must also be able to hike 2.5 km (1.5 miles) rising 270 meters (900 feet).

Is this tour catered?

This tour is fully catered and we cater for all dietary requirements.
Please advise us when you book if you have any dietary requirements so we can let our catering company know.

Catering Auckland Sea Kayaks

How much kayaking experience do I need?

This tour is set up for someone who has no kayaking experience. Your guide runs over paddling techniques before heading out onto the sea and gives you tips while paddling.

In saying this, our Sunset Kayak tour requires you to be able to paddle for up to 75 minutes and requires you to walk 2.4 km while gaining 271 meters in elevation.

Orca by Rangitoto island

Do we kayak back in the dark?

Yes, the sunsets while we are on Rangitoto island and we kayak back to St Heliers bay after sunset. All the kayaks have proper navigational lights, every person is given a waterproof light by us and your guide carry’s additional lighting. Your guide is also in communication with the coast guard and all the other vessels in the harbor. Your guide is a trained professional holding current certification.

Kayaking at night is a wonderful experience and an opportunity not many people get to experience.

kayaking back to auckland with auckland sea kayaks

Do you offer free pick up in Auckland?

Yes, we have a FREE pick up from the Auckland Ferry Terminal 30 minutes before the tour starts.

Look for an Auckland Sea Kayaks branded mini bus.

We pick up from the taxi stand outside pier 1, Auckland Ferry Terminal.

A pick up must be requested when making your booking.

Auckland Sea Kayaks guides


at our launch location which is the St Heliers Bay central boast ramp, 384 Tamaki Drive, St Heliers.

Where does this tour start?

Our Sunset tour to Rangitoto starts from the St Heliers Bay cental boat ramp located at 384 Tamaki Drive, St Heliers.

There is lots of free car parking around St Heliers.

Loading kayaks st heliers bay

St Heliers boat ramp our launch location only and our offices are located at 193 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden, Auckland 1024.

Is there a minimum age?

The minimum age for our Sunset tour to Rangitoto is 14 years old.

We do offer great kayak tours for children younger than this. Please get in contact and we can discuss the different options.

Below is a small selection of reviews specific to our Sunset kayak tour to Rangitoto. To see more click here.

“Kayaking at night feels daringly intrepid – as if we’re secret agents on a covert mission. For the next hour we paddle towards the city;s twinkling lights under a sky pinpricked with stars. It’s my favorite part of the trip. The only sound is the rhythmic splash of the paddles in the water. No one speaks, not even my sister.”

Reviewed by Rob McFarland in Rough Guide to New Zealand

“My Highlights are

  • Watching the sun fall below the horizon from the peak of Rangitoto Island
  • Watching the moon peak from and rise above the horizon from a kayak in the middle of the harbour
  • Paddling across the harbour in daylight, and in moonlight
  • Hiking Rangitoto island, learning about it’s human, ecological and volcanic history, and exploring a lava cave (optional – it was dark and narrow and un-touristy, amazing)
  • BBQ dinner overlooking the harbour
  • A delightful guide Logan who made us feel welcome, safe and informed and timed our activities impeccably so that we caught sunset at the top, and moon-rise on the harbour. He also kindly dropped us back at our hotels in Auckland at the end of the tour, appreciated by solo female travelers.”

Reviewed by Fay on TripAdvisor

“My boyfriend and I did the sunset kayak tour to Rangitoto island a few days ago – one of the BEST decisions we’ve made on our NZ trip! Our tour leader Eric was a knockout! He was warm and friendly from the start, and made us feel safe the whole way across to Rangitoto and up to the summit, providing knowledgeable commentary all the way. we saw the most beautiful sunset over Auckland city and the harbour. Once we were back down at the dock Eric cooked us up a lovely dinner that had us almost too full to kayak back to the city. as someone who has kayaked maybe once or twice in her life, i’d say this venture was a decent challenge for me, especially in the middle of the New Zealand winter. So be prepared to work for your lovely sunset views – but be very assured that they are worth it!”

Reviewed by Shannon on TripAdvisor

For more reviews please check out TripAdvisor 

Our Sunset Sea Kayak tour is the perfect gift idea. All you need to do is click here and this will take you to our booking page where you choose to purchase a gift voucher. You do not need to select a date for a gift voucher. Our vouchers are open dated for 12 months from the date of purchase.