Three Day Cavalli Islands Sea Kayak Expedition

The Cavalli Islands is one of New Zealand’s most amazing sea kayak locations. When Tara Mulvany kayaked past in 2014 she described it as ‘Aotearoa’s best sea kayaking location’. This was quite the honor as she is the first lady to kayak the South Island, Stewart Island and the North Island.

Spend three days in a kayak exploring the stunning Cavalli Islands, rock gardens and golden beaches in the Northland.

Our accommodation is in a cute 12 bunk Department of Conservation hut. $15 per night hut fee included in quoted price. Trip dates can be seen here. If these do not suit then please contact us for availability.

The History of the cavalli islands

The Cavalli Islands are a small group of islands 3 hour 45 min north of Auckland on Northland’s East Coast in northern New Zealand. They lie 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) to the east of Matauri Bay on the mainland.

The group consists of the island of Motukawanui and the smaller islets of Motutapere, Panaki, Nukutaunga, Motuharakeke, Haraweka, and Motukawaiti Islands. The main island is used as a nature reserve. These islands provide wonderful kayak rock gardening with a multitude of caves and tunnels in this area. The main island has a great walking track to the summit which is a wonderful place to watch the day end or start from.

The Cavallis were so named by Captain James Cook on 27 December 1769 during his first voyage of discovery. In his journal he recorded that some Māori “sold us some fish–Cavallys as they are called–which occasioned my giving the Islands the same name”. Cook probably meant trevally which is abundant near the islands, because the Māori word for that fish is araara.

On 2 December 1987, the hulk of the bombed Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior was scuttled between Matauri Bay and the Cavalli Islands, to serve as a dive wreck and fish sanctuary. The move was seen as a fitting end for the vessel.

The trip

Duration: 3 days, two nights.

Meet: 10 am day 1 at Matauri Bay Holiday Park

Finish: approx 3 pm day 3.

Price: $555 per person. Please note this tour is self-catered.  Minimum 6 people.