Kermadec Islands

Kermadec Islands,  25th Jan 2014 – 4th Feb 2014.

This amazing trip is still at planning stage, and for now we are looking for expressions of interest. Registrations of interest close Friday 5th of Jul.  This is a one-off opportunity, and is only possible by working in with DOC who are also taking some staff over (and bringing some back) at the same time.
  • Embark from Tauranga at dawn on 25th Jan 2014, travel 2 days to Kermadec Islands with kayaks and gear on board the Braveheart (a 39m ship that will also be our support vessel); 
  • Departure could either be 0830 hrs or 1435 hrs (at slack tide) on the 25th. Recommend getting to Tauranga the night before).
  • Stop over at Cheeseman Island and Curtis Island (subject to DOC landing permit) or paddle / rock garden around them;
  • Head out Raoul Island and drop off the DOC staff and unload the vessel;
  • If possible meet the DOC staff and volunteers on the island and learn about the work they are doing and explore the island by foot;
  • Paddle from support vessel anchor point near Meyer Island and circumnavigate the island, complete with blow holes, and rich marine life;
  • Snorkel or dive with marine life, especially the turtles and gropers and other rare (some unclassified) species unique to Kermadec;
  • Paddle across open water from Meyer Island to Raoul Island;
  • Circumnavigate the Raoul Island and check out wrecks & rocks;
  • Explore ship wrecks around the island and some rock gardening;
  • Try the notorious surf landing at Raoul (swell permitting);
  • If DOC permits it, portage the kayaks up the flying fox to top of the Caldera and paddle around the blue lake and green lake;
  • If the weather is outside the safe parameter for kayaking, snorkeling and diving, we will explore the island by foot and help DOC volunteers with the weeding and any other services we can offer;
  • Pick up DOC staff that are returning back and set sail back to Tauranga – a two day trip, arriving 4 Feb.
  • Will have a meeting closer to the trip to organize car pooling to and from Tauranga and other logistics and dietary requirements.
  • Some of the stuff we want to do (e.g. landing on the very fragile Churchman and Curtis Islands) are still not signed off by DOC. Even if they are, they may be overruled in September when a new team takes over.
  • The paddle through the volcano lake is subject to sign off on the day by GNS (Geological and Nuclear Sciences) scientist who works in the Island. 
    As the Island has 'Nature reserve' status (as opposed to simple Marine reserve), we need to be escorted constantly on land. So need to minimize the time we spend on the actual land - as every hour we are there will tie up a DOC staff from doing his / her other duties - so we are likely to spend more time paddling (and snorkeling) and less time exploring the land masses.
Some info on the Kermadec Islands here...
Some info on the Braveheart here... (this takes you to Auckland museum which has an exhibition that starts next week – Moana - My Ocean which is about recent findings on Kermadec Islands.  This is a free exhibition open from the 21st of June).

Distance is approximately 80k of paddling over five days plus 2200km on the ship.

Minimum ability level - you must be confident and  paddle fit, and comfortable with self rescues.  As this is in the middle of a large ocean, there is likely to be swell and possible surf landings.  This is a scuba diver's Meca and if you want to borrow the ship’s tanks and compressor and dive with the Galapagos sharks, you will need your Open Water Dive certificate (still time to do that before the trip).  Otherwise you can snorkel.

Equipment to take
  • Full paddle gear (paddle float, pump) and straps/ tie-downs to tie the kayak down in the vessel if there should be rough weather
  • Group gear (2 x tow systems, 2x sets of spare paddles)
  • VHF Radios (if you have one), GPS (if you have one)
  • Sunglasses, sun block, insect repellent,  first aid kit
  • Snorkel, masks, flippers etc. (can borrow the ships tanks & air)
  • Day bag with snacks, survival kit
  • Hiking boots / walking gear to explore the island
  • Your own alcohol / any medication you are on
  • Your own entertainment / book to read to / laptop etc.
We will also be be carrying a PLB, Satellite phone and flares.
It is recommended that you take out travel insurance that covers evacuation and repatriation.

  • Paddlers need to organise transport to Tauranga, and parking (we will car pool where possible)
  • The support vessel will provide food on-board (plus mess facility for dining), drinking water, accommodation during the 10 days (in 2 berth air-conditioned cabins), showers, laundry,  RIB boat (Zodiac) to ferry paddlers to and from Raoul (if necessary).
Cost - looks like it will be around $6000, limited to 6 paddlers. More details to come.

Don't delay as there are limited places. Click here to express your interest...

General enquires: