Mystery Day Out… Kayaking around Wellington Harbour, seeing all the bays, trying to spot penguins and dolphins…
After the slightly disappointing finish to our Christmas Road-Trip, and not being able to do the Tongariro Crossing due to the weather, it was such a surprise to arrive back into Wellington to bright sunshine… just shows how quickly the weather here can change.

Anyhow, I’m good at finding ways to stay active… So the following weekend, we did a day trip out, kayaking across Wellington bay.

There had been an event posted up through one of the MeetUp groups (Adventure Wellington), for a mystery day out kayaking. With packed lunches, dry-bags and plenty of sunscreen we headed out for a 9 am start from Fergs Kayaks on Queens Wharf.

We were split into small groups of 4 or 5, with those of us with kayaking experience in singles and those without in double-kayaks.

I was in a single kayak, and although I have kayaked before (in England, Fiji and Cathedral Cove), it was still a learning curve – as these were sea kayaks, which basically means they also have a rudder on the back (and foot pedals to control it)…
The water was fairly smooth as we paddled out at a steady pace – which was really good, as initially using the rudder was hindering me more than helping (there were definitely a few zig-zags to start)…
But as soon as I was used to the rudder reaction and pedal sensitivity, it was really useful! (Not too much of a shock)

Then we paddled out across the harbour, avoiding the shipping lanes) and were given a pretty in-depth tour of Wellington from the sea, including our guide pointing out as we passed the back of Te Papa Museum, headed around Oriental Bay, and informed us about the Carter Fountain – which is a salt water fountain 150m into Wellington Harbour, and is a good indicator of the wind in Wellington… If the fountain is spouting water (16m into the sky) the wind is low, if the fountain isn’t running the wind is above 20kph. We continued out in the direction of Shark Bay and our guide pointed out some of the beaches that the blue penguins live on around the Shelly Bay area.

We crossed Evans Bay, with the planes flying in to land overhead and then headed around the peninsula towards the opening of Wellington harbour, which required a bit of extra strength for paddling, as (with it being open to the sea) there’s a fair amount of wind to battle.

We stopped for lunch at a little – but busy – beach off of Scorch Bay and then it was time to head back, as the wind was starting to lift and the sea mist was drifting in.

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View from Scorch Bay after landing for lunch
Out on the water, with the sea mist rolling in
Heading back was a bit more challenging, as we were against the wind for more of it, and getting more caught up by the waves for the first part… but our guide had a plan! We paddled hard diagonally against both the wind and waves across the Evans Bay opening, and then when we were in line, we could ease off and allow the waves to carry us back towards Oriental Parade.

As we approached Oriental Parade beach, we could also kayak around (and under) the Carter Fountain to cool off a bit, before heading back to Queens Wharf.

Overall it was a great day out on the water – and I think my tan deepened after too!
Fingers crossed for some more random days’ out in future!