Frequently Asked Questions
What makes the Tokaanu area significant for kayaking?
What is the source of the freshwater you kayak on?
Who maintains the Tokaanu Stream?
Can customers transport Wai Maori kayaks on their own vehicles?
What are the hirers' responibilities for self guided kayaks?
Is there an extra charge for transport?
What to bring for Self Guided Kayaking?
Can a kayak be hired by one person?
Does rental of kayaks include a kayak lesson?
With all outdoor adventures there is an element of risk. There are inherent risks which cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique character of guiding yourself on a sit on top kayak on the Tokaanu Stream, Bay and Canal. Check local weather conditions, follow Water Safety NZ recommendations and have a good understanding of the Trip Description supplied by Kayak Wai Maori.
The cost of renting our kayaks does not include lessons. However we do offer basic instruction on how to use our sit on top kayaks, lifejackets and paddles.
As your kayak trip is unguided and unsupervised, you need to be responsible for yourselves and the equipment you are using.
Kayak Wai Maori does not hire to people that kayak alone. You should plan to kayak with another person or group.
All weather clothing for paddling, footwear, sunglasses, sunscreen, cap, refreshments and charged cell phone (in case of delay and emergency) in water tight bag.
For the 1 - 1.5 hour hire, transport of kayakers and kayaks to the start location is included. This means unless you want to, there is no upstream kayaking needed.
Kayak hire for the half day circuit does not require transport as your trip starts and finishes at our base alongside the Tokaanu Stream.
Ngati Kurauia a sub tribe of Ngati Tuwharetoa were one of the first settlers in Tokaanu on the southern shores of Lake Taupo. Living along the banks of the Tokaanu Stream these people were excellent waka (canoe) builders and fisherman. They collected watercress, caught a variety of small fish and small freshwater crayfish using baskets and fine mesh nets made from flax. Birds were snared in the surrounding forests. The thermal area with its never ending supply of hot water and steam vents to this day provides communal cooking facilities. Other springs are still used for relaxation, bathing, it’s therapeutic qualities and natural heating for homes in the winter.
Paddling waka (kayaks) through this area is in parts a journey into yesteryear. Special customary rights and protection has allowed many native fauna and flora of this area to be in abundance.
The Tokaanu Stream is sourced from a crystal clear freshwater spring at the base of Mt Pihanga. This water source provides Turangi and Tokaanu with one of the best drinking tap waters in New Zealand. The major tributory to Lake Taupo is the mighty Tongariro River with one of it's delta flowing into Tokaanu Bay at the head of the lake.
The Tokaanu Canal is a combination of many river sources diverted from around the mountains of the Volcanic Plateau to the Tokaanu Power Station.
The Tokaanu Stream is unkempt with trees, reeds, flax, bush and undergrowth lining it's bank. The stream wilderness character includes meandering around corners, sometimes under low lying or broken branches and some narrow channels. Many hours of work is contracted by local authorities and Genesis Energy; by the owners adjacent to the stream and the Tokaanu Stream Community Group clearing willow and thorny bushes from the banks. Work is ongoing in the attempt to eradicate these fast growing exotic plants. Kayak Wai Maori has been on the committee of the Community Group since it's inception 2001.
The securing and transportation of our kayaks is only permitted by the Kayak Wai Maori team.
Should I kayak unguided if I haven't kayaked before?
It is a personal choice. Many novice who are reasonably fit and capable kayak unguided. They enjoy the freedom of kayaking at their own pace in company of those they choose to kayak with. Novice or rusty kayakers can take the opportunity to practice paddling before heading on down the Tokaanu Stream.