You'll find this hidden gem of a paddle just 40 minutes north of Auckland's downtown departing from the village of Puhoi and ending in Wenderholm Regional Park.

This 8km paddle (one way) begins in the quaint Bohemian village of Puhoi (-36.512036, 174.661521) nestled in-between the scenic hills north of Auckland. You'll find ample parking and an excellent launching area at the historic wharves just across from the Puhoi General Store (be sure to return here for their famous $10 fried oysters and chips post-paddle!). If you don't own any watercraft, Puhoi River Canoe Hire has you covered with a range of rental options of SUPs, kayaks, and canoes as well as guided trips. You'll find them located just around the corner from the parking lot. 

The start of the paddle takes you winding through endless green pastures on a narrow, canal-like section of the river before opening up into a wider inlet surrounded by native New Zealand bush. Birdlife, classic Kiwi baches and horses line the shore. Once in the inlet, the current is more pronounced so keep an eye on the tides if you don't want a heavy core workout. Rounding the corner you'll be greeted by stunning views as the hills open up to the mighty Pacific at Wenderholm Regional Park. The beach here (-36.526680, 174.713931) offers up a great place to picnic, cool off with a swim and fish. Those keen and clever enough can play the tides right and make an easy roundtrip extension to the journey which should take you between 4-5 hours. That's just enough time to build up an appetite for those oysters. 

Finally, if you're feeling sore afterward, I recommend dropping by the Waiwera Thermal Resort. It's just outside the park and your muscles will thank you later.  

Pack List

  • SUP, Kayak or Canoe
  • Sunscreen
  • Lunch/ snacks
  • Dry bags 
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
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Activities Stand Up Paddle, Chillin, Kayaking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

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