Department of Conservation Approved
Kia ora welcome to Papatowai Freedom Kayak Hire
The Catlins New Zealand

Please call or email us for the best time to paddle. Each day can vary with different tides and weather patterns. We will let you know the best tide to get out on the water. We take the kayaks to the boat ramp and you follow in your vehicle. Payment is by direct credit or cash on the day. Please feel free to ask any questions. Email Mick:

A leisurely paddle on the hidden waterways of Papatowai in the beautiful Catlins is an experience not to miss! Hire a single kayak from $45 to $65 - double kayak from $59 to $89 per kayak and explore Papatowai estuary, Tahakopa Bay, Tahakopa & MacLennan rivers, in The Catlins NZ. Looking for a fun relaxing day with family or friends, perhaps a team building outing or social group get together. We offer a safe leisurely self-guided paddle along the Tahakopa and MacLennan River's and the Tahakopa Bay. Over 25 k's of estuary and river's to explore. It is a stunning and natural environment full of rare fauna and flora, the perfect place to experience from the water. Explore The Catlins more remote waterways with a self-guided kayak tour, and experience scenic reserves inaccessible by foot. We supply superior kayaks, buoyancy aids, paddling instruction, local river knowledge, maps and a full safety briefing. 

We have two New Zealand made kayak designs in our fleet. The Sit On Top "Fortress Double" and the Sit On Top "Phantom Single". They are both incredibly stable designs that glide along. Our double kayak is suitable for child-adult combinations, or two adults. 

Call Mick:  0210 241 2925

for more information email:

We provide

  • Buoyancy life vests
  • Dry bags
  • Estuary & river map
  • Quality NZ made Phoenix sit-on-top kayaks, designed and built to NZ standards, for NZ conditions
  • Full safety briefing & paddling tips
  • Over 25 k's of estuary and river to paddle and explore

You bring

  • Warm clothing, layer your clothing, NO denim or dresses please
  • Lightweight footwear
  • Raincoat
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses & hat
  • Water, energy snacks, picnic
  • Camera
  • Phone
  • Insect repellent


  • All our kayak hires start with a full safety briefing on kayaking  routes and options
  • Tides and weather conditions
  • Kayak safety, please allow 30 minutes prior to getting out on the water

Department of Conservation Approved
Tahakopa Bay
Peace and tranquility
Tahakopa River

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