We have often enviously watched canoes lazily making their way down the picturesque Puhoi River and last weekend we were fortunate to be the guests of Kathy and Cody at Puhoi River Canoe Hire and try the trip ourselves! We met our hosts at their base in the heart of historic Puhoi. Puhoi village is 35 minutes north of the the Auckland CBD (if taking the Northern Gateway Toll Road) and about 10 minutes longer if taking the free (and more scenic route!) via Orewa. We decided to make a weekend of it and stayed at the campground at beautiful Wenderholm Regional Park, a 10 minute drive from Puhoi.
Kathy and Cody set us up with a double – and very stable! – canoe with our 5 year old daughter sitting between us. There was plenty of room and with our picnic tied on the back, our gear stowed in the provided dry bags, life jackets all round and quick canoeing lesson we were off down the Puhoi River! The self-guided trips run with the tides – from Puhoi the outgoing tide takes you down the river, and, from Wenderholm, the incoming tide takes you back up to Puhoi. Either way, you’ll drift with the tide (so it’s not a strenuous paddle!) but we recommend heading down to Wenderholm so that you finish at the beach! You can check the tides here to plan your trip. The trip takes about two hours and is 8km long – near Puhoi the river passes through farmland before opening out into the wider estuary and then on to Wenderholm Regional Park. We spied lots of ducks in the upper reaches, some kingfishers and many shags sunning themselves on the river banks. There are lots of places to explore and we found a little beach and went ashore for our afternoon tea picnic. Kathy and Cody met us at the wharf at Wenderholm at the end of our trip with their courtesy coach and took us back to the base in Puhoi. It was then a quick walk to the fantastic Puhoi Pub for a post-paddle drink in the sun! But if it’s chilly, the Puhoi General store is open daily for warming coffees and other treats! Puhoi also has a great farmers market on the last Sunday of the month.
For more family friendly adventure, check out our website: everywhereyougo.co.nz
Have a great time in New Zealand!
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