7-Day Sea Kayak Skills Course December 5, 2022

This is a 7-day sea kayak skills course.

Kayaking on a sae kayak skills course in Christchurch
7-day Kayak course



Our 7-day sea kayak skills course will give you all the skills and confidence you need to take on multi-day expedition sea kayaking in exposed (open coast) waters. Delivered by New Zealand’s leading sea kayak instructors, you will learn all the essential skills required to get out there and sea kayak independently. This course is delivered from Lyttleton and Arakora Harbours, and this gives us access to some of the country’s most stunning and rugged coastlines.


This is a popular course for those who have a good foundation of sea kayaking experience and would like to extend their skills and confidence to take on more technical and exposed paddling.



Participants must have completed an introductory sea kayaking course that includes basic paddling skills and self-rescue.

We recommend participants complete the online Coastguard VHF training course and assessment before this course; however, this is not a requirement to attend.


Sea Kayak Skills Course Location

sea kayaks on a beach
Rapaki Bay, Lyttleton Harbour

This course can be delivered from many of the bays around Banks Penninsula. We will have the following areas as our main locations to visit, but this may vary based on weather and abilities.

Locations we may use:

Lyttelton Harbour (day 1& 2)

Days 3-7 – Akaroa Harbour: Barrys Bay, Duvauchelle, or Wainui put in (adverse weather/sea state options)

Le Bons Bay, Pigeon Bay, Port Levy, Okains Bay


When possible, we will be aiming to complete an overnight expedition, departing on day 6 and returning on day 7. This will allow participants to put all of their skills to the test while continuing their training along the way. However, this overnight expedition will only be possible if the weather is suitable and determined by the instructor during the course. 



We have a mixture of camping and cabin accommodation over this course, with 2 potential planned campouts if the weather permits.

Day 1 – possible camp out Quail Island or shared cabin accommodation at Living Springs.

Day 2 – shared cabin accommodation at Living Springs.

Days 3-7 are based from Duvauchelles, Akaroa Harbour.  Staying in cabins at the local camping ground puts us within 30 minutes driving time to many of the bays around Banks Peninsula. Single beds in shared rooms, with a small kitchen stocked with utensils, cookware, fridge, ovens. You’ll also be treated to power, bathroom facilities, hot showers and heating. All you need to bring is your sleeping bag & pillow.



Food is not included in this course. However, the instructor will have a vehicle that can drive everyone into Duvauchelles Pub or Akaroa for evening meals. We recommend you bring a couple of easy camping styled meals, in case we can go for a 1-2 night away expedition around the peninsula.




OENZ 4×4

If you’re staying in a hotel

Free transport is available from any Christchurch accommodation if you’re travelling from out of town to attend one of our courses.



Meeting locations (catch a ride with us)

If you have your own car and want a lift, we can meet you at one of the following locations.

Princess Margaret Hospital Car park (8:25 am)

Governors Bay Hotel (8:45 am)

sea kayak trailer used for kayak skills courses
OENZ sea kayak trailer

*Our preferred meeting location is Governors Bay Hotel.





We recommend that you arrive in Christchurch the day before your course. We have a few hotel & hostel suggestions on our FAQ’s page. Please avoid booking accommodation north or east of the city centre.  At the end of the course, we are more than happy to drop you back at your accommodation or directly to the airport.  The earliest time we can have you back at the airport is 6 pm.



Packing sea kayaks on a kayak skills course
Packing boats

You don’t need your own kayaking equipment for this course. We have all the specialist gear & equipment available for you to borrow. If you have your own gear, we encourage you to bring it along as it’s better to train with the gear you will be using. A full gear list is available to download at the bottom of this page.

We recommend holding off on purchasing any new sea kayak gear until after the course.  Why not buy new stuff? So you can optimise your instructors’ knowledge and recommendations. (If you already own gear, then please let us know).


This sea kayak skills course includes


Days 1 & 2

two kayakers in Lyttleton Harbour on a kayak skills course
Lyttleton Harbour

Advanced Paddle Strokes and Boat Control

  • Paddle techniques/skills: Stern rudder, draw strokes, low brace turns
  • Paddling in current: Ferry gliding, entering and exiting eddies
  • Control/Maneuvering: Railing, edging, paddling around rocks


  • Self-rescue in moving water

Consolidation Paddle 



Days 3-7

Surf launching and landing practical and theory

Kayakers by beach on a kayak skills course
Banks Peninsula
  • Launching in the surf, landing in the surf, surfing waves
  • Wind, waves and swell, Beaufort scale, rebounding and refracting waves, boomers, storm surges, beachology



  • Understand marine forecasts
  • interpreting weather, wind and tidal data


Advanced rescues

  • Long tows, contact tows, t rescues
  • Stern deck carry
  • Sling/stirrup rescue
  • Leadership and incident management

    group of kayakers on a kayak skills course
    Open water paddling

Planning and preparing for multiday sea kayaking trips


Expedition Sea Kayaking skills

  • Paddling formations, managing transitions
  • Navigation: reading nautical charts and navigating with a compass
  • Water treatment
  • Garbage and organics
  • Toileting
  • Topology
  • Fire lighting
  • Recording, emergency distress signals, emergency shelters
  • Communication devices



The instructor will plan out the content each day to fit in with weather and sea state conditions. We have a general guide on what we will cover on a particular day of the course, but this is subject to change. 


How many people will be on my course?

seal playing aroung sea kayakers
seal in Akaroa Harbour


We believe that small groups are better for this type of training. So we have a maximum client to instructor ratio of just four clients to one instructor. If there are six clients, you will have one guide and one assistant guide. With eight clients, there will be two guides operating as two smaller groups.



Does this sea kayaking skills course have minimum numbers?

Yes, the minimum number for the course to proceed at the advertised price is two participants. We won’t cancel your course if we don’t meet the minimum numbers, though. Instead, we will offer you the following options:

a.) A shorter private course with 1-1 tuition – e.g. with one person we can cover the course content much faster, so far fewer days are needed.

Kayaker inside the ships graveyard in Lyttleton Harbour
Inside ships graveyard

b.) You will be offered to continue with the course as planned and cover the extra cost.

c.) We can transfer you to another date when the course is running again.

Note: In the unlikely event that the course length is shortened due to insufficient numbers. We will provide accommodation for you in Christchurch for the full duration of your original booking. Ie. Any extra time following the course being shortened.






“Fantastic team at OENZ. Excellent fun and learning with a great group of like-minded people. Thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and the skills will inevitably allow greater access to our beautiful country. Highly recommend.” – Rob James, Canterbury.



Sea Kayak Skills Course downloads


Gear List
Course Outline





PHONE: +64 3 329 9076                                EMAIL: [email protected]

Field Based Course Highlights

*Minimum 3 people needed to run a course

Course booking form

Participant Details

Participant details

Please enter details for each participant you're booking for (even if they're the same as entered above).



Course cost

Course Cost: $ NZD

You can choose to complete your booking using Credit/Debit Card (via Paypal - PayPal account is not required), or by using your Paypal account. If you would like to make payment by Internet Banking or request an invoice please contact us in advance.


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Other Details


Contact us at
+64 3 329 9076

Other Course Dates

Please contact us for more dates!

Course Timing

9:00AM to 5:00PM