9-day Sea Kayak Training

This is a 9-day sea kayak training course.

Group learning to paddle on sea kayak training course
9-day sea kayak training course



Our 9-day sea kayaking course will give you all the skills and confidence you need to not only get on the water but also 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. Based from Lyttelton Harbour and Banks Peninsula you will have access to varied coastlines as well as remote sea cliffs and bays.


This is a popular course for those who are starting out and want to build a range of skills and knowledge in one comprehensive course



There are no pre-requisites for this course.

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


Sea Kayak Training Course Location

people in sea kayaks on a sea kayak training course in Lyttleton Haorour
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:

Days 1-4 – Lyttelton Harbour

Days 5-9 – 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 2 overnight trips, departing on day 3 and again on day 8. This will give participants the opportunity 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 will be determined by the instructor during the course. 



Many people travel to attend our courses, and we like to make it easy. Transport could be tricky to organize if you’re flying or coming from out of town. Talk to one of our friendly team about our pick-up/drop-off service.



Some of your accommodation is included in your course fees, please see below for details. The first 4 days of the course are based out of  Lyttelton Harbor before going out to Akaroa Harbour/Banks Peninsula.  There is an overnight trip to Quail Island on the 3rd night, staying in a DOC Hut or Doc campsite and a second overnight trip planned for 8th night if weather permits.

The included accommodation is a mixture of DOC Hut, camping and cabin (campground) or house accommodation.

1st night – Accommodation not included (we recommend staying in Lyttelton, Governors Bay or Christchurch City

2nd night – Accommodation not included (we recommend staying in Lyttelton, Governors Bay or Christchurch City

3rd night – Accommodation included stay in DOC Hut or DOC campsite on Quail Island

4th night – Accommodation included, Campground cabin or shared house near Akaroa Harbour.

5th night – Accommodation included, Campground cabin or shared house near Akaroa Harbour.

6th night – Accommodation included, Campground cabin or shared house near Akaroa Harbour.

7th night – wild camping on Banks peninsula or basic camping


We will be located within 30 minutes of driving time to many of the bays.  You will have access to a kitchen stocked with utensils, cookware, fridge, and 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, but the instructor will have a vehicle to drive everyone to local Pubs for evening meals or the local store. We recommend you bring a couple of easy camp-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)

Otoromiro Hotel (8:45 am)

Sea kayak trailer
OENZ sea kayak trailer

*Our preferred meeting location is Otoromiro Hotel, Governors Bay.





We recommend that you arrive in Christchurch the day before your course. We have a few hotel & hostel suggestions on our FAQ 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.  We can have you back at the airport at 6 pm.



man using a paddle float for on a kayak training course
Paddle float self-rescue

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 use. A full gear list is available at this page’s bottom.

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




Sea kayak training courses run from October to April. Visit our Course Calendar for scheduled course dates. Custom courses can be created on alternative dates by request.




PRICE: $3499*




* This is the early bird booking price, standard rates are available on the course calendar.


This sea kayak training course includes


Day 1: Skills & Equipment 

Sea kayak training in New Zeland

Kayaking Skills

  • Paddle techniques
  • Power and touring strokes
  • Kayak control/manoeuvring
  • Low Brace


Sea Kayak Equipment

  • Fitting out your boat
  • Overview of sea kayak equipment
  • Care and maintenance
  • Transporting and storing kayaks/gear


Sea Kayaking in Christchurch

Day two: 


  • Paddle float rescues
  • Scramble self-rescue
  • Supporting a rescue
  • Emergency communications and equipment


Days 3 & 4

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


Kayak on beach on a sea kayaking course
Okains Bay, Banks Peninsula
  • Self-rescue in moving water

Consolidation Paddle 


Days 5-9

Surf launching and landing practical and theory

  • 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

Paddling around banks peninsula on a sea kayak training course
Banks Peninsula
  • Long tows, contact tows, t-rescues
  • Stern deck carry
  • Sling/stirrup rescue
  • Leadership and incident management


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 as to 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 in Akaroa Harbour
Seal checking our the boats


We believe that small groups are better for this type of training. So we have a maximum client-to-instructor ratio of just eight clients to one instructor for the start of the course and one instructor to four clients for the last five days. If you would like to know how many participants are in your group, you can check with the office.



Does this sea kayaking 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.

sea kayaking with OENZ
Inside ships graveyard, Lyttleton Harbour

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

c.) We can transfer you to another date when the course runs 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. i.e. 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 training course downloads


Gear List
Course Outline
















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