IKW in 2015

at Urupukapuka Island in the Bay of Islands

Feb 23 to Feb 28.


WOW ! what a fantastic week of kayaking that was. Thanks to all who made it happen and thanks to those who came along and enjoyed the amazing Bay of Islands, the food and, best of all, the great group of kayakers that daily improved their skills and had a ball doing it.

We made it up as we went along – in the best IKW style. Doing what was possible and safe with the wind. swell and weather forecasts that we had. That's the only way to do it, really – map out the possibilities and go with the best for each day.

Brief report of the 2015 activity below – more to come on a pictures page (see left) – as everyone sends them in.

Day 1 – exploration of Urupukapuka, Waewaetorea & Red Head islands – the sheltered western sides and the rougher eastern sides, exposed to the full ocean swells.Some big white water for those who wanted it.

Day 2 – paddle to the Black Rocks and their amazing, jutting basalt columns – surrounded and occasionally covered by white-water: with big swells breaking over and creating lots of dynamic action. Lunch spot was hard to leave. Some opted for a more relaxed day – a shorter paddle and a climb up to Roberton Island's stunning viewing platform.

Day 3 – two groups went out to Cape Brett and through the Hole in the Rock, while others chose to explore the coast out to Deep Water Cove. Everybody seemed to love the day – some focusing more on the scenery and others on the adrenaline. No shortage of either.

Day 4 – a recovery day with lots of short paddles, hill climbing up to Pa sites, island exploration and swimming.

Day 5 – a similar day, with small groups forming to tackle an objective together, or revisit a favoured site for a second look. One couple shot out to the Hole in the Rock (having missed it on Day 3), while others visted Pa sites recommended by those who'd been there earlier in the week.

By the end of the week, the group was feeling like an extended family – strengths and weaknesses were celebrated and chuckled over, while tid-bits of knowledge and skill passed back and forth.

Breakfasts were a communal effort - with muesli, yoghurt, toast & spreads, tea & coffee. Nobody starved. Lunches were a good iExplore sandwich supplemented by an apple and a muesli bar.

Evening meals were pretty darn good and having them served and cleaned up by the staff, let us focus on rehashing the day and moving on to some good film and picture presentations (thank you AUT for the projector !). Andy, the site manager for iExplore was golden - he made it all work and was genuinely a nice guy.

General concensus seemed to be that we'd be crazy not to ask iExplore to let us come back. Hopefully, next time we'll be able to give people more advance warning – for travel plans and holiday/leave applications.


Non-profit as always, it is run by a few volunteer kayakers with a passion for the sport. Feel free to offer assistance ;-)

Who is IKW for ?

Intermediate and advanced sea kayakers – anyone with an interest in taking their sea kayaking skills further.

It is a chance to meet other kayakers, compare gear and ideas, listen to speakers from far and near, watch mind-boggling demonstrations and be astounded by what some kayakers get up to!

When & Where will it happen ?

Last week in Feb. 2015
... Monday 23 - Sunday 28 ... (six nights)

Drive up to Rawhiti (about 20 km E of Russell) which should be about 3 to 3.5 hours from Auckland

Park your car in a front paddock owned by Bella – she'll want a few $ a night to guard it from the perils of the North

Launch at the beach and paddle 20 minutes accross to Urupukapuka Island

See ’Where is IKW-2015 ?’ link (at left)
For historic backgroun & tramping info, look at the DoC websites for Urupukapuka and for Roberton (Motuarohia)

What does it cost ?

IKW runs on a cost-plus virtually nothing basis...

Budget $60 per night and you'll get a bunkhouse bed ($15), a good dinner and a fee covering the hire of the facility for sharing films & presentations ($27), and a few bucks for breakfast and lunch (say $15).

We're still finalising costs & numbers.

You look after getting you and your kayak there – and any grog & nibbles..

How do I reserve a place ?

Send an email telling us you want to come and we'll get back to you:   redteam@coastbusters.org.nz

Let us know if you can't be there for all of it.

Please mention if you have a dietary concern - Vegan, Gluten, etc.

The Programme

Detailed programme will be finalised day-by-day – according to weather conditions and what the group thinks is good.

IKW attendees already signed-up include Paul Caffyn & Jason Beachcroft, John Kirk-Anderson, Jim Kakuk & Deb Volturno and a number of keen Auckland & Wellington Paddlers.

You said we couldn’t beat the last event
well we’re going to do it !

NZ International Kayak Week Festival

As before, the IKW is set to follow on from a Weekend Kayak Symposium – in this case, KASK's 2015 forum at MERC in North Auckland. KASK finishes on the Sunday – with an optional Sunday night spent at Dacre Cottage – see the KASK website for details.

So, the IKW will commence – up in the Bay of Islands – on the Monday evening (at dinner time) and run for the rest of the week – finishing up with a final dinner on Saturday night (Feb 28th) and letting people get home on the Sunday.

IKW Surfing

These are separate events - IKW runs at a more relaxed pace that the forums – with the chance to savour the experiences with other paddlers from around the world.

In 2008 & 2010, about 50 of the Coastbusters attendees (including many of the overseas kayakers) decided to attend the IKW and it was a not-to-be-missed experience of learning and comradeship.

The 2015 looks to be a smaller group - but small is good in this case !

Kayakers from the South Island, Australia and the rest of the world now have a 10-day long kayaking bonanza – to make the travelling even more worthwhile.

Think seriously about planning on a whole week of kayaking last week of February, this year.


What participants liked the best...

"Being on/off the water with experienced paddlers in a knowledgeable sharing forum" – Phil

"Meeting new people and old friends. Time spent on the water" – Peter

"Everything! If I had to pick one thing, as an instructor, I benefited most from watching and learning from other instructors’ teaching styles. I also liked the "dry one day, wet the next" format." – Shawn (USA)



Copyright © 2005-15 Coastbusters Sea Kayak Association Inc.
PO Box 101-257,
NSMC, Auckland
New Zealand

Quick Links


Pictures Page

What to Bring ?

Where is IKW-2015 ?

Questions or comments:

Committee Members

Earlier Events

    Coastbusters 2010

    Coastbusters 2008

    Coastbusters 2006


Quotes from the last Coastbusters...

"Thanks for a great weekend. We had a marvelous time and learnt heaps!!!"

"As newcomers...We don’t know what we don’t know!" – Robin

"Great fun and learning experience as well." – Debbie

"Excellent organisation, well coordinated, good paddle on Sunday – good fun." – Dan

"What I enjoyed most was meeting new people and old friends." – Pete

"All the talks I went to were very professional." – Julie

"This was my first Coastbusters, but not my last." – Ruth