Karapiro Glowworm Kayak Adventure

This tour was a group adventure with Adventure Seeker Women’s Only Adventures, that Amber booked through the Boatshed Kayaks. We started the journey at Lake Karapiro at the end of Finlay Rd, where we met the rest of our group and the kayaks. There were 6 of us in total, plus our tour guide. We started off paddling nice and chilled towards the Pokaiwhenua Stream around 4:30pm.

The weather all week and even up until this morning had been crazy rain, wind, and cold (as it does in winter of course), so we were shocked when the rain stopped and the sun came out for this adventure. We couldn’t have asked for better weather in the end, it was a stunner of an evening.

Our tour guide told us some of the history of the area along the way, particularly about how Karapiro has been used to generate electricity through dams for over 100 years. We entered the stream with the sun behind us in a beautiful golden glow.

The atmosphere was light and silly, with everyone cracking jokes and having a good time. Paddling up the river was magical, with cliffs on either side covered in native flora, and the glowworms we wouldn’t be able to see until later.

The cliffs opened up to a grassy bank on our right hand side, which we pulled our kayaks up onto and gathered around on benches and seats. Emma, our guide, started a fire in the middle of the circle and pulled out a bottle of wine and passed it around, to everyone’s delight. She also pulled out cheese, crackers and marshmallows. 

It was the perfect atmosphere, happy, and comfortable, with more than a little silliness. Jennie invented a new s’more, with cheese and marshmallow roasted and then squished between two crackers. I don’t know if it’s a trend that will catch on, but she sure was excited about it. 

As darkness fell, we packed everything up and got back into our kayaks for the relaxing journey back. Since we were going with the river, we rafted up and Emma steered us all downstream through the cliffs full of glowworms. She told us the Maori myth behind glowworms, as well as what they are and what makes them glow. We experienced the calm silence of the river after dark, and created glowworm constellations. 

Once we had made it through the cliffs, Emma turned a light on on the back of our kayaks and we let go of the raft to paddle back across the lake. We made it back to where we parked, feeling grateful for both the fantastic experience and the great company. I look forward to many more Women’s Only Adventures to come!