Whilst every effort is made to ensure an enjoyable and safe waka experience, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the following terms and conditions, as you will be required to sign a waiver form acknowledging your acceptance of these before departure.  

1) Ki te Hoe - Waka Paddle Rotorua is intent on providing a safe waka experience and we reserve the right to alter, amend, prematurely end or cancel waka experiences if it is deemed by our Kaihautu (captain) that for safety reasons it is prudent to do so.  Passengers will be entitled to a refund for cancellations.  Please note that there is a maximum weight limit for the waka (1400kg), which also needs consideration each journey.

2) We operate in a changeable marine environment with maximum wind and wave limits that we will adhere to in the best interests of keeping our manuhiri and kaihoe (guests and paddlers) safe.  Conditions and forecasts can change quickly, and we may need to alter plans accordingly.

3) The wearing of life jackets is compulsory on our waka experience, whilst we carry a range of sizes, if you are unable to fit a life jacket, we are unable to take you on the experience. A refund will be provided if you have prebooked /paid but are unable to fit a life jacket.  We have sizes from Child Small to Adult XL and limited numbers of larger lifejackets are available

4) Onboard is a full set of safety equipment including a VHF GPS equipped radio, Personal Locator Beacon, flares, 1st aid kit, rope, multi-tool, torches, bailers, anchors etc. The use of these will be covered in the onshore safety briefing prior to departure.

5) We reserve the right to remove or not allow to board manuhiri who in our assessment are unable to follow the instruction on the water or whose behavior may put other paddlers at risk. Safety is our prime consideration at all times.

6) There is no motor on board the waka, paddlers are required to paddle in unison when instructed to operate the waka safely. As such while every effort will be made to accommodate those unable to paddle due to age, language barriers,  some form of disability or any other reason, we reserve the right to alter crew makeup or if necessary not allow people on board. It may be that there are enough ‘fit and able” paddlers on board to ensure a safe experience but that is completely based on the paddlers on each experience. Again this is purely for safety reasons and a refund will be provided if people pre book but are unable to paddle safely on board.

7) In a similar way whilst we support families to experience waka, there must be enough fit and able paddlers on board (minimum 4 adults), if we need to accommodate manuhiri who are unable to paddle as instructed. This can include young (below 8yrs old), those unable to paddle (in some cases pregnant woman, those with medical conditions or a form of disability or limited arm movement etc) or those unable to respond to verbal instruction in English. We will try to accommodate people but please be aware that if we are unable to you may need to go on another experience at a time that has a crew that can accommodate you.

8) Please note the waka experience is not a physically strenuous one and many people of all shapes, sizes and ages, can paddle comfortably, but it is a water based activity, expect to get a little wet at times, be ready to paddle when asked and make sure you notify the crew if there are any pre-existing conditions we need to take into account to ensure your waka experience is safe and enjoyable.

9) Sunblock, a hat, and water bottle is strongly recommended, as the sun reflects off the water and there is no sun cover on the water.

10) Waka is alcohol, smoke, and drug-free, this is the tikanga (cultural protocol) we follow.

11) In the event of an emergency, you must follow the instructions of staff and we note the number of people onto and off the waka to ensure all paddlers are accounted for.

12) We will take photos of each experience and may post them onto our website or social media platforms, both for promotional purposes and to enable you to access a photo of you on the waka, taken from the shore. If you have an issue with this please notify us prior to departure.

13)  You need to arrive on time, preferably 10 minutes early for administration and life jacket fitting.  If you have not completed the safety briefing/paddle instruction you will not be able to go on the tour.  We will not give refunds for those who are excluded on this basis.

14)  In the event of a passenger cancellation, a full refund will be given if advised more than 24 hours from  the scheduled event.  Cancellations with less than 24 hours notice typically are not refunded, unless there are extenuating circumstances to justify the cancellation - please contact us directly if this is the case.

15)  Preschoolers must be accompanied by an adult, but be able to sit independently.  Children (over 5 years) need to be with a responsible adult, with a ratio of at least one adult to four children.


If you have any questions  please email us: admin@wakapaddlerotorua.co.nz