Frequently asked questions

The team at NZ Rowing Tours are all experienced rowers, and have been involved in the sport for many years. In fact our combined total is probably bigger than we would like to admit! Between us all we’ve been involved in coaching, organising, umpiring, and participating at club, regional and national levels. We work well together, and like to think we have complementary skills. Most important, we all enjoy rowing and touring, and this usually rubs off on our clients. Have a look at our testimonials to get an idea of how we look after our guests.

You can pay your deposit by direct credit once your booking is confirmed. So the first step is to Register Your Interest or simply email Sally about the tour you wish to join. Our tour numbers are tightly limited by the number of boats we can take on each trip, so we need to correspond before your booking is confirmed. Once your seat is secured, we will provide details about how to pay by direct credit. You will need to pay a deposit then a final payment.

For rowing, we recommend layers. Row suit or tights, a t-shirt, a layer or two of light merino or thermal. Bring a light, snug-fitting jacket to wear in the rowboat. A woollen hat (beanie), and a cap. And water-shoes or sea-shoes are ideal, as you will get wet feet as you get in and out of the boat. Some beaches are gravel or stones, so bare feet is not ideal. Be prepared to get wet to the knees, so tights that you can roll up are ideal.

And bring gloves. Although your hands may be well conditioned for rowing, you will be using our oars rather than your usual ones, and they will probably rub differently. Bike gloves or rowing gloves might save you a lot of trouble.

Off water we are a casual crowd, but again, bring layers and a warm jacket.

Our tours are all in English, entirely. We can manage a few international greetings, but sadly none of us are remotely fluent in anything other than English.

We choose to run our tours using Swift Coastal Rowing boats. We usually used coxed quads, which are comfortable, safe, and nimble on the water. If our tour group numbers require it we might add in a Swift coastal double or single.

We like these boats so much that we are now the NZ agents for Swift Racing. There are happy owners of Swift Coastal singles and doubles from one end of NZ to the other! Have a look at our Swift website, or email Kevin if you are interested in purchasing a Swift Coastal Rowing boat.

You need to arrange your own travel to the start point, and from the end point. We are happy to offer advice.

For the Southern Lakes Tour, please let us know if you are flying in to Christchurch, we may be able to help.

We highly recommend you arrange your own travel insurance at the time of booking. In the event we should have to cancel a  tour we will give you as much notice as possible. We hope that you will do the same if you have to cancel your tour. Please make sure you read and agree to our cancellation and payments policy before confirming your booking.

We welcome rowers as individuals, couples, small groups and big groups. Our ideal tour size is three coxed quads, or 15 people. We mix up crews from day to day, so you will get to know everyone on your tour. This is one of the best aspects of tour rowing – meeting like minded people from all around NZ and the world.

Some of our tours are also very enjoyable for non-rowing partners, particularly the Abel Tasman Tour. Non-rowers could walk between the Lodges, on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, which is one of the Great Walks of New Zealand.

Minimum numbers are required to proceed with each tour. This varies, but rest assured, you will get plenty of warning in the unlikely event a tour has to be cancelled.

We scull – so each rower has two oars. And yes, we do carry spares!

This depends on which tour you’re coming on, and we will make this clear through the booking process. In general, most meals are included. We’re all foodies, so good meals are an important component of our business!  Lunches are often a picnic on a beach. Alcohol & other beverages are your cost.

No, all safety equipment is provided.

Of course you are welcome to bring your own life jacket if you particularly wish to, but we will need to check it meets NZ Safety standards.

Our tours are designed for people who are already regular rowers.

We can accommodate the occasional non-rowing partner if they wish to cox the boat for the whole trip, or ride along in the van or support boat. If weather and water conditions are perfect we may be able to give them some time in a rowing seat just to see how it feels. It’s all about Safety First – we do not teach people to row on our tours. We would encourage a non-rower to learn to row through their local rowing club.

Probably! Talk to us about your ideas. We’re open to working with you to develop a rowing tour plan for your group, combining your interests and availability with our equipment and experience. Email Sally with your ideas.


Yes of course! Experienced rowers are all welcome. We take great pride in ensuring everyone feels part of the shared experience.

Accommodation is usually twin share, so as long as you’re ok with that, it’s no problem to sign up for a tour as an individual.

If you have special requirements, like needing your own room, you just need to let us know well in advance, and an extra fee (single supplement) may be charged.

No. Our equipment is precious to us, and we do not hire out our boats for bare-boat touring. However, we may be able to help you source equipment elsewhere.

Of course! We can generally accommodate everyone’s food requirements, just let us know early on in your booking process.

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