Paddler Completes South Island in NZ Circumnavigation Attempt

Tim Taylor of Tauranga says: 'Just the Cook Strait to go'

Tim Taylor of Tauranga, New Zealand, is the sort of dude who gets a Harbour Master escort. Photo: Tim Taylor Collection

By Tim Mutrie

Tim Taylor of Tauranga, New Zealand just completed paddling around New Zealand’s South Island, and now he’s about halfway through completing his kayak circumnavigation of the North Island, too. Taylor, a 23-year-old tractor driver and former winemaker, is attempting to complete the first continuous solo kayak circumnavigation of New Zealand—the north and south islands. The route spans some 5,500 km, according to Taylor’s website.

Taylor departed from his hometown, on the east coast of the North Island, on Nov. 27. He paddled south, and around the South Island, and had hoped to make it back home by March, but he’s still a ways from completing the journey. His routine, according to a Stuff.co.nz story, entails paddling each day along the coast and then sleeping in a tent or staying with supporters or fans along the route.

“I just call the kayak my day job. It’s very much like going to work each morning. The stuff I really enjoy is when you get on dry land and meet people. The rest of the journey is like any other—just one stroke after another,” Taylor said, according to the story on Stuff.co.nz.

“I pretty much raced up the West Coast [of the South Island]. Yesterday getting around Farewell Spit was a really significant step for me; it’s basically the whole South Island done. Just the Cook Strait to go.”

Taylor’s mom, Lyn, told the website: “I would cry with how proud I am.”

Follow Taylor’s adventures at nzkayaker.com.

GPS-tracking map of New Zealand shows Tim Taylor's progress through today, April 4.

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