any ideas on freighting kayaks to oz?


Does anyone know the cheapest way to get a kayak over to Australia? Most airlines want to charge me about $280 to take my inazone over. Apparently sea freight is even more exy. Does anybody know if this is the cheapest option?

skint paddler

geoff's picture

I have freighted multisport boats 5.2m long to Melbourne and Perth. The cost for a 5.2m boat was $160-180 through Mainfreight. Mainfreight specialise in part container loads and offered the cheapest freight rates I could find.


tonywh's picture

Hugh this is probably a bit late, but;

A group of us did the Franklin (in Tassy) a couple of weeks ago, flying Air NZ. Some of us used airpoints to fly business class, all our gear (40kg inc creek boats) went free. Of the others, the most charged was $50 Nz -> Oz. I don't think anybody got charged anything extra coming back.

Unaccompanied freight is a different problem, yes that will cost


brendon0's picture

Try getting a letter from an airline stating what charges are due for freighting th boat. Once you get the letter, scan it, type your own responce and check in late or in a really busy cue. The compitition thing can work.
Another more legal method is to ring a company that ships furniture for people who are moving to OZ and see if anyone has room in their container. Container shipping is done by the container not the weight for light items.
Good luck.

tim's picture


I just returned to OZ from NZ yesterday. There was about 8 of us over there, in two groups, and almost everyone had different experiences with the air NZ/qantas people. What we do know is that as of the beginning of Jan, [we all flew over late december], the airlines have been enforcing the luggage weight restrictions. There is increadible inconsistency with regard to how much they had to pay to get the boats back home [everyone got their boats to NZ free]. I was lucky and didn't get charged anything, but that was only because the person who was checking in next to me [also with excess] was ranting and raving and occupying the staff for a long time - they waived the 11kg or excess that i had because i had been 'inconvenienced' by this, but who knows? It probably helped that i wasn't yelling at them [the person next to me did not get it waived]. My girlfriend flew home a couple of days before me and the person at the desk said that
- your allowance is 20kg
- we give you 5kg extra for free [this is true]
- we give you another 5kg because you have a kayak [not true]
- you have to pay the 2kg [she had 32kg]
she was happy to pay, because some of our friends got charged 10 times this in excess. [eg. $350, $180, $170 etc.] and their appears to be little consistency in as much as they way that the people at the desks approach excess.
so, from our combined experiences, this would be my tips:
- wear as much of your clothes as you possibly can [i wore 4 jumpers when i checked in]. Fill your pockets with heavy items [karabiners, books etc.]
- use the total amount of your 7kg hand luggage allowance
- you will be given 25kg - make sure they don;t attempt to consider the kayak as a separate item - even though i had 12kg in my checked in bag, and a 20kg boat, they wanted to not consider the total weight and wanted to charge me for the total weight of the boat.
- go early [like 3hrs before your flight]
- don't get angry/abusive
- consider claiming that your boat is for a 'competition'

hope this helps


david0's picture

Guess smiling sweetly is out for you, Hugh.
You have bought a boat, oikkid!
I've asked for a price from a freight coy we do a bit with, ex dunedin?
Give me a call 07 856 5213


fi's picture

I've taken kayaks across the Tasman several times. It's generally a pretty random event depending on who you get at check in. Last time on Qantas it was free over to NZ but I got charged $100 flying out of chch. What airlines tell you over the phone never seems to pan out in reality so you really just have to smile sweetly at check in and see what happens. If you're lucky it'll be free.