Water Skiing in Tasman
If you're planning on water skiing, this page details designated areas and your rights and obligations.
‘Water skiing’ means being towed, whether on water skis, aquaplane, surfboard, biscuit, paraglider or any similar device, or barefoot. When water skiing stick to designated areas (unless more than 200 metres off shore) and always have an observer who is more than 10 years of age.
- Kaiteriteri Water Skiing Priority Times
- Water Ski Lanes
- Areas Where You Cannot Water Ski
- Your Rights
- Your Obligations
- Using Ski Access Lanes And Reserved Areas
Priority times - two hours either side of high tide - for waterskiiers at Kaiteriteri have been put in place for this summer.
Water Ski Access Lanes or Reserved Areas are situated at:
- Waimea Inlet (*)
- Hunter Brown (*)/Traverse (accessible from Rough Island or Mapua)
- Kina (*)
- Stilwell Bay
- Adele Island
- Browns Beach (Anchorage, Torrent Bay)
- Torrent Bay (within one hour of high tide only)
- Tata Beach
- Lake Rotoiti
(*) Indicates areas that are subject to significant tidal effects and may be usable only on a high tide with local knowledge.
Access lanes are marked with orange buoys or posts with black bands. They are intended only to provide access at speed when towing to or from the beach. Other users must leave these areas when in use as specified, so you may not anchor, or set unattended fishing gear in them. Do not continue to ski within an access lane, nor use the marker buoys as a slalom course. Boats pulling skiers are required to exit the access lane at the first opportunity.
You cannot water-ski in Lake Rotoroa, Otuwhero Inlet at Marahau, the “Go Slow” anchorages or anywhere else within 200m of shore if there is no water-ski access lane or reserved area. However, deep water starts are allowed over 200m from shore anywhere apart from Lake Rotoroa.
Other Reserved or Special Areas
- Personal Water Craft (Jet Ski) areas – Rabbit Island and the Traverse (shared with water skiers)
- Personal Water Craft prohibited – Kaiteriteri, Lake Rotoroa, Lake Rotoiti
- Swimming – Kaiteriteri Beach
- Anchorages (3 knot speed limit) – Motueka, Adele Island, Anchorage (Torrent Bay)
- Access lanes (no anchoring) – Mapua channel, Kaiteriteri, approach to Port Tarakohe
‘Water skiing’ means being towed, whether on waterskis, aquaplane, surfboard, biscuit, paraglider or any similar device, or barefoot.
You are entitled to:
- Make deep water starts and water ski in any part of the coastal marine area (see area maps for minor exceptions) provided the boat and skier are at least 200 metres off shore
- Use the waterski access lanes and waterski areas shown in this guide to water ski off and on to beaches
- M ake exclusive use of waterski access lanes along with other water skiers. Note that the right to exclusive use only applies when an access lane is actually in use. Other craft may enter the access lane if it is not in use for water skiing
- Pull a waterskier with any sort of vessel (including a Personal Water Craft/jetski) except in Kaiteriteri Bay
- Pull an inflatable toy such as a ski biscuit within 200 metres of shore as long as the 5 knot rule is observed until 200 metres offshore
The rules that you are legally obliged to comply with are:
- If not in a waterski access lane or waterski area, do not exceed 5 knots about 9 kilometers per hour):
- within 200 metres of shore or a structure
- within 200 metres of a diver’s flag
- within 50 metres of other vessels or swimmers
- Keep to the starboard (right) to avoid other vessels
- Don’t cause annoyance to others with the noise or wake that your boat makes
- Don’t ski or navigate in a manner that is dangerous to other users
- Don’t obstruct other legitimate users of an access lane or skiing area
- No water skiing between sunset and sunrise
- It takes three to ski! If towing a waterskier (or person on other aquatic equipment such as donuts, sea biscuits) your boat must have a driver and an additional responsible person of at least 10 years of age acting as observer
- Carry a properly sized lifejacket (Personal Flotation Device) for each person aboard. They must be worn in rough conditions, and all persons being towed must wear their PFD
- Comply with instructions about the use of your boat that may be given by the Harbourmaster or Honourary Launch Wardens.
Ski access lanes and reserved areas have no special status unless actually in use for skiing. At other times, normal rules apply. However, you should not leave boats anchored or beached (unless pulled clear of the water) or set unattended fishing gear in these areas at any time in case skiing begins. When skiing is taking place in a waterski area, or in or near a waterski lane, only boats involved in skiing may enter or remain in the area or lane.
- Stay as far as practicable to starboard (the right hand side), and circulate in an anti-clockwise direction only
- Be aware of other boats and skiers, and watch for signals, dropped skis and fallen skiers
- Travel at a safe speed and distance from other users at all times
- Wait it out if sunstrike makes it difficult to see potential hazards
Reserved Areas are marked with posts and usually buoys, coloured black with white bands. They may be for other specified purposes, including swimming. Check the adjacent signage to ensure skiing is permitted. In an area reserved for skiing you may continue skiing within the area after a beach start, unlike an access lane. Stay within the area, do not use the marker buoys as a slalom course.