Take push bikes and kayak or leave them at home?

Hi all, we are about to embark on a loop of Oz with our 2 kids aged 8 and 10. We have a great set up with van and car and it seems like the kitchen sink. Originally we were going to take a tinnie and then decided against that coz I am a useless fishmen but I think a 2 man kayak would be fun. Also, has anyone else tralleved with kids this age and do they ride thier bikes much? or is there many places that we would benifit by all having bikes? I could fit it all on but obviously it adds more weight and STUFF that I would rather not do unless it is going to get a significant amount of use. Thanks for any advice.
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Reply By: SDG - Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 at 20:59

Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 at 20:59
I took two boys of that age group up and around Queensland a few years back. I took their two bikes as well as mine. My bike never left the roof rack. The kids were never off theirs. Good exercise, and they get to explore at a different pace to you. Be aware though that you will need to prepare their tyres, or be very good at patching them.

As for kayak?
If you feel the need to go out on the water, there are places you can hire boats, but it all depends on funds. It is personal choice either way.
AnswerID: 482894

Reply By: Frances - Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 at 21:11

Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 at 21:11
I reckon the bikes for the kids is a great idea if you don't mind packing them up and taking them off all the time. Having said that there's plenty for the kids to do without having bikes so if they are an added burden leave them behind. The kayak? When there's really good places to go kayaking you often find that there will be kayaks or canoes there to hire. And think of what it will cost you in extra fuel to have a kayak on the roof of your car!
AnswerID: 482900

Reply By: Member - Josh- Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 00:16

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 00:16
If you can fit the bikes in I would take them. Our kids spent hours riding around places when there wasn't much else to do.
The kayak I would defently take. I didn't have one when we did our trip but I wish I had. There were so many places I would loved to have got out on the water to fish or just relax but couldn't. I love to solitude of being on the water and just drifting in peace and quiet. If I catch a fish that's a bonus. Me personally, I would take it, but everyones different.

AnswerID: 482923

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 01:18

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 01:18
My kids have been camping since they were 2 / 4 (now 12 / 14) and we take our kayaks and bikes whenever we are near water or somewhere they can use the bikes. While they do not always get used, the times they do are certainly worth it and there is no way I would contemplate a big trip without at least the kayaks.

If you have the room, take the bikes too, but a good substitute is scooters. We often take these just for something different and they take up way less room.

AnswerID: 482925

Reply By: The Landy - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 04:52

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 04:52
The first thing our young bloke does when we pull up is to get on his bike - 11 year old, I'd take bikes if you have room...

Cheers, The Landy
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Reply By: kale - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 07:57

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 07:57
My advice, take bikes, if the kids use them a lot, and kayaks if you have the space, you can buy heavy duty thorn proof tubes for the bikes,
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Follow Up By: Bill BD - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 08:53

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 08:53
Take the bikes. Riding around and around in groups kicking up dust seems to be a highly popular caravan park activity for kids.
FollowupID: 758174

Reply By: Bill BD - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 08:59

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 08:59
If you have 2 kids will you use a 2 man kayak? Assuming your family is either 2 adults and 2 kids or 1 adult and 2 kids..... I suspect the kayak might be dead weight most of the time. You wouldn't want the kids kayaking on their own in unfamilliar water and can't go yourself and leave them on shore. Or am I missing something?
AnswerID: 482948

Follow Up By: Member - John and Lynne - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 09:57

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 09:57
I too wondered about how often you would actually be near somewhere safe enough for two kids those ages to kayak alone. It is different if you are camping for a lengthy period in a good spot for kayaks but while travelling you will often be in places that are unsuitable - strong currents, crocodiles etc or no water! When loading up your van, weight is the big issue so anything you can do without is best left at home. As said, really good water places often have hire canoes and boats and the kids can enjoy the novelty. Kids do love their bikes and these could help them let off steam after a day of travelling. Make sure you are good at bike maintenance though, as well as having thorn proof tyres! Again they add weight and can be a real pain to keep loading and unloading. We see many people carting around bikes that are seldom used! Have a great trip! Always start by laying out all your gear and putting about half of it back in the shed or house! It is a good idea to drive over a weighbridge before you leave too!This can be a shock! Lynne
FollowupID: 758187

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:55

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 at 17:55
I agree with the others that the bikes are a no-brainer.

As for a double Kayak... we bought a nice RTM brand double kayak about 4 years ago. Bought it just for my wife and I, but our granddaughter has sat in the middle occasionally too.
But in your situation, I wouldn't take it because:
#1 You won't use it a lot - we've used ours in estuaries, inland rivers etc and it does spend a lot of time on the roofrack.
#2 there's a lot more to carry - add oars, seats, 4 lifejackets, paddles, a waterproof bucket, transporter wheels, and all up its a heap of extra space
#3 We get a bit tired of loading and unloading it even though its "only" 29 kgs.

For the boating experiences, I'd hire what you need.
AnswerID: 483015

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