Top 8 Kayak Destinations in NSW

Saturday, Apr 18, 2015 at 03:00


One of the most enjoyable outdoor activities that’s suitable for a variety of ages and skill levels has to be kayaking. Whether paddling through iconic waters around Sydney Harbour, watching dolphins frolic off Byron Bay, or gliding through the quiet backwaters of the Blue Mountains, there’s something relaxing yet at the same time invigorating about exploring Australia from the water.

If you’re looking to purchase an affordable second-hand kayak and need to find some top spots around New South Wales where you can try it out, read on for eight of the state’s best destinations to add to your list.

Inner Islands of Sydney Harbour
Sydney is home to a huge number of great waters to paddle through, but no kayaker should miss exploring Sydney Harbour and its inner islands. Start your day upstream from the Sydney Harbour Bridge at Onions Point in Woolwich. From here, check out the historic Woolwich Dry dock, and have fun watching luxury yachts owned by the city’s tycoons glide by.

From Woolwich, head across to World Heritage-listed Cockatoo Island where you can take in the sites of some of Sydney’s convict history as well as interesting industrial architecture.

Byron Bay
This popular holiday destination is also the perfect spot for kayakers. Whether you sign up for a guided tour or head out on your own, you’ll be able to use your kayak to see humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins and sea turtles in the protected waters of the Byron Bay Marine Park.

Blue Mountains
For a more intensive paddle, head to the Blue Mountains just outside of Sydney. This famous World Heritage-listed region boasts breathtaking scenery, plenty of top rivers to kayak through, and pristine wilderness to admire.

Start in Penrith early in the day and head for The Narrows, a stunning natural gateway into the Blue Mountains National Park. From here, paddle to the Nepean Gorge and take a short stop to check out the lookout that’s about an hour in.

Narrabeen Lagoon
On Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Narrabeen Lagoon is the biggest coastal lagoon in the city, and provides a relaxing kayaking destination that takes around 2-3 hours of slow paddling to navigate. As you work your way around the 2.5 square kilometre lagoon, take note of the beautiful Narrabeen State Park that surrounds it and look out for birds and other animals.

Hawkesbury River
Another top spot for Sydneysiders to paddle along is the Hawkesbury River, from Richmond to Brooklyn. While there are a massive 120 kilometres of navigable waterway that kayakers can explore, it’s easy enough to break the area up into a series of day trips.

Consider starting with a paddle from Richmond to Windsor one day, then journey from Windsor to Sackville the next. From there, you can explore the Sackville to Wisemans Ferry region, then Wisemans Ferry to Spencer stretch, and finally kayak from Spencer through to Brooklyn. Each trip will cover around 30 kilometres.

South Coast
Along the South Coast, around six hours from Sydney, is pretty Merimbula. Head here to kayak around the town’s offshore waters, including Pambula Beach. During your paddle you will likely see a variety of marine life, including dolphins, whales (at particular times of year) and seals.

If you’re interested in seeing the workings of the largest coal export port in the world, head to Newcastle’s renowned harbour. Apart from watching the many huge ships move in and out of the vicinity, you can also enjoy taking in the natural features of Newcastle’s coastline.

Murray River
Paddle the mighty Murray River when you’re looking for peaceful backwaters, lagoons and creeks to glide through. As you travel, take in the bio-diversity of the river, wetlands, and surrounding bushland, and keep an eye out for Australian wildlife such as koalas, kangaroos, emus and goannas.

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