Whether you are a resident or a visitor to Australia, it is entirely acceptable for you to crave new ways of exploring the country. Perhaps the thought of trekking on foot is tedious, or road-tripping in the car just a little to sedate for your thirst for adventure. Perhaps you've already been there, done that, and got the Aussi t-shirt to prove it. Whatever it is, why not consider a kayak as your new mode of transport and exploration?
Sea-Kayaking is a thrilling, adrenaline-inducing activity which allows a whole new way to experience and enjoy the coastline and surrounding islands. Areas that at first seem untouchable can be investigated first hand, as wildlife and fragile coastal areas can be reached without causing lasting disturbance or damage to the environment.
Be warned, booking is essential, but there are a number of kayaking enthusiasts situated all around Australia's varying coastlines that offer safe but eye-opening experiences, and are ready and prepared to get you settled and confident in your floating vessel. We've found the best spots and tour guides in each territory for you to discover the joy of freedom in paddling across endless warm sea waters.
In the Western Territory, look no further than those who go by the name of Rivergods. Based in Perth, Western Australia, they specialise in water sports and activities, providing safe, enjoyable day trips for the family, and longer trips for up to five days for those adventurous types who want to escape into the wilderness for a while. Opportunities for trekking and snorkelling are integrated into the trips to provide a real insight into the wilderness, and your trips are likely to feature sea lions, penguins, dolphins, dugongs and turtles, depending on which tour you choose.
If you're visiting Queensland, Coral Sea Kayaking is based in Mission Beach, Tropical North Queensland, where they offer tours within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, as kayaking causes no lasting damage to the delicate environment. The tours are specifically designed to encourage an appreciation of the beauty and diversity found in the Great Barrier Reef, and range from half-day trips paddling along the coast, to day trips across to Dunk Island.
Port Stephens in New South Wales makes the ideal location to enjoy sea kayaking on this coast, and Port Stephens Ecosports offer the best guidance in these waters. The most magical experience they offer is the Sunset Tour, a tranquil, peaceful journey which allows you to watch the vivid sun set, and see its colourful reflections bounce off the water creating a spectacular view. Sparkling wine is provided as part of the package, which certainly makes it the most romantic of tours to choose from.
All of these tours cater for all needs, providing equipment, food, guidance and support. Adventure Kayaking SA is another one of these - located 90km South of Adelaide - they provide the facilities for group explorations of some of the most beautiful areas along the South Australian coastline. They have kayak tours of The Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, Rapid Bay Sea Caves and the Coorong National Park, which is particularly popular. The knowledgeable tour guides will feed you with intriguing facts about the history, heritage and fragile ecology of the area whilst you enjoy spectacular views, and scenery from a whole new perspective. Paddling through undulating smooth waves in fresh, seaside air offers the ultimate sense of freedom. To top things off, they literally do throw some shrimps on the barbie, providing the perfect seafood BBQ to end your kayaking adventure in true Aussie style.
By Ali Macleod