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The premier guide to Western Australia scoop.com.au
WHERE TO GO
Paddlers in WA can explore the Ningaloo Reef, take a wildlife-spotting
expedition via the Ord River in the Kimberley, or even rehearse for the Avon
Decent in the Preston River rapids. For the less experienced, there are guided
tours that encompass reefs, rivers or even a paddle between gorges.
NORTHWEST | The Ord River is a breathtaking
water adventure and a memorable way to enjoy the
Kimberley (think crocodiles, waterfalls, Aboriginal
art and native wildlife). Those with canoe or kayak
experience can plan their own trip. Alternatively,
choose a tour that suits you, through companies like
Go Wild Adventure Tours or Gecko Canoeing. The
stunning coastline can be celebrated with a Broome’s
Turtle Kayak ride, which takes around three hours and
is a great option for the family. There’s a whole heap
of marine life that you just might cross paths with.
CORAL COAST | Take in the spectacular sights of
the Ningaloo Reef courtesy of numerous open-
water tours. If paddling out to a snorkelling site, be
sure to travel in pairs; also Ningaloo Marine Park is
a protected site, so check the sanctuary zones and
guidelines before paddling. If you’re savvy in a kayak,
consider voyaging up the coast. A kayak with Wula
Guda Nyinda Eco Adventures is one way to revel in
the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. The tours also
explore the culture ties of the Nhanda and Malgana
Aboriginal people to the Shark Bay region. If you’re
near Kalbarri, the Murchison River lets you enjoy the
sight of ancient cliffs. For those four-wheel driving
with their own kayak or canoe, you can head deep
to the heart of the gorges. Alternately you can hire
a three-person canoe from, or enjoy a safari with,
Kalbarri Boat Hire and Canoe Safaris.
PERTH SURROUNDS | The Avon River is a popular
whitewater experience – August sees the celebrated
annual Avon Descent, a 124km course that’s worth
watching if you’re not quite ready to tackle it yourself.
Sea kayaking is one way to take in Penguin and
Seal islands, not far from Shoalwater Bay and
Rockingham. Aside from sea lions and colonies of
pelicans, if you’re lucky, you might catch sight of
a dolphin. The Murray River hosts a number of trails.
Less than 90 minutes from the city, Lane Pool Reserve
in Dwellingup allows you to hit the Murray River and
take in the beautiful forest (fortunate travellers might
even spot a quokka). The waterways near the city
are popular for daytime kayaking experiences on
the Swan River, which can take you down toward the
south of WA. Kayaks can be hired from About Bike
Hire at Point Fraser Reserve on the foreshore.
GOLDEN OUTBACK | If you’re travelling WA with
your own gear, are experienced, and are looking for
some canoeing, kayaking or sea kayaking adventures,
check out the coastline around Esperance. National
parks and beaches in the area might offer the
opportunity you’re looking for, just be sure to check
first to clarify the areas protected from traffic, and
those cleared for kayaking and canoeing.
SOUTHWEST | Preston River, Boyanup to Bunbury,
will stretch your muscles with a 26km flat-water
paddle, great for intermediate paddlers. When the
water’s close to flood level (11.1m) in Boyanup, the
river changes dramatically, becoming perfect for thrill-
seekers and those who fancy a rehearsal for the Avon
Descent. Harvey Dam is one of the best places for
family fun in a canoe or kayak. When you’re paddling,
don’t pass the line of buoys, and check the water level
before entering. Put in at the boat ramp; there’s no
boat access at the dam’s recreation area but there is
parking, toilets, barbecues and a playground. To hit
the white water on the Blackwood River, you’ll need
a fair bit of paddling skill. Over the 7-8km paddle
you’ll negotiate rapids, bends, rocks and submerged
trees. It’s practical from a water level of 11.2m, but
above 12m is ideal because most rocks are covered.
Put in at the park in Bridgetown, just upstream of
the bridge. The take-out point is Rocky Bluff, but the
current is fast so approach with caution.
Choose from one of many canoeing and kayaking
packages in the Katherine region. The company
also offers packages that incorporate bushwalking
and trekking with your paddling adventure.
1800 634 319, geckocanoeing.com.au
Check out East Perth, the Swan Valley or
Ascot Waters, by kayak.
0412 101 949, waterwanderers.com.au
PENGUIN ISLAND SEA KAYAK TOUR
A full-day sea kayaking tour of Penguin Island
with Rockingham Wild Encounters includes
morning tea and a picnic lunch on the island.
(08) 9591 1333, penguinisland.com.au
Take an eco-noeing tour on the Ord River. There
are a number of tour options available.
1300 663 369, gowild.com.au
Choose from a number of different sea kayaking
trips, from Monkey Mia to Ningaloo Reef, Broke
Inlet, and Seal and Penguin islands.
(08) 9259 0749, rivergods.com.au
WULA GUDA NYINDA ECO ADVENTURES
The kayak tour highlights the ties of the
Nhanda and Malgana Aboriginal people to
Gutharraguda (which is the Aboriginal name for
Shark Bay, meaning ‘Two Rivers’).
0429 708 847, wulaguda.com.au
*Keep in mind some locations may be closed in
certain months, while other popular tours may
sell out. Be sure to call ahead/check in advance.
Taking to the ocean (photography
Capricorn Sea Kayaking).
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