Travel

YOUR KAYAKING GUIDE TO WESTERN AUSTRALIA

8th April 2014

Known for it’s white sandy beaches and long days of sunshine, Western Australia is a great kayaking destination all year round. It’s got everything a keen paddler could want - islands, lagoons, reefs, waves and whitewater. Here’s a guide to some of our top picks.

King George Sound, Albany (sea kayaking)

Where: Albany, South Coast of WA

Difficulty Level: Easy, intermediate

Care to visit one of Western Australia’s most spectacular harbours? King George Sound is a popular whale watching and fishing area surrounded by sandy beaches, granite outcrops and amazing cliffs. The harbour stretches between Flinders Peninsula and Bald Head and has been listed as one of the 10 best kayak day trips in Australia by the Australian Geographic. You can drive along the coastline and scope out some nice places to paddle or have a chat to the locals and get some inside knowledge. A nice route you might like to try is paddling from Middleton Beach to Frenchman Bay where you can enjoy a relaxing swim in the calm waters.

Avon River from Northam (whitewater kayaking)

Where: Northam

Difficulty Level: Very difficult

Here’s one for the pros - a wild decent down the rapids of the Avon River.

This river is famous for the international annual white water rafting event known as the Avon Descent. Although the top end of the Avon River gives off calm and tranquil vibes, if you are cruising downstream you will find that the river picks up the pace and you will soon learn why it is famous for whitewater rafting. If you aren’t experienced enough to tackle a challenge like the Avon Descent there are courses available. Otherwise jump on board a raft with some mates and an instructor and brace yourself for a thrilling ride.

Ningaloo Reef (sea kayaking)

Where: Coral bay, Western Australia

Difficulty Level: Easy, Intermediate

Ningaloo Reef is the second largest reef on the coast of Australia and there is nothing else like it on the west side of the country. The 260km long reef protects a pristine lagoon that is shallow enough for you to walk straight to the flourishing world of the reef. The best places to launch your kayak is from Exmouth in the north and Coral Bay at the southern end of the North West Cape. Be sure to pack your snorkel to get close to the 220 species of coral and 500 species of tropical fish. When you get tired you can simply paddle back into the lagoon, roll off your kayak and lull about in the water until you are ready to go back out again. There are a number of kayaking tours available on Ningaloo Reef- including a 2 hour drift over Coral Bay and trips to the outer reef where you can experience tropical fish, turtles and rays.

Rottnest Island (sea kayaking)

Where: 10km off Fremantle

Difficulty Level: Easy, intermediate

Although you may have to beat the rush of people who flock to Rottnest Island during holiday season; it is a battle well worth it. As well as boasting crystal waters, exotic fish, white sandy beaches and corals - the island is also rich with history. As you paddle around you can see old limestone buildings from the penal colony years, cruise over shipwrecks and enjoy the assortment of wildlife that call the island home. There are 63 beaches and 20 bays for you to choose from. You’re spoilt for choice really. Some of the most popular beaches include Cape Vlamingh, West End, Fish Hook Bay and Little Parakeet.

Remember: If you plan on going on a kayaking adventure it is always best to take a mate and tell people where you are headed.

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