Sea Kayaking on the Gold Coast Waterways

A sea kayaking tour is such a pleasurable activity, and one that all the family will thoroughly enjoy.

It's a great way to get some exercise, enjoy the water and check out the marine life in the Gold Coast waterways.

A range of tours is on offer, with a half-day or early morning tour (3-4 hours) being an excellent introduction to kayaking for those who have little or no experience.

One popular route is to paddle from The Spit across to South Stradbroke Island, where you'll alight from your kayak and take a short hike through bushland to the beach on the eastern side of the island.

South Stradbroke Island is a popular surf beach due to the sometimes-huge waves that roll in off the Pacific Ocean. It's an idyllic setting for watching the surfers and enjoying morning or afternoon tea.

Sea Kayaking on Gold Coast Broadwater, Queensland TQ

Back in the kayaks, it's only a short paddle to Wavebreak Island, where the clear, shallow waters provide an excellent snorkelling opportunity.

Some tour operators provide all snorkelling equipment, and first-timers will be surprised at how easy and thoroughly enjoyable it is. If you're particularly interested in snorkelling, check that this is provided on your tour when booking.

And you may be lucky enough to have a dolphin encounter on your sea kayaking tour!

Two pods of wild dolphin are typically seen around the Southport Seaway, usually early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Sightings cannot be guaranteed, but it is a truly fantastic experience if they pop up in front of your kayak!

As mentioned earlier, these sea kayaking tours are suitable for both beginners and children, and older adults too.

Your kayaking guide will demonstrate paddling technique on the sand and provide some helpful hints prior to setting off on your tour.

And don't worry about being a perfectionist - an efficient paddling stroke is the result of lots of practice and you can't expect to master it your first time out. Just relax and have fun.

Kayaks may be single or tandem, and both types are quite stable - not only for paddling, but also for boarding and alighting.

You'll find the paddling pace depends on the group, but it's generally leisurely and unhurried, allowing plenty of time to examine the marine life underwater, as well as activities on and above the waterline.

The relatively non-strenuous physical activity means that just about anyone can try it - there are no age limits or weight restrictions, and you don't have to be super fit.

Ages of participants have ranged from the late 70's down to just a few years and depending on the type of canoe used by the tour operator, younger children may wear lifejackets and sit in the front of the kayak, without paddling.

Full day sea kayaking tours are also on offer for those who enjoy a more challenging and strenuous work-out (details available from tour operators). Couran Cove, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland TQ

Hiring a Kayak

Guided sea kayaking tours provide a fun and safe experience that is particularly recommended for first-timers.

However, visitors may also hire a sea kayak and paddle some of the other great waterways in and around the Gold Coast - such as Tallebudgera Creek, Currumbin Creek, Hinze Dam, Coomera River, Coombabah Creek, or the Nerang River.

If hiring a kayak, don't paddle at the beach unless you're experienced at riding waves. Always wear a life-jacket, and it's best to kayak with at least one other person, in case one of you requires assistance.

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Prices range from $50-$70 for a 3-4 hour tour, up to $120 for a full day tour.
NB - prices for kids & families TBC
NB - prices for canoe/kayak hire also TBC
Toilet facilities are generally located in park nearby, so take a rest-stop before the tour starts.
Tour operators may provide light refreshments. If you're on a full-day tour, be sure to check if you need to provide your own lunch.
Wet Weather
Suitable in light rain. Tours do not operate if high winds, as water currents are strong and choppy, making paddling difficult.
Operating Hours
7 days a week, all year round, subject to weather conditions.
Ranges from few hours, to half or full day.
Handy Hints
- Wear a swimsuit under your clothing, as there are no change facilities (except behind a tree).
- Bring a pair of sandals or thongs that you don't mind getting wet. Although you'll be barefoot most of the time, the landing area on South Stradbroke Island is quite rocky and much easier to negotiate wearing shoes.
- Bring a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. Also, bring a towel even if you're not planning to swim, as some water will undoubtedly splash into the kayak.
- Don't wear jewelry and, if your watch is not waterproof, leave it at home.
How To Get There
Some sea kayaking operators will arrange pick-ups from & drop-offs to your Gold Coast accommodation. Departure locations may change from time to time - check with individual operators.
Further Info
Refer tour operator table below.

Gold Coast Kayaking
Tel 0419 733 202
Splash Safaris Sea Kayaking Adventures
Tel 0407 741 748
Australian Kayaking Adventures
Tel 0412 940 135
Couran Cove Resort
South Stradbroke Island
Hinze Dam Water Sports
Tel 07-5533 2481
Nick's Watersports & Hire
Tel 0412 243 111
Rainbow Aquatic Hire Sport
Tel 0421 788 304
Sherry's Camping
Tel 07-5536 3700
The Boatshed (check - only weekends?)
Tel 07-5525 0338

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