Five divine on-the-water experiences
Whether you’re paddling along a river or waking up on a yacht, there are few things more relaxing than spending time on the water. Feel the world slow down on these unforgettable waterborne experiences.
Are you ready to glide into serenity? Whether you keep it simple on a kayak or go glam on a yacht, these on-the-water escapes offer a soothing immersion in nature.
Paddle through a World Heritage-listed wilderness
There are all sorts of ways to explore the rugged sandstone escarpments and rolling eucalypt forests of the Greater Blue Mountains, a magnificent one million hectares of wilderness on Sydney’s doorstep. One of the most unusual ways is by kayak.
Southern Cross Kayaking leads paddlers on trips through the secluded Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp, a pristine stretch of the Cudgegong River in Wiradjuri country. Feel life slow down as you drift along, birdcalls and the gentle splash of your paddle the only sounds you’ll hear.
Enjoy a whitewater adventure in the bush
Dramatic gorges, hoop pines towering above lush understorey, wedge-tailed eagles soaring overhead: the scenery along the Upper Nymboida River as it flows through the Nymboi-Binderay National Park near Coffs Harbour is spectacular, but few people ever get to see it. There are no paths along the riverbank, so the only way to admire this verdant wilderness is on the river itself.
Join a whitewater rafting tour to experience the two very different sides of this untamed river. Feel the rush as the water cascades over grade four rapids, shooting you downstream, then let your heart rate slow once you reach the calm pools which punctuate the rapids.
Discover a secret beach in Sydney
Leave the sands of Bondi Beach to everyone else and find a hidden beach of your own on the most famous harbour in the world. Book one of Sydney Harbour Boat Tours’ exclusive cruiser excursions and you’ll Sydney from a totally different perspective.
Cruise past grand harbourside mansions and picturesque harbour islands before mooring beside one of the sheltered beaches tucked away in protected bush reserves. Accessible only by water, these deserted beaches are the ultimate escape, where you can swim or simply chill out knowing that no one else will disturb your splendid isolation.
Further south, Boats and Baskets set up private beach picnics among the Royal National Park and along the Port Hacking River with boat transfers. Hampers come complete with impressive charcuterie spreads and bottles of Veuve cooling off in ice buckets.
Explore an ancient river red gum forest
There is something inspiring about getting up close to an ancient tree, its sheltering branches and sturdy trunk a testament to its enduring strength – and the river red gum forests of the Riverina and The Murray, standing sentinel along the region’s waterways, are particularly memorable.
Hire a kayak in Deniliquin, a 2hr drive west of Albury, to get close to these riverside giants and you will discover that each tree is an ecosystem of its own, with hollows in the trunk or branches creating habitat for flocks of parrots and other birds.
Wake up to the ultimate view in Pittwater
If there’s one thing more luxurious than sleeping by the water, it’s sleeping on it. Imagine spending the night on your own private yacht moored in the sheltered millionaires’ playground of Pittwater, north of Sydney.
Taylor Made Escapes gives you the opportunity to try out the sailing lifestyle – and be totally rejuvenated after your overnight yacht stay. Ease into the evening as you cook up a romantic dinner for two before you retire to your stylish cabin and are lulled to sleep by the gentle motion of the waves. In the morning, dive off the boat for an ultra-refreshing start to the day.