Kayaking, Canoeing and Paddleboarding
From kayaking with dolphins in marine parks to canoeing in wetland sanctuaries teeming with birdlife, NSW offers many unforgettable paddling experiences. You can paddle in UNESCO World Heritage wilderness, along the mighty Murray River and in the spectacular Snowy Mountains.
A range of kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding tours is available. For whitewater adventure, navigate river rapids in World Heritage-listed national parks, including the Barrington Tops in the Hunter and the Oxley Wild Rivers, near Armidale in the New England high country.
Another magnificent wilderness for whitewater kayaking, canoeing and rafting is the Nymboi-Binderay National Park, near Coffs Harbour and Grafton. The Nymboida River is one of Australia’s best whitewater rivers and you can join day trips or multiday tours that include riverside camping.
In beautiful marine parks along the coast are dolphins, turtles and hundreds of colourful fish species. Whales migrate annually along the coast between May and November and can be spotted in marine parks, sometimes playing with their calves. Marine sanctuaries popular with kayaking tours include:
- Cape Byron Marine Park, near Byron Bay
- Solitary Islands Marine Park, near Coffs Harbour
- Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park, in Port Stephens
- Jervis Bay Marine Park, in Jervis Bay
- Batemans Marine Park, in Eurobodalla
Inland, rivers meander past red gum forests. At the great confluence of the Murray and Darling in Wentworth, Moontongue Eco Adventures will take you to tranquil billabongs. South of Deniliquin, the Edward River winds through the Murray Valley National Park, home to Ramsar-listed wetlands.
Ramsar is an international treaty for wetlands of global importance, especially in the protection of waterbirds’ habitats. Another Ramsar-listed wetland in Country NSW you can explore on a kayaking tour is the Macquarie Marshes, near Coonamble, which is less than two hours’ drive north of Dubbo.
When the snow melts in the Snowy Mountains, pristine waters flow into streams and rivers. Kayaking and canoeing in the warmer months is popular in the Tumut, Goobarragandra and Snowy rivers. Alpine River Adventures offers guided tours, including two-day whitewater experiences.