Kayaking, Canoeing and Paddleboarding
NSW offers many unforgettable paddling experiences, from kayaking with dolphins in marine parks to canoeing in wetland sanctuaries teeming with birdlife. You can explore UNESCO World Heritage wilderness, kayak along the mighty Murray River and canoe in the spectacular Snowy Mountains.
In beautiful marine parks along the coast you’ll have the chance to see dolphins, turtles and hundreds of colourful fish species. Whales migrate annually along the NSW coastline between May and November and can often be spotted during kayaking tours.
Marine sanctuaries 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
Ramsar is an international treaty for wetlands of global importance, especially in the protection of waterbirds’ habitats. You’ll find Ramsar wetlands across NSW, with plenty of opportunities to explore them on water.
Lake and river kayaking
Go kayaking in the Myall Lakes with Lazy Paddles, or explore the Macquarie Marshes, near Coonamble and paddle the Edward River canoe and kayak trail, which winds through the Murray Valley National Park.
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 multi-day paddling expeditions.
White water rafting and kayaking
Adventure seekers can white-water raft in the Barrington Tops in the Hunter and the Oxley Wild Rivers, near Armidale in the New England high country. The Nymboida River is one of Australia’s best white-water rivers and you can join day trips or multiday tours that include riverside camping.
Another magnificent wilderness for white-water kayaking, canoeing and rafting is the Nymboi-Binderay National Park, near Coffs Harbour and Grafton and adrenalin junkies can try the class IV rapids at Murray Gates.
Stand up paddleboarding
You’ll find operators offering SUP hire across NSW. Lord Howe Island is a beautiful location to paddleboard, with pristine waters and a mountain backdrop. Stand Up Paddle Boarding Shellharbour offers private and group sessions, including sunrise paddles, after dark paddle and SUPSURF for experienced paddlers.