Kayaking and Canoeing with Kids
Kayaking and Canoeing with Kids
Kayaking is something I've always wanted to try. I have friends with older children who own a kayak and take it out on the Burnett River quite regularly.
The thought of taking my kids out on the water was a little frightening. Water can be tricky, with tides and currents, I was more than a little uncertain. However, when the opportunity arose over the Easter school holidays to try a kayak and canoe on a man-made lake, at Trinity Islands Holiday Park Burrum Heads (formally Australian Adventure Park) I jumped at it. What better way to introduce myself and the kids to this fun outdoor water sport! I'm so glad we did it!
We tested both single and double kayaks, as well as canoes. Mr 7 enjoyed the single kayak as he was able to paddle and explore by himself. He was able to balance and paddle quite easily. I was so pleased to see his confidence grow as he mastered the craft.
Mr 5 was quick to leave all the paddling up to me in the double and in the canoe. He said he enjoyed the canoe more as there was more room to move about and it wasn't as effected by his wriggling.
Overall we had a great time on the water. I recommend you give it a go! Here are my tips for canoeing or kayaking with kids:-
Know how to enter and exit the craft
On the day we saw a few families take tumbles into the water when trying to enter or exit the kayaks and canoes. The easiest way with kids is to have them sit in the craft first. Then you can carefully slide on and push off from the bank. Even better if you have a third person who can hold the craft while you both enter or exit.
Ensure you wear life jackets
Life jackets are a must when you are participating in any activity on the water. Ensure that children are wearing an appropriate jacket for their age and size. Talk to your kids about water safety: what happens if they fall into the water and how they can climb back into the kayak or canoe.
Take a spare set of clothes with you.No matter how experienced you are, kids always seem to get wet! Pack food and keep hydrated. Other items to take that will make the trip enjoyable for kids would be a set of binoculars and a fishing line.
Go slow. Take your time. Enjoy the surroundings, it's not a race. Stop a lot and talk with your kids about what's in the water, on the shore or in the sky.
Kayaking with kids in Wide Bay
- Sandy Hook
- Lake Gregory
- Burnett River
- Elliott Heads
- Elliott River
- River Heads
- Bucca Crossing
- Splitters Creek
- Dr Mays Crossing
- Kolan River
- Woodgate Theodolite Creek
Lake Gregory off the Isis highway, also known as the Isis Balancing Storage or locally referred to as "The Duckpond", is the closest freshwater storage lake to Bundaberg. With a Stocked Impoundment Permit, it's a great place to fish.
There isn't a concrete boat ramp but there is a gravel ramp that is kept clear to launch into the lake.
You will have to bring plenty of water with you as there is no drinking water provided.
Flowing right through Bundaberg and out to Burnett Heads is the Burnett River.
There is a concrete ramp located off of Lions Park, North Bundaberg.
At Lions Park you'll find plenty of parking and toilet facilities, as well as a playground and nearby dog park.
Just 20 minutes from the Bundaberg CBD, Elliot heads is a great beach for the whole family to enjoy.
At Elliot Heads you'll find outdoor showers, toilets, a general store and a cafe.
To find out more of what Elliot Heads has to offer, click here
Not far from Elliot Heads you'll find Elliot River
At Riverview along the Elliot River you'll find amazing views, playground, sheltered tables, bbq’s, toilets, boat ramp, floating jetty, walking tracks, massive park area, small beach.
To find out more of what Riverview Elliot River has to offer, click here.
Located 15 minutes from Hervey Bay, River Heads acts as the major departure point for K'gari.
You'll find a boat ramp and plenty of parking available.
It's a great spot for rock fishing and you might even get a chance to admire passing marine wildlife such as dolphins, turtles and dugongs.
Located 25 minutes from the Bundaberg CBD, Bucca Crossing is a tranquil place to visit the family.
Great waterway upstream for kids. Good for swimming, fresh water snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking or fishing. Plenty of picnic tables and parking. Toilets. Bucca Pub just up the hill.
To find out more of what Bucca Crossing has to offer, click here.
If you're looking to hire a canoe or kayak, Spiltters Creek at Splitters Farm might be for you.
The waterway is home to platypus, bass, barramundi and prehistoric lungfish, with the farm bosting over 150 species of bird life.
- Single kids kayak $15 per hour (4 available)
- Single adult kayak $20 per hour (4 available)
- Double kayak $25 per hour (2 available)
- 3 person canoe $30 per hour (1 available)
- 2 person canoe $30 per hour (9 available)
Note that in addition to hire cost there is an entry fee to Splitters Farm ($22 Adult / $16 Child / $5 Infant)
Click here to book your kayak.
Dr Mays Crossing is located just 16 minutes south from Bundaberg post office at Calavos.
It's a peaceful tea tree stained section of Elliott River lined with bush land and birdlife.
What you need to know; watch out for submerged trees, hug the high banks for shade and take your mozzie spray. There is bush parking and no signage, you may easily miss this hidden gem.
On the north side of Bundaberg you'll find the Kolan River river system. There are several areas where you can access the river, but Miara at the mouth of the river, 45km north of the Bundaberg CBD, is the most accessible.
There are sandy beaches, shady trees, powered and unpowered sites, a cement boat ramp a short drive away and everything else camping by the river offers.
45 minutes from Bundaberg CBD is Woodgate's hidden gem Theodolite Creek. With beautiful waters and relaxing beaches there is plenty to do at Theodolite Creek, from kayaking to fishing, to swimming or 4WD opportunities, there is something for everyone.
There is plenty of parking, but limited facilities, so keep that in mind when visiting.
If you're looking for guided kayaking tours, you might want to try 1770 Liquid Adventures. 1770 is an hour and a half drive from Bundaberg, but worth the visit.
1770 Liquid Adventures has several tour options including, sunset tour, family tour, nature tour, private tours or even kayaking with your dog. Or you can hire a kayak and go exploring on your own.
To find out more or book your tour click here.