destination NSW

Kayaking in Sydney


There's plenty of secluded and safe locations in and around Sydney perfect for water sports. Whether you want to go kayaking, canoeing or even stand-up paddleboarding, water adventures await you in Sydney. If you're new to these sports, there are a number of schools that'll show you the ropes (or at least the paddles!). 

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Kayaking in Sydney

Kayaking past the Sydney Opera House

Sydney's waterways provide many great places to go for a paddle all year-round; with picturesque rivers, tranquil inlets, beautiful beaches and Sydney Harbour - one of the most stunning harbours in the world. Choose from a number of paddling options – kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle-boarding - decide on your route and start your adventure!

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced oarsman, you'll find a setting to suit your skill level. Novices can also find schools and boat hire centres around the city to provide the lessons and equipment to get you off and rowing.

If you'd prefer to join an organised group, companies offer kayaking tours. See the best of Sydney Harbour with Natural Wanders or head down to Bundeena for a paddle through Royal National Park.

For those who prefer to kayak on their own, Lane Cove River, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and the creeks around Narrabeen Lagoon are all great options.

For something a little different you may want to take part in Lifestart Kayak for Kids. It combines raising funds for early-childhood-services organisation Lifestart and participating in a number of challenging courses or races. Both novices and seasoned kayakers are encouraged to enter.

Stand-up paddleboarding is growing in popularity in Sydney, too. If you're keen to give it a go, several spots around the city offer instruction and board hire, including Manly paddle school, Bundeena and Standup Scenic in Mosman. Rose Bay is another quiet place to get started, while Brighton Le Sands is a more lively place to try it out.

Above all, have fun and stay safe. Follow the laws of the water, wear a life jacket at all times and stay hydrated.

An easy way to see Sydney by boat is to take a ferry from Circular Quay. The ferry to Manly is popular – it passes the Sydney Opera House and delivers you to one of Sydney's most vibrant beachside communities. Other favourite stops include Watsons Bay in the eastern suburbs or one of Sydney's Harbour Islands and a trip up the Parramatta River.

Sydney has a long-standing love of sailing, ever since James Cook landed on Australia's east coast back in 1770. Learn to sail at Balmoral Beach, take part in a sailing experience or go it alone in one of the many rivers and inlets around the city.

Sydney is a city synonymous with surfing, and it's easy to see why. Bondi, Bronte and Manly are just three of the top-rated surf beaches in Sydney, each with a surf school that'll help get beginners out enjoying the waves.