- Destination NSW
Aerial view of Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Harbour.
Views of Bronte beach, Sydney
Sydney city skyline lit up during Vivid Sydney 2013. View from Circular Quay.

Kayaking & Stand up Paddleboarding 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 & Stand up Paddleboarding 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 or head down to Bundeena for a paddle through the 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 locations offer instruction and board hire including Coogee BeachAvalon Stand up PaddleSydney Scenic SUP in Mosman, Pittwater Stand up Paddle School and Eco Treasures at the Basin campground within Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

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

Swimming safety information

Swimming safety information

NSW has a wide range of wonderful swimming options from beaches, ocean pools, harbourside pools, lakes, rivers or swimming holes at the bottom of waterfalls. However to ensure maximum safety and enjoyment, swimmers should follow this general advice:

Look for patrolled beaches (this is where lifesavers are on duty you will see red and yellow flags that indicate this). You should always swim between the red and yellow flags as they mark the safest place to swim.

Never swim alone at night, or under the influence of alcohol, or directly after a meal.

Always check water depth before diving in as rocks or trees could be submerged and never run and dive into the water from the beach.

Check for signs regarding advice on water conditions at your chosen swimming spot and at any natural swimming hole. Always proceed with caution as surfaces could be slippery and water conditions may not be immediately apparent; particularly if the areas has recently experienced heavy rainfalls or flooding.