Great Spots to Explore by Kayaking Canberra
Canberra is famous for its “garden city” landscaping, its marvelous architecture, and the incredible view from the top of Telstra Tower. However, you haven’t truly seen the city until you’ve seen the waterways in and around it. Surprisingly, the Canberra region is actually a hidden kayaking gem. From Lake Burley Griffin to the rivers that run through and around the city, there’s a lot to explore.
So, whether you want to spend a weekend touring the waterways or just want a quick day trip, whether you want an easy ride or an expert challenge, there are all kinds of choices for you around the Canberra region.
Lake Burley Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin is an obvious place to start kayaking Canberra. It’s got a convenient central location, and it’s the place where both tourists and locals have always come to enjoy the water. It’s also got a wonderful panoramic view of the city’s famous landmarks and landscaping.
The lake is one of the best kayaking spots in Canberra for beginners because of its typically calm waters. There aren’t any rapids to deal with. Be careful, though, because strong winds can produce some chop.
It’s best to start a Yarralumla Bay, near Blue Gum Point at the south of the lake. It’s easy to access and get your kayak into the water there. It’s also an ideal place to go if you have a family, because while you kayak, your family can go for a swim, go birdwatching, or take off along one of the cycling paths.
The lake is also a good place to go if you like kayaking but have mobility issues. The Paddle Hub has access for disabled people. Call the Paddle Hub to learn more.
You can spend hours just paddling around the Bay and seeing the sights. And there are a lot of sights to see. No matter how many times you go, there will always be something new for you to see the next time.
There are also some islands to see. From Yarralumla Bay, you can easily reach Springback and Aspen Islands, which are fun to explore while taking a break from the paddling. You might want to pack a picnic lunch to take along with you.
The Murrumbidgee River is 900 km long, with part of it passing through Canberra. Because of it’s great length, there are sections appropriate to kayakers of every skill level. However, there are a lot of stretches that should only be attempted by intermediate or experienced kayakers.
Here are some of the best routes to kayak on the Murrumbidgee:
Bredbo to Collington
This run starts and ends with a lot of gentle flatwater, but the gorge in between them has some seriously fun rapids that are for experienced kayakers only. To get to the start of this run, take the Manaro Highway and exit right after you pass the Bredbo Pub. The road will take you right to the edge of the water.
Red Rocks Gorge
This one starts off with gentle class 1 and 2 rapids. Then you hit the Junkyard, a much more advanced stretch of rapids with a dog leg off to the left and a sudden 1 meter drop. There are a bunch of other advanced rapids after it, finally ending in a good stretch of flatwater to unwind with. 3 hours total trip time. This can be a seriously fun excursion, but it’s definitely not for beginners. Make sure you check the weather and the water conditions before you head out, because it can get pretty hairy.
Kambah Pool to Casuarina Sands
This stretch takes about 4 hours to paddle down. It starts off with some class 3 rapids during the first 3 or 4 kilometers that are not for beginners. However, after that, there’s just flatwater and some easy class 1 and 2 rapids. Watch that final drop, though, it’s a good 2 1/2 meters. Total paddle time is about 4 hours.
Before heading out you should always check the impending weather and level of water to make sure that you are skilled enough to tackle the conditions. There are plenty of spots to enjoy kayaking in Canberra, whether you are experienced on a kayak or new to kayaking.