5 Insane Places To Go Kayaking In Australia

By Jessica Best
28th Jan 2021

two people kayaking on clear waters with mountain behind

Australia is an absolute goldmine of pristine waterways, glowing lagoons, crystal seas and sparkling lakes. So it only makes sense to grab an oar and get paddling. If you want to tick off some big bucket-list spots this year, you’ll want to work your way through this entire list.

These are the best places to kayak in Australia.

Lord Howe Island


Picture this—it’s a clear day and you’re paddling out in a kayak on the bluest lagoon you’ve ever seen. A warm breeze rolls over, you’ve got sand on your toes and a mega vista of jurassic mountains. You can quite literally spot turtles swimming below you. Welcome to the kayak vibes at Lord Howe Island, it’s a must-do for all travel enthusiasts. The best spot to kayak on Lord Howe Island has to be North Bay where you can pull up to a lagoon mooring at a dedicated snorkel site and jump in the water for a sneaky snorkel session. If that doesn’t spell out a great day, we don’t know what will.

Rottnest Island

Western Australia

If paddling your way through crystal waters in a glass-bottom kayak has long been on your bucket-list, cast your eye over the serene ocean surrounds at Western Australia’s Rottnest Island. This protected nature reserve (which also grabs our attention down to it being a car-free zone) will have you kayaking in one of the most beautiful spots in Australia. Head to Pinky Beach to kick off your antics and keep your eyes peeled some stingrays.

Nitmulik Gorge 

Northern Territory

To fill your field of view with ancient rock formations, secret waterways and the golden glow the Northern Territory is famous for, glide on up to Nitmulik Gorge. You can push off from pretty much any riverbank here and be guaranteed a glorious and soothing kayak unlike anywhere else in Australia. You can absolutely spend an entire day dipping your oar in and out of the water but the go-to itinerary here is to make the trip an overnighter so you can catch the magical sunset and sunrise over the dramatic cliffs of Nitmiluk National Park.

Hinchinbrook Island


Most people say when you’re kayaking around Hinchinbrook Island, you’re paddling straight into paradise and honestly, we’d back that. Think balmy waters, deserted tropical archipelagos and marine life galore. The best spot to kick off is actually from the mainland, at Australia’s Mission Beach. From here, you can lap up a multi-day sea kayak trip rivalling the mighty ol’ road trip. Hinchinbrook Island is Australia’s largest island national park and it's wild and untouched in the best way possible.

Mornington Peninsula


There are two ways you can go on the Mornington Peninsula: back beach and front beach. We recommend the front—it’s less dangerous, you don’t have to paddle so hard, and there’s less chance you’ll get abducted by aliens ala Harold Holt. So where should you paddle? Sorrento front beach is a good place to start—head west and drop anchor on the secluded Shelley Beach (good spot for a beach picnic). Alternatively, you can head out to the Point Nepean National Park. There’s a good chance you’ll spot seals, penguins and dolphins out here. It probably goes without saying, but please don’t kayak across The Rip. 

Now check out Australia's epic line-up of retro motels.

Image credit: Destination NSW

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