If you love to explore cities and their surrounds by kayaking, then you can't ask for much more variety than Brisbane. There are plenty of wonderful waterways and rivers to enjoy, to experience anything from the variety of the city to the natural landscapes beyond.
Read on to learn more about our top tips for taking to the water in Brisbane, for that perfect day trip.
How much is kayaking in Brisbane?
If you're looking for kayak hire around Brisbane, you can expect to pay between $35-50 for two hours, depending on the location you're hiring from.
Kayak tours are also offered from all the destinations listed below, if you prefer the knowledge and/or safety of group paddling. They can be anywhere from 30 mins to a whole day kayak tour.
Where can I kayak in Brisbane?
The paddling options in Brisbane are many and varied. From river adventures, to islands, shipwrecks and lake-like still water, there is truly something for everyone.
Best for: Cruisey paddling for sightseeing
Top tip: Consider timing your adventure to catch the sunset from under the Story Bridge and to see South Bank illuminated after dark.
People often ask: "Can you kayak on the Brisbane River?" The answer is "absolutely, yes!" Introduce yourself to the city's most famous resident with a tour around Brisbane via the Brisbane River.
The Brisbane River wraps around the CBD and inner suburbs, allowing for spectacular views of the city skyline. Kayak tours on the river often begin or end at Kangaroo Point.
The journey will allow you to admire the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Story Bridge, South Bank and the beautiful homes from your kayak.
Twilight tours in illuminated kayaks are available here. Some tour companies also offer barbecues afterwards, on the water's edge.
Bribie Island, Moreton Bay
Best for: Gentle paddling to enjoy the sea and birdlife
Top tip: Sylvan Beach, on Bribie Island, is a perfect location for beginners as its calm and shallow waters are protected from the worst of the wind and swell.
Are you looking for less concrete than the CBD? Near to Brisbane is Bribie Island.
Sitting in Moreton Bay, the island comprises of picturesque waterways, just waiting to be explored on kayaks. The most famous of these is Pumicestone Passage, which is a protected marine park and is the perfect place to see Queensland's flora and fauna.
You can drift along the 35 km channel in your kayak between Caloundra to Deception Bay, and say hello to the dugongs, turtles, dolphins and birdlife that call this area home.
Best for: A gentle family paddle for you and the kids
Top tip: Join a short or long tour with Walkabout Creek Adventures to fully appreciate all the critters you'll meet.
D’Aguilar National Park is just a 20-minute drive from Brisbane City - tempting you away from the beach and into the bush.
Enoggera Reservoir has been attracting local families since 1866
In the middle sits the Enoggera Reservoir, the city’s oldest, which has been attracting local families since it was first constructed in 1866. When it comes to kayaking your way around the dam, you can join 30-minute tours, or 90-minute ones if you have more time to spare.
You can compare the experience to that of paddling in a lake - with the still water making it family friendly.
Kayaks are also available for private hire for those who prefer to paddle solo.
Best for: Kayaking with a twist
Top tip: Transparent kayaks are a Moreton Island speciality and are an experience not to be missed.
The Tangalooma Wrecks - sunken ship wrecks - are a star attraction on Moreton Island. Take your time to explore the teeming fish life and coral outcrops in your kayak.
With this knowledge, it's no surprise that transparent kayaks are so popular in this area. The island isn't lacking when it comes to kayak tours, and you can join night-time paddle experiences to view the Tangalooma Wrecks' marine life after dark. Some might say it's the perfect day trip.
Best for: Anglers
Top tip: The variety of types of habitat in this area has led to a spectacular diversity of different wildlife, so look closely during your trip.
Tingalpa Creek flows along Brisbane's south east boundary with the Redlands Coast. It is an important wildlife corridor at the edge of the city. Because of the diversity of habitats, there is an amazing array of wildlife to spot from your kayak.
The creek is popular with local anglers
It has its headwaters in Venman Bushland National Park at Mount Cotton and the Brisbane Koala Park in Burbank. It then flows a short distance through Sheldon to the waters of the Leslie Harrison Dam.
Below the dam, it continues along its winding course through Capalaba West, Birkdale and Ransome. In this area, the creek is popular with local anglers. So, you may want to combine your kayaking trip with some fishing.
Best for: Leisurely paddling with nature
Top tip: Coochiemudlo Island hasn't changed much since the '80s, so look out for the old school touches like aqua bikes.
While you’re in the Redlands, jump on a 10-minute ferry from Victoria Point to the island affectionally known as "Coochie".
Always check the weather conditions before heading out, including the tide times, wind direction, and wind strength.
This tiny island is only five square kilometres, and it only takes around two hours to paddle around it at a leisurely pace in a kayak. The water isn't too challenging. As you paddle, look out for dolphins, dugongs and sea turtles that have fun exploring the secluded beaches.
Enjoy the Melaleuca wetlands and ancient mangrove forests from your kayak, which are full of birdlife.
Don't worry about taking your own kayak - you can hire them when you arrive.
North Stradbroke Island
Best for: Experienced paddlers
Top tip: Join a kayak tour to Peel Island to see the shipwreck of the Platypus, which sank in 1930.
From North Stradbroke Island there are options depending on your paddling skill level.
The calm water around Amity Point and Dunwich are great for spotting sealife from your kayak, and suitable for beginner paddlers.
More experienced paddlers may want to go out to sea from Amity Point to observe Wobbegong Sharks, or join the tour to the shipwrecked Platypus.
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