Exploring Sydney Harbour on Kayaks

Exploring Sydney Harbour on Kayaks

With the state borders finally open, Kerry quickly booked a flight and headed to Sydney for a well overdue family weekend. Besides eating and drinking far too much, and catching up with family at the beach, we also planned a kayaking trip on Sydney Harbour.

We opted to explore some of Sydney’s hidden, harbour beaches, rather than paddling past the Sydney Opera House and under the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Why, you may ask? Well, in essence it came down to the fact that the kids would have more fun on the beaches, than under a bridge.

We hired kayaks from Manly Kayak Centre, which was a quick and easy process. Our biggest mistake was only hiring the kayaks for an hour, as it turned out we needed a lot longer. The centre obviously anticipated this, and gave me a wristband containing their phone number, to call if we needed the kayaks for longer. They needed to know for safety reasons, since if we were gone for longer than expected, they’d send a boat out to look for us.

After a quick briefing on the area, including the hazards (predominantly the ferries moving around the harbour) and local sights (the various beach options), we climbed onto the kayaks. I was expecting a few tears from Katie, as she’s somehow developed a fear of sharks, but she was more than happy to climb aboard, as long as it was with aunty Kerry.

The weather was perfect – 30oC and sunny skies, with no wind. We paddled towards Smedleys Point, navigating between the various yachts, before cutting across the bay to Store Beach. We chose Store Beach over the likes of Quarantine Beach and Little Manly Beach due to it’s isolation. While Quarantine Beach and Little Manly Beach offer luxuries such as coffee shops, being on a beach that is only accessible by boat was a much more exhilarating idea.

We spent 15 minutes on Store Beach, enjoying the silence as well as a few ham rolls. I also took the opportunity to let Manly Kayak Centre know we needed the kayaks for another hour. Re-energised, we climbed back onto the yaks and headed for Collins Beach.

Collin’s Beach was slightly busier, possibly since it could be reached by both water as well as a short hike. That said, it was still remote and incredibly beautiful, and the girls absolutely loved it. For the next 30 minutes we swam in the crystal clear water, floating on our backs in the mild surge, staring up at the sky.

And then it was time to head back. The return paddle was slightly tougher as the wind had picked up. This meant paddling directly into the wind for the second half of the journey. Emma got tired of paddling (she’d done incredibly well up to this point, far surpassing my expectations), and took a “brief break”. Amazingly, this break ended in her falling asleep while sitting up, still holding the paddle. The staff at Manly Kayak Centre had a good laugh when I paddled up to the jetty, Emma dosing in the front.

All in all, it was an incredible morning out, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone wanting a little more adventure close to home.