Best kayak experiences in South Australia

Kayak through seaside caves, float down meandering estuaries or paddle beside dolphins on the ultimate kayaking adventure in South Australia. From the turquoise ocean of the Eyre Peninsula to the serene waters of the Murray River, captain your own kayak or canoe and explore parts of South Australia only accessible on the water. An eco-friendly kayak tour is also one of the most sustainable ways to experience these fragile environments at eye-level with nature. Here’s our guide to the best kayak experiences in South Australia.

1. Rapid Bay and Second Valley, Fleurieu Peninsula

Rapid Bay, Fleurieu Peninsula
Rapid Bay, Fleurieu Peninsula

The Fleurieu Peninsula coastline is home to some of the best beaches in South Australia, and prime kayaking country. Secluded coves, seaside caves, and abundant aquatic life await at Rapid Bay and Second Valley, one of the best spots to kayak in South Australia. Here, jaw-dropping limestone cliffs tower above pristine sandy white shores and sparkling turquoise water spilling out to the ocean beyond. Strap on your kayak or hire one from Second Valley Kayak and SUP Hire and float through secret ocean grottos and explore a labyrinth of caves, coves and rock pools.

2. Kayak with dolphins, Adelaide

Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, Adelaide
Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, Adelaide

Float through an ancient mangrove forest as dolphins duck and dive in the surrounding waters… minutes from Adelaide? One of Adelaide‘s best kept secrets, Port Adelaide’s Dolphin Sanctuary offers the unforgettable experience to get up close to the ocean’s most charismatic residents. With a 10,000-year-old mangrove forest, this river system is home to around 40 resident bottlenose dolphins, while another 300 transient dolphins also frequent the river to feed, play and nurse their young. Abundant birdlife, sting rays, long-nosed fur seals and endangered Australian Sea lions also call the area home. The perfect family friendly activity near Adelaide, Adventure Kayak and Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary run tours suitable for all ages.

3. Canoe the Coorong, Fleurieu Peninsula

Canoe the Coorong, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong
Canoe the Coorong, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong

Cast off in your kayak and explore one of the most abundantly rich and varied ecosystems in Australia. Bordered by towering dunes and snow-white sand, Coorong National Park is the epic meeting point of the Murray mouth and Southern Ocean. Sprawling over almost 500km with snaking estuaries, streams and creeks that vein the land, this culturally significant area is best explored with a knowledgeable guide by your side. Jump on tour with Canoe the Coorong and glide through glass-smooth waters which cut through some of the most scenic and pristine sections of the Coorong on a full-day, sunset or overnight tour.

4. EP Cruises, Eyre Peninsula

Fowlers Bay, Eyre Peninsula
Fowlers Bay, Eyre Peninsula

Imagine paddling next to majestic whales as the sun sets over the ocean. Head to the Eyre Peninsula, a quick 90-minute flight from Adelaide to Ceduna or epic road trip along the Seafood Frontier and discover one of the most unique sea-kayaking experiences in Australia. Departing from Fowlers Bay, venture out into the stunning bay on kayak at sunset or sunrise with an experienced EP Cruises guide. If you’re kayaking during June to September, chances are you’ll be joined by Southern Right Whales as they make their way along the coast on their annual migration to feed and raise their young in these turquoise waters.

5. Canoe the Murray River, Riverland

Kayaking, Riverland
Kayaking, Riverland

The Riverland is home to numerous backwaters, creeks and lagoons which are best explored by canoe or kayak. From Renmark, the Murray River carves its way through iconic Australian bushland and gives way to breathtaking wetlands where wildlife flourishes. Jump in your kayak and weave your way into the narrow wetlands and take picnic supplies for a tranquil waterfront lunch where kangaroos, emus, koalas, goannas and birds will be your only company. For the intrepid, go on a self-guided ‘canoe camping’ expedition with Canoe Adventures or jump on a sunset kayak tour with Canoe the Riverland to spend more time in nature learning about the river’s biodiversity.

6. Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action

Spot kangaroos and koalas as you slip through the still water of Harriet River on a leisurely 2-hour paddle. Just a stone’s throw from the famed shores of Vivonne Bay, a guided tour with Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action will give you a unique view of Kangaroo Island. Each tour is tailored to your interests with single and double kayaks available. As you paddle through the channel, the only sound will be the gentle lapping as your paddle hits the water and the chorus of birds.

Best Swimming safaris

Dreaming of more aquatic adventures? Give the paddles a rest and dive into a swimming safari somewhere in South Australia. From diving with sharks from the safety of a cage to splashing with playful sea lions without in the wild, here are out top 8 swimming safaris in South Australia.

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