Top 10 Canoeing Vacations in Australia and the South Pacific
It’s been no mean feat finding water in Australia over the past few years as long droughts dry up drinking and paddling water. In fact you could make plenty of jokes using the old adage about getting stuck up the creek. However there is still plenty on offer and New Zealand always has splendid waterways as do the stunning tropical paradises of the Fijian islands.
- Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
Get up close and personal with the seals that call these gorgeous sea-drowned valleys home. This gorgeous area is largely uninhabited because of its difficult access making it perfect for undisturbed exploration.
- Lake Eyre, South Australia
These massive salt lakes in the most desert like region of Australia’s outback, only fill once every three years. When they do boating and bird life enthusiasts make the rugged journey out here to savour the delights of the continent’s largest lake.
- Franklin River, Tasmania
This is one of Australia’s great rivers, and its 75 miles are a mixture of raging torrents, rapids and easy paddling; particularly on the section after it joins the Gordon River. Be selective here about what matches your paddling ability.
- Clarence River, New South Wales
There is enough choice in this area to wet any paddler’s appetite with six rivers feeding into the mighty Clarence. Sections incorporate quiet billabongs, wild rapids and everything in between.
- Lawn Hill National Park, Queensland
It’s remote, beautiful, has lots of water and is safe to swim – all a plus in this part of the country where the threat of crocs usually keeps you out of the water. Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is stunning with its red rock walls forming a gorge and beautiful emerald waters.
- Kadavu, Fiji
These sparsely populated islands encapsulate the beauty and adventure of Fiji. Where else can you paddle a multitude of lagoons, coral passages, past plummeting waterfalls and verdant rainforest? Get to know the locals and dine on fish from the world’s fourth largest barrier reef.
- Shoalwater Bay, Western Australia
Encounter sea lions, dolphins and penguins amongst the limestone islands of Shoalwater Marine Park.
- Whitsundays, Queensland
Seventy-four islands lie in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef simply inviting exploration. Throw a snorkel in your canoe so you can launch into the great blue and check out one of the world’s greatest underwater locations.
- Pumicestone Passage, Queensland
This passage north of Brisbane is on the must do list for paddlers in this region. Despite the odd sand fly and biting midges – pack your insect repellant – this is a scenic canoe to beat all starting from near lovely Bribie Island and up past the Glasshouse Mountains. Birds, dugongs and more to be sighted.
- Riverland, South Australia
Get wet on this network of backwaters and lagoons feeding off the great Murray River. There are many trails to follow or invent. Popular options include Loch Luna, Katarapko Creek and Chowilla/Ral Ral.