9 Best Kayak Tours in Sydney

Looking for the Best Kayak Tours in Sydney?

You’re in luck because I live in Sydney – not far from the CBD actually and last year, I decided to take up Kayaking as a hobby, so I have been on quite a few Kayaking Tours in Sydney!

Sydney with its stunning coastline offers an ideal setting for a thrilling Kayak Adventure! But kayaking can be expensive, and some tours don’t bring you to the best spots!  Not to worry, I’m here to tell you, which is worth your money!

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Best Kayak Tour Sydney Seal Encounter

🏆 Want me to cut to the chase? Book this Sydney Kayak Seal encounter Adventure with Gourmet Lunch – Which has a perfect 5-star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This guide will give you the best Kayak Tours in Sydney, detailing what makes them the best, where they will take you, how long they last and whether the tour is guided or self-guided– because that’s a very important detail to be aware of!

Read on to discover the 9 Best Kayak Tours in Sydney!

Out Top Picks: Top 3 Kayak Tours in Sydney

#1 TOP Pick
Best Kayak Tour Sydney Seal Encounter

★★★★★

Sydney Kayak Seal Adventure with Gourmet Lunch

✔️ Visit the seal colony

✔️Lunch on a secluded beach included

#2 Pick
Best Kayak Tours Sydney

Kayak to Goat Island in Sydney Harbour with Local Guide

✔️ National Parks Landing permit Included! allowing you to explore the rarely visited Goat Island!

✔️ Professional photographer included to capture the experience!

#3 Pick
25 Reasons to move to Australia

Sunrise Paddle Session on Sydney Harbour

✔️ Watch the sunrise over the Sydney Opera House

✔️ $20 breakfast voucher included!

Top 9 Sydney Kayak Tours

Best Kayak Tour Sydney Seal Encounter

Book this Seal Encounter Kayak Tour and spend as long as you would like admiring the seals!

⭐️ Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ Tour Start Time: 10:30am |⏳ Tour Length: 4 Hours | 🚣 Check Rates and Availability

Set off on what I personally regard as the best kayaking tour in Sydney: the Sydney Kayak Seal Encounter Adventure with Gourmet Food.

This half-day tour is an awesome chance to come face-to-face with Sydney’s local fur seal colony, making it truly unforgettable – and it so was!

This private tour begins at Palm Beach, situated on the Pittwater side of Governor Philip Park.

Under the guidance of a dedicated private guide, you’ll get all geared up in top-tier kayaking equipment and paddle out to the seal colony.

You’ll have the chance to admire these fascinating creatures, observing them as they thrive in their natural environment for as long as you desire – there is really no rush on this tour!

After spending quality time with the seals, you’ll navigate your way to Pittwater where a gourmet lunch awaits on a secluded beach. With this perfect blend of adrenaline-pumping adventure and serene relaxation, it’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable day out in Sydney.

❗️It’s important to note that this tour might not be suitable for travellers with back problems, those who are pregnant, or individuals with heart complications or other serious health conditions. You should also have a moderate level of physical fitness to participate. The tour operates weather permitting, and if a cancellation occurs due to bad weather, alternative dates or a full refund will be provided.

We saw lots of seal, they came really close to us and got used to us being around very quickly. Sam gave me all the time in the world to observe them. Afterwards we had a super delicious lunch at a stunning secluded beach spot.

Laura (READ MORE REVIEWS HERE)

Based on this stellar feedback, it’s clear the Sydney Kayak Seal Encounter Adventure offers a distinct and memorable way to experience Sydney’s wildlife and stunning natural beauty.

I had an amazing time on this tour, hence why I vote it as the best Kayaking Tour in Sydney!

Kayak Tours Sydney

2. Kayak to Goat Island in Sydney Harbour with Local Guide

Best Kayak Tours Sydney

This kayak tour is the best way to visit Goat Island because it includes the National Parks Landing Permit is included in the price of the ticket!

⭐️ Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ Tour Start Time:8am-9:30am |⏳ Tour Length: 3.5 Hours| 🚣 Check Rates and Availability

🏁 Starting Point: Blackwattle Bay – 🚋 Take the light rail from various points in the CBD to the Glebe stop. From there, it’s a short, scenic walk to Blackwattle Bay. 🚌 You can take a bus to Glebe Point Road and then walk to the bay. 🚶🏻 20 min walk from the city

The Kayak to Goat Island in Sydney Harbour tour is a unique exploration of Sydney’s iconic Harbour, led by a local sea kayaking expert who also happens to be a pro photographer.

The tour begins at Blackwattle Bay, a scenic spot easily accessible from Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD) via light rail or bus. Participants kayak to Goat Island, a recognized conservation area packed with bird life, native bushland, and historic sandstone structures.

The tour includes the National Parks Landing permit, allowing you to explore this rarely-visited site in the middle of Sydney Harbour.

As part of this unique experience, you get to kayak all the way to Goat Island. This treasured conservation site is packed with bird life, native bushland, and historic sandstone structures.

The tour provides top-notch equipment, including composite sea kayaks, carbon fibre paddles, life jackets, paddling gloves, and water shoes. Sunscreen and hats are also provided if needed.

When the adventure wraps up, you’ll be kayaking back to Blackwattle Bay. It’s a handy spot right next to the famous Sydney Fish Markets and a variety of delightful cafes and restaurants.

Fantastic tour, so much fun and would highly recommend. Very informative and never felt rushed. Wandering around Goat Island gave a great insight into the history of Sydney.

Karen (READ MORE REViEWS HERE)

From my personal experience, the tour was an exciting adventure, offering a new perspective on the city, and I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Sydney.

Once the tour concludes, you’ll receive a link to professional-grade photos snapped during your adventure, ensuring you’ll have lasting memories of this amazing experience.

❗️ Participants must be able to swim, be comfortable around water, and have a reasonable fitness level. The tour is not recommended for people with serious medical issues, back problems, or pregnant women. The tour is weather-dependent, with alternative dates or a full refund offered if it’s cancelled due to poor weather.

Kayak Tours Sydney

25 Reasons to move to Australia

Book this tour to snag a $20 Breakfast voucher to use at the Flying Bear Cafe once the Kayak Session is finished!

⭐️ Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ Tour Start Time: 5am |⏳ Tour Length: 3 hours | 🚣 Check Rates and Availability

The Sunrise Paddle Session on Sydney Harbour is a unique and memorable kayaking experience that allows participants to explore Sydney’s iconic Harbour during the tranquil early morning hours.

The tour begins at 5 am at the Flying Bear Cafe, located at 76 McDougall St, Kirribilli NSW 2061, Australia.

From there, you hop in a kayak and paddle your way past the jaw-dropping Sydney Opera House as the sun rises. Pretty cool, right?

But wait, it gets better. If the weather’s on our side, you get to glide right under the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Talk about a bucket list moment!

You’ll also get to cruise by the lush Royal Botanic Gardens and take in the sights of scenic Neutral Bay. The adventure wraps up with a paddle back to Milsons Point, giving you a fresh view of the city as it starts to stir.

Once you’ve had your fill of paddling, you head back to where it all started at the Flying Bear Cafe.

Relaxing & safe experience of kayaking in Sydney harbour. Good coaches and professional photographers. 

CATHERINE (READ MORE REVIEWS HERE)

And the cherry on top? You get a $20 voucher included in your ticket price to grab some breakfast at the cafe. So, you get a bit of adventure, a dash of sightseeing, and a tasty treat to end it all. Sounds like an epic way to experience Sydney Harbour, doesn’t it?

Kayak Tours Sydney

👨‍👩‍👧‍👧 Family Friendly
Beack Kayak Sydney

If you are looking for a family-friendly Kayaking Tour in Sydney, this beginners’ tour is perfect!

⭐️ Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ Tour Start Time: 10:30am-12:30pm |⏳ Tour Length: 1.5 Hours | 🚣 Check Rates and Availability

This Beginner’s Kayak Tour in Sydney is a fantastic introduction to kayaking, designed to make beginners feel comfortable and confident whether this is your first time kayaking, you are a little unsure of the water or you’d just like a guide to show you around the stunning beaches of Bundeena!

The tour, which lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, starts at Bundeena Kayaks, located at Bonnie Vale Picnic Grounds, Sea Breeze Ln, Bundeena NSW 2230, Australia, easily accessible from Sydney.

Under the guidance of experienced guides, participants learn about the equipment and basic kayaking techniques. The guides ensure safety and comfort, so by the end of the tour, you’ll feel confident in your kayaking abilities.

The tour is a unique adventure that takes you to discover the small, sandy beaches of Bundeena, pristine bays, and the Royal National Park.

One of the standout features of this tour is its family-friendly nature. Kids are welcome to join the adventure, making it a great option for families, which is not always the case with kayak tours. However, it’s important to note that all children must be accompanied by an adult.

The whole experience was amazing …the guide was very friendly and gave us lot of information. We were able to see some local fishes and the local way of living that area.

Nirali (READ MORE REVIEWS HERE)

❗️The tour is not recommended for those with heart problems or other serious medical conditions, and all participants must be able to swim or tread water. The tour is weather-dependent, and in the case of poor weather, participants will be offered a different date or a full refund.

The Beginner’s Kayak Tour in Sydney – Gorgeous Aussie Beaches and Bays is a fantastic way to get started with kayaking while enjoying some of Sydney’s most beautiful spots, making it an excellent choice for families and beginners alike.

Kayak Tours Sydney

5. Half-Day Sydney Middle Harbour Guided Kayaking Eco Tour

Two people Kayaking in Sydney

The Sydney Middle Harbour Kayaking Tour from the Spit is a great way to enjoy Sydney’s natural beauty while learning about its diverse ecosystems, making it an excellent choice for nature lovers and eco-conscious travellers.

⭐️ Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ Tour Start Time: 8:30am |⏳ Tour Length: 4 Hours | 🚣 Check Rates and Availability

The Sydney Middle Harbour Kayaking Tour from the Spit is a fantastic eco-tour that offers a unique way to explore Sydney’s Middle Harbour.

🏁 Starting Point: The tour starts at Sydney Harbour Kayaks, located at Smith’s Boat Shed / Spit Bridge, 81 Parriwi Rd, Mosman NSW 2088, Australia. 🚕 This location is about 20 minutes from the city by car or taxi, 🚌and 25-30 minutes by bus. Buses from Sydney’s CBD depart from Wynyard Station, and you should get off at the bus stop near Spit Bridge. 🚘 Free parking is also available on Avona Crescent/Parriwi Point.

This 4-hour small-group eco-tour, with a maximum group size of 12 people, allows you to paddle from the urban terrain of Sydney into the serene beauty of Garigal National Park.

You’ll get to admire the lush scenery, learn about the region’s diverse ecosystems from your guide, and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch on the beachside. The tour is suitable for all skill levels, including first-timers, and full instruction and all equipment are included.

The eco-tour by Sydney Harbour Kayak was hands down one of my best experiences in Australia. Our guide, the fun and charming Kip, was an outstanding guide with a lot of great stories to tell. She took us on a wonderful 4 hour trip along the wilderness of the Spit bridge and then a short picnic at a nice and quiet beach. (The picnic food was simply amazing).

(READ MORE REVIEWS HERE)

The guides are highly praised in the reviews for their knowledge and dedication to ensuring the safety and comfort of all participants.

They even share tips on how to paddle if you start to feel fatigued, making the experience enjoyable for everyone.

❗️ The tour is not recommended for children under the age of 14, and all children must be accompanied by an adult. The tour is also weather-dependent, and in the case of poor weather, participants will be offered a different date or a full refund.

Kayak Tours Sydney

Manly Cove Kayaking

The Guided Clearview Kayak Tour of Manly Cove Beaches is a unique and enjoyable way to explore the stunning beaches of Manly Cove.

⭐️ Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ Tour Start Time: 11am |⏳ Tour Length: 2.5 Hours | 🚣 Check Rates and Availability

🏁 The tour begins at Manly Kayak Centre, located at Manly Wharf, East Esplanade, Manly NSW 2095, Australia. ⛴This location is conveniently accessible by ferry from Circular Quay in Sydney’s CBD, 🚘 or by car with nearby parking.

This tour is perfect for all skill levels, and no kayaking experience is necessary. You’ll be paddling in clear-bottom kayaks, offering a unique view of the underwater world without needing to get wet.

The tour takes you along the coast, where you’ll pass by Collins Flat Beach, admire waterfalls and rock formations, and visit about four different beaches around Manly, including Store Beach.

One of the highlights of the tour is a stop at Quarantine Beach. Here, you can take a leisurely stroll, enjoy a hot drink or snack (included in your ticket price), or even take a dip in the water.

🌊 It’s advisable to bring a change of swimming clothes as you’ll have the opportunity to swim at Quarantine Beach.

The tour is a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, with a maximum group size of just eight people, ensuring a more personalized experience.

However, it’s worth noting that a moderate level of physical fitness is required to fully enjoy the tour. The tour is also weather-dependent, and in the case of poor weather, participants will be offered a different date or a full refund.

Had an amazing adventure on the Kayaks and visited some great locations.

CARL (READ MORE REVIEWS HERE)

❗️Please note one review mentioned that they were not provided with a Clearview kayak due to windy weather conditions on the day. The Clearview kayaks can be slightly more challenging to paddle, but the guides will advise you about this before the tour begins.

Kayak Tours Sydney

7. Pittwater Discovery Kayaking Tour

Pittwater Sydney Kayaking

The “Pittwater Discovery Kayaking Tour” is an immersive way to explore the Pittwater estuary north of Sydney.

⭐️ Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ Tour Start Time: 9am |⏳ Tour Length: 4.5 hours| 🚣 Check Rates and Availability

🏁 The tour commences at the Bayview Marina, 1714 Pittwater Road, Bayview, NSW, 2104, Australia. 🚘This location is accessible by car with free parking available, 🚌 or by public transport with a bus stop nearby.

This 4.5-hour tour begins with a half-hour orientation to ensure everyone is comfortable with the equipment and basic kayaking techniques.

You’ll then embark on a 1.5-hour paddle north to Scotland Island and into Lovett Bay. The journey takes you through the bays and mangroves of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, offering a unique perspective of this beautiful region.

The adventure continues with a stop at a beach for a half-hour bush walk to the Lovett Bay Waterfall. Here, you’ll enjoy a mid-morning snack (included in your ticket price) in the heart of nature.

The tour concludes with a leisurely 1-hour paddle back to the starting point.

The tour is suitable for all skill levels, with full instruction and all equipment provided. The small group size, with a maximum of 12 people, ensures a more personalized experience.

❗️The tour is not recommended for children under the age of 12, and all children must be accompanied by an adult. The tour is also weather-dependent, and in the case of poor weather, participants will be offered a different date or a full refund.

The guide gave very informative and passionate commentry on the Pittwater, the National Park’s background, history, aboriginal background, flora and fauna and how to respect this environment. 

MICHAEL (READ MORE REVIEWS HERE)

The Pittwater Discovery Kayaking Tour is a fantastic way to explore the beautiful Pittwater estuary and enjoy a unique kayaking experience.

Kayak Tours Sydney

8. Darling Harbour Explorer Kayaking Tour

Darling Harbour Sydney

This tour has a special focus on the history of the ships and vessels of the Australian National Maritime Museum.

⭐️ Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ Tour Start Time:10am – 1pm |⏳ Tour Length:1.5 Hours | 🚣 Check Rates and Availability

🏁 The tour starts at the museum itself, located at 20 Murray St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia. 🚌This location is easily accessible by public transportation or by car.

This 1.5-hour tour offers a unique perspective of Darling Harbour. You’ll paddle in high-end sea kayaks, getting up close to the wonderful ships and vessels of the Australian National Maritime Museum.

This is a perfect opportunity for history buffs or those who enjoy learning about historic ships. If conditions permit, you’ll also get to check out the sights of the Sydney skyline and views of the Harbour Bridge.

The tour includes instructions on safety and equipment used by a professional and friendly kayaking guide.

❗️The tour is suitable for all skill levels, but it’s worth noting that it’s not recommended for travellers with back problems. The tour is also weather-dependent, and in the case of poor weather, participants will be offered a different date or a full refund.

We have learnt a lot about the history of all those heritage fleet on Darling Harbour, as well as the brilliant seabins design. Would definitely recommend this tour to anyone!

(READ MORE REVIEWS HERE)

Children must be accompanied by an adult, and the minimum age for a child is 10.

Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level. It is difficult to fit in the sea kayaks if the paddler is over about 6ft 5 inches or over 115kgs, so it’s recommended to discuss with the tour operator before booking if this applies to you.

Kayak Tours Sydney

👨‍👩‍👧‍👧 Family Friendly
Kayaking Australia

The “Self-Guided Sydney Middle Harbour Kayak 3-Hour Tour by Single Kayak” is a great way to enjoy Sydney’s natural beauty while setting your own pace.

⭐️ Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ Tour Start Time:9am-12pm |⏳ Tour Length:3 Hours | 🚣 Check Rates and Availability

🏁The tour begins at Sydney Harbour Kayaks, situated at 81 Parriwi Rd, Mosman NSW 2088, Australia. 🚕This location is about 20 minutes from the city by car or taxi, and 25-30 minutes by bus. 🚌Buses from Sydney’s CBD depart from Wynyard Station, and you should get off at the bus stop near Spit Bridge. 🚘Free parking is also available on Avona Crescent/Parriwi Point.

This 3-hour independent adventure is a kayak rental that allows you to set your own course. You might paddle to pristine beaches, pass by the wildlife-rich Garigal National Park, or even catch a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean through the Heads.

Before setting off, the kayak rental office provides paddling instruction and gear, ensuring you’re comfortable with the basic techniques. A map of Middle Harbour and a safety briefing are also included to guide your adventure.

The tour is suitable for all skill levels, including beginners, and all necessary equipment is provided.

The kayaks were really good quality! The staff were helpful and cheerful too. 

TANIA (READ MORE REVIEWS HERE)

It’s also family-friendly, with infant seats available for children between 3 and 5 years old. These children need to be in a special child seat in the centre of a double kayak with two adults. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

The tour is also weather-dependent, and in the case of poor weather, participants will be offered a different date or a full refund.

Best Times to Kayak in Sydney

Ah, timing, the secret sauce that can turn a great adventure into an unforgettable one! When it comes to kayaking in Sydney, the time of year and day can significantly influence your experience. So, let’s break it down.

Sydney, with its temperate climate, is a year-round destination for kayaking. However, each season does bring its own unique charm.

Summer (December to February) is perfect for those who prefer warmer temperatures, with average highs hovering around 26 degrees Celsius. Do remember to slather on some sunscreen and bring along a hat, as the Australian sun can be rather unforgiving.

Autumn (March to May) offers a more comfortable climate, with average temperatures ranging from 18-22 degrees Celsius. The trees lining the shores start to turn a vibrant gold, creating a picturesque backdrop for your kayaking trip.

Winter (June to August) in Sydney is relatively mild compared to many places, with average temperatures around 13-18 degrees Celsius. Plus, this is the time for whale-watching. Spotting one of these magnificent creatures during your kayak tour can truly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Spring (September to November) has lovely mild weather and the city blooms into life, offering you vibrant scenery as you paddle through the waters.

As for the time of day, that largely depends on what you want to get out of your experience. If it’s tranquillity and beautiful colours painting the sky you’re after, then a dawn or twilight tour might be your cup of tea. Midday tours allow for clearer views of landmarks and more active wildlife, while moonlit kayaking offers a unique, ethereal experience, with the water softly illuminated by the glow of the moon.

Kayak Tours in Sydney: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can you kayak anywhere in Sydney?

    While you can kayak in many areas of Sydney, it’s important to note that not all waterways are open to kayakers. Some areas may be restricted due to environmental protections, private property, or safety concerns. Popular kayaking spots include Sydney Harbour, the Parramatta River, the Lane Cove River, and the Royal National Park. Always check local regulations and guidelines before setting out.

  2. Can anyone Kayak in Sydney Harbour?

    Yes, anyone can kayak in Sydney Harbour, provided they follow the safety guidelines and regulations. This includes wearing a lifejacket, keeping a safe distance from large vessels and ferry lanes, and avoiding restricted areas. It’s also recommended to check the weather conditions before setting out.

  3. How far should a beginner Kayak?

    The distance a beginner should kayak can vary depending on their fitness level and comfort on the water. In favourable conditions, a beginner might take about 30 minutes to paddle a mile (approximately 1.6 kilometres). Therefore, in a 2-hour kayaking session, a beginner could potentially cover about 4 miles (approximately 6.4 kilometres). However, this distance could be significantly reduced when going upstream against the current. It’s important to start slow and gradually increase the distance as you gain more experience and confidence.

  4. What is the best time of day to Kayak?

    The best time of day to kayak often depends on the weather and tidal conditions. However, many people find early morning or late afternoon to be the most enjoyable times to kayak, as the water is often calmer and the temperature more comfortable. Always check the local weather and tide conditions before setting out.

  5. How long does it take to kayak 1km?

    The time it takes to kayak 1km can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the paddler’s skill level, the size and type of the kayak, and the weather and water conditions. However, as a rough guide, it might take between 15 and 30 minutes to kayak 1km. This is a broad estimate and actual times can vary. It’s always important to kayak at a pace that is comfortable and safe for you.

  6. Do Kayaks capsize easily?

    Kayaks are generally quite stable and do not capsize easily. Capsizes or flips are often due to sudden shifts in weight, incorrect paddling techniques, or challenging water conditions rather than the stability of the kayak itself. However, it’s important to know how to right a capsized kayak and how to re-enter the kayak from the water. Taking a kayaking course or lesson can help you learn these important skills.

Before You Go…

Don’t let your Sydney adventure end with the kayak tour. The city sparkles at night and has much more to offer. Discover Sydney’s lively after-dark scene in our Best Things To Do in Sydney At Night – it has over 50 ideas!

Fancy a drink? We know the best brewery tours in Sydney that you must visit!

For your stay, consider unwinding in a hotel with a balcony – the perfect place to relax and reflect on your day. Explore top choices in our guide to Sydney’s Best Hotels with Balconies.

Remember, a great trip is about balancing adventure with relaxation and exploration!

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