New South Wales (NSW) offers a plethora of breathtaking kayaking destinations, from tranquil waterways to exhilarating oceanic adventures. Whether you're a seasoned paddler or a beginner eager to dip your oar into the water, there's something for everyone in this diverse region. So, grab your paddle, and let's explore the three best kayaking spots in NSW!

The Hawkesbury River

One of the state's most iconic waterways, the Hawkesbury River stretches over 120 kilometres, winding through picturesque landscapes and historic towns. Its calm waters make it an ideal destination for beginners and families, while its secluded creeks and tributaries provide ample opportunities for experienced kayakers to explore.


  • Paddle alongside towering sandstone cliffs at Wisemans Ferry.
  • Discover secluded beaches and secret coves around Brooklyn.
  • Immerse yourself in the river's rich history by visiting heritage sites such as the Windsor Bridge and Ebenezer Church.

The Royal National Park

Nestled just south of Sydney, the Royal National Park boasts a spectacular coastline, pristine beaches, and lush forests. The park's diverse waterways cater to kayakers of all skill levels, from the tranquil Hacking River to the exhilarating open waters of the Tasman Sea.


  • Navigate the serene waters of the Hacking River, keeping an eye out for native wildlife, including water dragons and lyrebirds.
  • Test your skills against the ocean swells at Garie Beach, a popular spot for sea kayaking enthusiasts.
  • Paddle to the secluded shores of Wattamolla, a hidden gem boasting a picturesque lagoon and cascading waterfall.

Lake Macquarie

As Australia's largest coastal saltwater lake, Lake Macquarie provides endless opportunities for kayaking adventures. Its expansive waters are surrounded by stunning scenery, from rolling hills to dense bushland, and are teeming with wildlife, including dolphins and a variety of bird species.


  • Take in the panoramic views of the lake from the iconic Pulbah Island.
  • Paddle through the tranquil wetlands of the Morisset Peninsula, home to a vibrant ecosystem of flora and fauna.
  • Challenge yourself with a long-distance paddle to the lake's entrance at Swansea, where you can ride the tide in and out of the channel.

Kayak Selection: Choosing the Right Vessel

Now that you've got a taste of the incredible kayaking spots NSW has to offer, it's time to consider what type of kayak is best suited for your adventures. Here's a quick rundown of the main types:

Sit-on-top Kayaks

Ideal for beginners and warm conditions, sit-on-top kayaks offer great stability and ease of use. Their open design makes them easy to climb in and out of, and they're virtually unsinkable.

Sit-in Kayaks

Sit-in kayaks are enclosed, providing more protection from the elements and better control for the paddler. These kayaks are well-suited for cooler conditions and longer journeys, where you'll appreciate the extra warmth and comfort.

Inflatable Kayaks

If portability is a priority, consider an inflatable kayak. Australia’s top inflatable kayaks are easy to transport and store, making them perfect for spontaneous adventures. Though less durable than their hard-shell counterparts, modern inflatable kayaks are surprisingly rugged and can handl

e a variety of conditions.