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10 Great Paddles

Sup Boarding at Middleton

Difficulty Levels

Easy
(Grade S01)

Paddle 1, 2, 3

Sheltered flat water with minimal currents, easy entry and exits and no more than 500m from safe landing sites.

Intermediate
(Grade S02)

Paddle 4, 5

Unsheltered inland open waters, estuaries and lakes, or sheltered coastline. Small waves or surf less than 0.5m, currents less than 2km/h, crossings no more than 1km from safe landing sites.

Hard
(Grade S03)

Paddle 6, 7, 8

Sheltered coastal waters with possible wind against wave or tide effects and moderate breaking seas. Possible surf entry and exits less than 1m, currents less than 4km/h, up to 5km crossings or from safe landing sites.

Difficult
(Grade S04)

Paddle 9, 10

Unsheltered coastal waters which may encounter steepening swell and breaking seas, wind against wave or tide effects. Entry and exits may be difficult and involve negotiation of surf up to 2m. May involve fast currents up to 7km/h and up to 10km crossings or from safe landing sites

Click a paddle below to view more details

Kalgan River

DIRECTIONS

A flat water paddle with no portage between the Lower and Upper Kalgan bridges, suitable for all types of paddle craft and paddlers of all abilities.

The river provides a range of experiences from the wide open lower reaches to the narrow upper reaches through tall shady trees.

As well as the recommended launching facility on the west side of the river at Lower Kalgan Bridge there are many suitable launching sites from the 2WD accessible road along the east bank on the southern half of the route.

The paddle provides the opportunity to see the abundant wildlife that inhabits the river environment including pelicans, ducks and osprey.

To travel to the start point from the Town Square (15km) drive up York Street and straight through the top roundabout onto Lockyer Avenue. Continue north along Lockyer Avenue through the roundabout to Ulster Rd, which becomes Lower King Road and then Nanarup Road. Cross the King River and continue on a further 3km to the Kalgan River. Just before the bridge turn into the car park on the left (north) side of the road. Launch next to the bridge.

DESCRIPTION

To launch you can drive to the water’s edge on the west side of the river.

  1. Paddle north and upstream from the bridge in the wide open river.
  2. As you round the first bend in the river you will pass the Kalgan River Chalets and Caravan Park on the west side of the river. When the tide is low follow the channel markers to find deeper water.
  3. As you paddle upstream the river becomes narrower and less affected by the wind. The river has a moderate level of motor boat traffic, so where possible stay close to the edge where there is also more chance of observing the local wildlife.
  4. Approximately 3km upstream you pass the Water Ski Club and facilities. Although it is possible to land here, it is not recommended.
  5. After approximately 4.5km you pass the car park for the beginning of the Luke Pen Walk and Elbow Island. Take the time to circumnavigate the island.
  6. As you head further north there are farms on both sides of the river but still good vegetation on the river banks. Spot the Montgomery Hill Vineyard on the west bank.
  7. The river continues to narrow from this point and has less motor boat traffic but still plenty of water for paddle craft all year round.
  8. Continuing upstream you will pass a number of small islands before arriving at the bridge at Wheeldon Road. It is possible to carry your craft over the rocks and continue upstream for several more kilometres, however most paddlers choose to turn back at this point or carry their craft up the steps if only paddling one way.

Grade:

S01

Distance:

10kms one way

Recommended Launch Point:

West side of the river at Lower Kalgan Bridge

Alternative Launch Points:

Beginning of Luke Pen Walk on East Bank Road

PDF Link

King River

DIRECTIONS

Flowing west to east, the King River provides a sheltered paddling experience suitable for all types of paddle craft and paddling abilities from the Lower King Bridge to about 2km upstream of Chester Pass Road.

The river flows past picturesque scenery including rocky outcrops, high sandy banks and farmland fringed by paperbark trees. Upstream of Chester Pass Road is an intimate paddling experience with shady trees joining over the river.

Throw in a fishing line and you’re likely to catch black bream, herring, skippy or a mulloway.
As well as the recommended launch location at Coraki Park next to the Lower King Bridge (stick to the channel to avoid very shallow water and ‘quicksand’), there are also several other suitable launching spots including at Norwood Estate and the Chester Pass Road Bridge.

To travel to the start point from the Town Square (12km), drive up York Street and straight through the top roundabout onto Lockyer Avenue. Continue north along Lockyer Avenue through the roundabout to Ulster Road, which becomes Lower King Road. After crossing the Lower King Bridge turn right into the car park at Coraki Park.

DESCRIPTION

To launch you can drive to the water’s edge at the boat ramp at the eastern end of the park.

  1. Paddle west and upstream under the bridge in the wide open river, sticking to the channel as other areas are very shallow with ‘quicksand’.
  2. About 1km upstream you will pass the Lower King Store on the east (right) bank and Parker Bay, before the river narrows to about 100m wide. At low tide there are many shallows where water birds are often seen feeding.
  3. A further 2km upstream you will pass houses on the south bank (left) in Norwood Estate. The small launch site with a grassed area is a good rest and picnic stop.
  4. Continuing upstream the river narrows to 30-50m wide and you will paddle past and around a number of large granite boulders which provide good photo opportunities on calm days when the rocks are reflected on the water surface.
  5. For the next 2.5km the river winds past farms on both sides before coming to the bridge where Chester Pass Road crosses the river. Just before the bridge there is a landing/launch site on the west (left) bank with a picnic area and public toilets.
  6. After passing under the bridge the river passes caravan parks on both sides of the river and continues to narrow. It is possible to paddle approximately 2km further upstream before the river becomes impassable and paddlers need to turn back. This part of the river is very protected and a good option on windy days.

Grade:

S01

Distance:

8kms one way

Time:

1.5 to 2 hours

Recommended Launch Point:

Coraki Part

Alternative Launch Points:

Norwood Estate, Chester Pass Rd Bridge

PDF Link

Taylor Inlet Nanarup

DIRECTIONS

Taylor Inlet is a beautiful secluded Inlet located at Nanarup Beach east of Albany.

At most times the inlet is closed to the ocean and provides a sheltered paddling experience. The inlet is surrounded by saltwater paperbark and rushes providing habitat for many native species of fauna.

Take the opportunity to paddle around the edge of the inlet and up the small tributaries for a more challenging experience.

Launch from the beach next to the sealed Nanarup Road at the shaded picnic site.
To travel to the start point from the Town Square (28km) drive up York Street and straight through the top roundabout onto Lockyer Avenue. Continue north along Lockyer Avenue through the roundabout to Ulster Road, which becomes Lower King Road and then Nanarup Road. After crossing both the King and Kalgan Rivers (about 15km) continue on Nanarup Road for a further 13km to the end of the sealed road and picnic site at the inlet.

DESCRIPTION

Park in the car park area or drive down the 4WD access track towards the beach and launch at the water’s edge.

  1. Paddle clockwise or anti-clockwise around the inlet, looking out for the wildlife on the banks, birds in the trees or fishsh flashing around in the shallows.
  2. If paddling clockwise from the picnic site, only paddle south (left) towards the beach and the narrow “mouth” channel if the inlet is not open to the ocean when water can be running into the ocean rapidly (only occurs occasionally for short periods).
  3. From the channel mouth paddle west around the bank observing the old shermen’s camp before following the bank north to a small creek in the north-west corner of the bay. It is possible to paddle up the small creek pushing under overhanging trees for a short distance to add some challenge to the paddle.
  4. Continue paddling around the western side of the inlet looking out for the osprey nest in the trees.
  5. At the northern end of the inlet near Nanarup Road there is a larger creek entering and, again, it is possible to paddle up this creek for a short distance.
  6. Return to the launch site and picnic area by following the east bank past large areas of rushes that provides habitat for many native species of fauna.
  7. After your paddle enjoy a walk up to the lookout or along Nanarup Beach to the lagoon at the western (right) end of the beach. Be aware that 4WD vehicles access the beach

Grade:

S01

Distance:

3km circuit

Time:

1 hour

Recommended Launch Point:

Nanrup Beach

PDF Link

Emu Point Exploration

DIRECTIONS

A scenic and relaxing paddle in most conditions with winds of less than 20km/hr. Suitable for paddlers with basic experience and moderate fitness levels.

The paddle commences at the beach alongside the Emu Point Marina, with its diverse array of fishing and pleasure craft. Look out for the resident pelicans.

The clear water provides opportunities to view large rays in the shallows and dolphins in the deeper water.

Passing round Green Island look and listen for the many nesting and resting sea birds.
The channel between Emu Point and Mt Martin passes many rock formations with the opportunity to see the resident fish. Take care in this area if the tide is running.

To travel to the start point from the Town Square (7km) drive up York Street and turn right at the top roundabout onto St Emilie Way, then left at the roundabout onto Middleton Beach Road. After about 3km turn left (east) on Golf Links Road, which becomes Emu Point Drive. After approximately 4km turn left on Swarbrick Street and follow to the Emu Point Boat Harbour. It is possible to park on the beach or in the car park to launch your craft.

DESCRIPTION

To launch, park on the beach to the right of the jetties or in the sealed car park.

  1. Paddle south-east parallel to the beach and past the swimming area and jetty. In very low tides it may be necessary to paddle out via the boating channel in front of the marina.
  2. Turn south into the channel between Emu Point and Mt Martin and cruise along the west edge while watching people sh from the rocks. Be aware of possible strong currents in this area.
  3. At the end of the channel paddle directly across (keeping an eye out for motor boats) to the pristine beaches at the base of Mt Martin, which is a good spot to stop.
  4. As you head north up the east side of the channel you will pass many rock formations with the opportunity to see the resident fish.
  5. Turn east as you enter back into Oyster Harbour, taking in the beautiful scenery.
  6. Follow the southern shore of the harbour for about 1km to the picnic area near the shallow beach. There is a toilet and shady picnic tables here.
  7. From the picnic area head north-west to Green Island to admire the flocks of seabirds that call this small island home. Be sure to give way to water skiers and jet skis that use the area south-east of the island.
  8. Round the island to the north before heading south- west back to the Emu Point Boat Harbour via the marked boating channel. Stay on the right of the channel at all times.

Grade:

S02

Distance:

7km circuit

Time:

1.5 to 2 hours

Recommended Launch Point:

Emu Point Boat Harbour

PDF Link

Princess Royal Harbour

DIRECTIONS

An inland water paddle in the Princess Royal Harbour following an anti-clockwise loop with views of the Cheynes II Dive Wreck, Camp Quaranup, Point Possession, shipping channel and Albany Port.

See the wide range of sailing boats and ships using the harbour and keep an eye out for dolphins regularly seen in the area.

Looking north from near Camp Quaranup provides great views of the National ANZAC Centre at Mt Clarence, and Mt Adelaide. If the tide is in, consider stopping for a picnic on Inner Bramble Beach just north of Camp Quaranup.

Large rays and small fish can be seen in the shallows close to shore.

To travel to the start point from the Town Square (1km) drive down York Street and turn left at Princess Royal Drive. Continue past the Entertainment Centre and the Albany Waterfront Marina before turning right into the boat launch car park.

DESCRIPTION

Launch from the sandy beach on the west (a) side of the boat ramp car park. There are toilet and changeroom facilities available at the west end of the beach.

  1. Paddle out through the marina being aware of boats and ships. Exit the marina with a dog-leg to the left. (b)
  2. Paddle across the harbour in a south-easterly direction to the Cheynes II Wreck (c). This ship drifted loose from the town jetty in 1992 before becoming grounded in 3-4m deep water where it remains. Paddle around the ship but do not board as it is unsafe to do so.
  3. After rounding the wreck, paddle north and round the small rocky headland to the Camp Quaranup Jetty (d) with views of the historic quarantine station which is now run as a camp by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Landing in this area is not allowed.
  4. Continue paddling north past Inner Bramble Beach. If the tide is high and water depth allows, this is a safe landing area for a rest.
  5. Round the granite headland that is Point Possession before crossing the shipping channel. Always cross at right angles watching for shipping and boating traffic.
  6. Once across the channel visit the shallow bay and granite rocks on the north of the channel east of the port, before heading west back to the marina.
  7. As you pass the port stay a minimum of 100m away from all wharves and facilities as these are closed waters.
  8. Once back at the marina visit one of the nearby cafes for a well-deserved morning tea or lunch.

Grade:

S02

Distance:

10kms circuit

Time:

2 to 2.5 hours

Recommended Launch Point:

Albany Waterfront Marina

PDF Link

Frenchman Bay to Seal Island

DIRECTIONS

A protected paddle in south to south-east winds from Frenchman Bay beach around the rocky headland and past Albany’s Historic Whaling Station and Misery Beach before heading north and around Seal Island.

Look for seals resting on the rugged island or swimming in the clear water. On the way back to Frenchman Bay beach see if you can spot the the wreck of the HMAS Perth which is now a popular dive site.

Frenchman Bay has shady picnic sites to be enjoyed at the end of your paddle.

To travel to the start point from the Town Square (20km) drive down York Street and turn right (west) onto Princess Royal Drive. At Frenchman Bay Road turn left and follow the road to the end, past the turn-offs to many of Albany’s major tourism attractions such as the Gap, Stony Hill and Whale World.

DESCRIPTION

Launch from the sandy beach next to the boat ramp, with good 2WD access right to the beach edge. There are toilet and changeroom facilities available in the car park, which you will pass on the way down to the beach.

  1. Depart the placid waters of Frenchman Bay by paddling alongside the rocks at the eastern end of the beach and round the granite headland which is very popular with local shermen.
  2. Once round the headland continue east enjoying the scenery along the beach while approaching the Whaling Station.
  3. Take care and dart in and out of the rocks to take in the sights of the station from the water. View the spectacular old whaling ship and the eerie sights of a bygone era.
  4. Continue east past the Misery Beach boat ramp and around the rocks to Misery Beach proper.
  5. At the east end of the beach the dramatic cliffs of the Torndirrup Peninsula plunge into the crystal clear waters of King George Sound and provide an opportunity to look for the fish that call the rocks home.
  6. Continue around the cliffs and beach until you are directly south of Seal Island before turning north to paddle to the island.
  7. Head around the island to enjoy the rugged beauty of this area, which is home to a range of sea birds. See if you can spot the seals that often frequent the island and surrounds.
  8. After rounding the island head south- west back to Frenchman Bay and along the way keep an eye out for the wreck of the HMAS Perth which is now a popular dive site.
  9. After recovering your paddle craft enjoy a rest in the shady picnic site next to the beach.

Grade:

S03

Distance:

10kms circuit

Time:

2 to 2.5 hours

Recommended Launch Point:

Frenchman Bay beach/boat ramp

Alternative Launch Point:

Misery beach boat ramp

PDF Link

Two Peoples Bay to Waterfall Beach

DIRECTIONS

A spectacular paddle in south-west to southerly winds and low swell conditions.
Leaving from the clear waters of Two Peoples Bay, paddle easterly along the coast exploring Little Beach and Waterfall beach before rounding the second headland for a view of Coffin Island.

Consider a stop to explore the sheltered bay of Waterfall Beach. Further east from Waterfall Bay be aware of the increasing rebound of the swell o the granite coastline. There are no landing spots in this area.

To travel to the start point from the Town Square (35km) drive up York Street and straight through the top roundabout onto Lockyer Avenue. Continue north along Lockyer Avenue through the roundabout to Ulster Road, which becomes Lower King Road and then Nanarup Road. After crossing both the King and Kalgan Rivers (about 15km) continue along Nanarup Road for a further 4.5km before turning left onto the well signposted Two Peoples Bay Road. Follow to the end before turning left onto the well signposted Two Peoples Bay Road. Follow to the end.

DESCRIPTION

This paddle goes in a generally eastward direction along the coast exploring the beaches and headlands along the way until you catch sight of Coffin Island and turn to return the same way.

  1. 1Heading east from the boat ramp have fun weaving around and between the rocks in the area (b) before heading around the first headland.
  2. As you round the headland take care if choosing the channel between the rocks (c) and the headland as it is quite shallow here and large swells breaking across here expose the reef beneath. If unsure take the outside route.
  3. After a further 800m you will arrive at Little Beach (d) which is regularly mentioned as one of Australia’s most stunning beaches. Surf can be dumpy here especially in larger swell and landing can be difficult.
  4. At the southern end of Little Beach, paddle around the rocky outcrop to find the hidden Waterfall Beach. This beach is usually very sheltered and an easy landing. A short walk into the bush will find the small waterfall that is nearly always running.
  5. Heading further east from Waterfall Beach you will follow the granite coastline and encounter increasing rebound of the waves from the rocks. Turn back at any point from here. Continuing on to get a glimpse of Coffin Island is another popular paddle but should only be considered by paddlers of extensive experience and fitness – contact the Albany Sea Kayak Club for advice.
  6. Once you turn back, follow the same route to return to Two Peoples Bay.

Grade:

S03

Distance:

8kms circuit

Time:

2 to 2.5 hours

Recommended Launch Point:

Two Peoples bay boat ramp

PDF Link

Emu Point to Whaler’s Cove

DIRECTIONS

A longer paddle requiring a vehicle shuffle but well worth the effort.

The paddle parallel to Middleton Beach between Emu Point and Ellen Cove offers views of Mt Clarence and Mt Adelaide as well as the large ships anchored in King George Sound.

From Ellen Cove follow the rocky headland east before crossing the shipping channel to Point Possession and continue south past Outer Bramble Beach and then on to Whalers Cove.

Dolphins are often encountered in this area and large rays seen in the shallows, but also look up for the chance to see a sea eagle or osprey.

To travel to the start point from the Town Square (8.5km) drive up York Street and turn right at the top roundabout onto St Emilie Way and then left at the roundabout onto Middleton Beach Road. After about 3km turn left (east) onto Golf Links Road, which becomes Emu Point Drive. After approximately 4km turn left onto Swarbrick Street and follow to the Emu Point Boat Harbour. It is possible to park on the beach or in the car park to launch your craft.

DESCRIPTION

To launch, park on the beach to the right of the jetties or in the sealed car park.

  1. Paddle south-east parallel to the beach and past the swimming area and jetty. In very low tides it may be necessary to paddle out via the boating channel in front of the harbour.
  2. Paddle through the channel between Emu Point and Mt Martin passing many rock formations, with the opportunity to see the resident fish. Take care in this area if the tide is running.
  3. Paddle parallel to Middleton Beach keeping well away from the wave breaking zone.
  4. At the western end of Middleton Beach it is possible to land alongside the swimming enclosure in Ellen Cove. There are a number of cafés in the area for lunch or a quick coffee.
  5. From Ellen Cove paddle south around the headland. Take care with waves rebounding off the rocks.
  6. As you cross the shipping channel between King George Sound and Princess Royal Harbour watch out for power craft and ships.
  7. Stay to the east of Point Possession and follow the rocks around to Outer Bramble Beach. This is a possible landing site in low swell.
  8. Continue south parallel to the beach and round the last small section of rocks to Whalers Cove. Landing here is possible under most conditions especially at the south-east end of the beach. It is possible to finish your paddle here but this requires carrying your kayak up the steps to the sealed car park (approximately 150m).

Grade:

S03

Distance:

8kms one way

Time:

2 to 2.5 hours

Recommended Launch Point:

Emu Point Marina

Alternative Launch Points:

Ellen Cove, Middleton beach

PDF Link

Ledge Beach to Nanarup

DIRECTIONS

A challenge for experienced and fit paddlers, this paddle leaves from the west end of Ledge Beach past numerous rocky headlands and spectacular secluded beaches, several of which provide landing opportunities in the right conditions.

Paddle east from the launch spot past Gull Rock before rounding Ledge Point and from here be aware of swell rebounding off the rocky headlands.

Land at either Nanarup Pool in good conditions or west of the inlet on Nanarup Beach in challenging conditions, being aware that this is a surf beach and waves can be big.

To travel to the start point from the Town Square (24km) drive up York Street and straight through the top roundabout onto Lockyer Avenue. Continue north along Lockyer Avenue onto Ulster Rd, which becomes Lower King Road and then Nanarup Road. After crossing both the King and Kalgan Rivers (about 15km) turn right (south) onto Gull Rock Road for 4km before turning right on to Ledge Beach Road. Follow this to the end.

DESCRIPTION

To launch, park in the gravel car park area and carry your craft 120m to the beach.

  1. When launching from Ledge Beach (a) it is recommended to walk towards the east as the waves can be dumpy in the western corner near the rocks. If the waves are large enough to impede launching conditions for the rest of the paddle are likely to be unsuitable.
  2. Paddle across the bay to Gull Rock (b) or, alternatively, parallel to Boiler Bay Beach (c) which is usually protected and an easy landing location.
  3. As you round Ledge Point (and for the rest of the paddle) expect to experience waves rebounding off the granite headlands.
  4. Once around Ledge Point (d) you will have good views of the next beach, but the beach beyond the limestone reef here is unsuitable for landing.
  5. Just before the next headland there is a small beach known by local kayakers as Middle Rock Beach (f). This beach usually provides a good landing site but be wary of possible swirling waters and sideways currents. East side of Middle Rock is usually best.
  6. After the next headland is a beach facing south-east which often provides a good beach landing (g).
  7. Two further headlands are rounded to find Back Beach which also provides a good landing site (h).
  8. At the east end of this beach, round a small rock outcrop to find Nanarup Pool (i). The entrance to the pool is easy in good conditions but extremely dangerous in bad conditions. If conditions are unsuitable to land here, proceed to Nanarup Beach and land west of the inlet. Be aware that Nanarup Beach is a surf beach and waves can be big.

Grade:

S04

Distance:

10kms one way

Time:

2 to 2.5 hours

Recommended Launch Point:

Ledge Beach

Alternative Launch Points:

Gull Rock Beach or Nanarup Beach

PDF Link

Cosy Corner to Muttonbird

DIRECTIONS

A paddle that follows the beach and is exposed to large swell suitable for experienced paddlers with high levels of fitness.

Launch at the western end of Cosy Corner Beach and consider exploring the nearby islands before heading east parallel to the beach.

Part way along the beach there is a small area of reef close to shore – take care in this area.

Towards the eastern end of the beach, view surfers making the most of the large swell. The beach on the inside of the island is always sheltered and a good landing location. Only explore the channels heading east of the island in good conditions.
To travel to the start point from the Town Square (30km) drive down York Street and turn right (west) onto Princess Royal Drive. At Frenchman Bay Road turn left and then, immediately after the railway line, right onto Lower Denmark Road. Travel approximately 25km west and then turn left (south) onto Cosy Corner Road and continue to the beach.

DESCRIPTION

To launch, park in the gravel car park area and carry your craft onto the beach. Alternatively, paddlers with a 4WD can continue on the sand track which has a ramp onto the beach.

  1. Launch off the beach where there is generally small surf. Surf is usually smallest at the western end of the beach (a).
  2. Take the opportunity to explore around the nearby islands but be careful of shallow reefs in this area.
  3. About a third of the way east along the beach there is a small area of reef close to the shore. Generally it is safe to paddle on the shore side of the reef but if in doubt paddle safely around the outside.
  4. The eastern end of the beach (c) is popular with surfers because of the breaking waves. Be careful not to paddle close to the break zone here.
  5. Muttonbird Beach (d) on the inside of the island always has sheltered waters and is a perfect place to land and have a bite to eat. This is an alternative launch site but requires a significant distance carrying your craft.
  6. The channel on the inside of the island (e) is initially protected but can become treacherous and lumpy under big swell with significant wave rebound off the rocks as you exit at the eastern end. Only explore here on low swell days or if very competent and experienced.
  7. The outer channel between the two islands is an alternative to return to the sheltered beach. However this can be treacherous in big conditions and has shallow sections of reef on both sides. If in any doubt it is safest to paddle on the ocean side of the island.

Grade:

S04

Distance:

7kms one way

Time:

2 hours

Recommended Launch Point:

Cosy Corner Beach

Alternative Launch Points:

Between coast and Muttonbird beach

PDF Link