Glide silently by sea turtles; rush over rapids on the Ord River and sleep beneath the clear northern skies on a canoe tour in the Kimberley.
Canoeing and Sea Kayaking is becoming increasingly popular in the Kimberley. Safe, and easy to do, it’s a great way to experience the majesty of the gorges, the tranquillity of the rivers and ocean, and the beauty of the region’s abundant wildlife.
If you’re interested in a unique Ord River adventure, Bigwater Kimberley Canoe Safari and Kununurra Eco-noeing run a three-day self-guided tour from Lake Argyle back into Kununurra
With no roads in sight or power, this remote experience will take you past breathtaking gorges and the stunning Car-Boyd Range, pockets of untouched subtropical rainforest, waterfalls, creeks and flat sandy beaches.
The first two days are spent paddling through gorge country. In stark contrast to this mountainous landscape, your third day takes you onto the lush Packsaddle Plains. As the scenery gets flatter you’ll have the opportunity to explore attractions on the side of the river, like the famous Zebra Rock Gallery and Elephant Rock.
Both companies have ready-made campsites available for their guests to use overnight. Bigwater campsites have flat sleeping areas, tables, fireplaces and long-drop toilets. Before setting off you’ll receive a camp kit complete with every possible camping necessity from corkscrews and matches to torches and toilet paper.
Eco-noining’s eco-approved campsites have camp kitchens and raised sleeping platforms. You’ll need to remember a sleeping bag, matches and toilet paper although there are fully functional toilets on site. Both companies supply swags, mozzie nets, maps, all transport, eskies and watertight barrels.
If you’re short of time, Kununurra Eco-noeing also offers one and two day canoe trips. The one day tour is perfect for those not fond of camping. Canoers cover 23 km of adrenalin pumping river cutting through the magnificent Car-Boyd Range. Stopping at Eco-noeing’s first campsite at Cooliman Creek, day-trippers are picked up and taken for an easy bushwalk before heading back to town.
If you’re looking for a little more adventure, the two-day trip continues on from the one-day after spending the night at the Cooliman Creek campsite. Day two is spent exploring one of the most spectacular stretches of the Ord. Full of bush walks, stunning creeks, swimming holes and waterfalls it’s well worth taking your time as this stretch is only 9km long. At the end of the second day, canoers arrive at the Stonewall camp.
Heading West from Kununurra to Broome, Western Blue Sea Kayaks run two different tours: the Turtle Bay Kayak Adventure and the Eco Beach Overnight Escape.
Sea kayaks are perfect for gliding over ocean waters. Generally lighter than a canoe, paddlers sit on top of the board rather than inside. Western Blue Sea Kayak supplies double kayaks and absolutely no experience is necessary to head out on a tour.
Nature lovers will appreciate the Kayak Adventure where you spend three hours spotting sea turtles and learning about the animal’s habitat and behaviours. This tour also includes swimming time and snacks on the beach.
If a night spent under the stars appeals to you, the Eco-beach overnight Escape should be right up your alley. Paddlers spend their time exploring Cape Villaret, popular for its secluded beaches, impressive rock formations and untouched environment.
Tour-goers spot a whole range of marine life including turtles, dolphins and manta rays. While there is time during the day to fish, beach comb and take photos, your evening is spent enjoying food cooked by the waters edge before camping under a blanket of stars.
Getting there: (pull box)
Both Qantas and Skywest have regular flights into the Broome International Airport. Qantas also fly direct to Kununurra, alternatively, you can hire a car in Broome and make the unique road-trip across the North-West from Broome to Kununurra.
Canoe tour operators: (pull box 2)
Bigwater Kimberley Canoe Safari
Ph: 1800 641 998
Western Blue Sea Kayaks
Ph: 1300 665 888
Ph: 1300 663 369