I woke up on a sunny Sunday morning, excited for my first kayak experience in Sydney with Manly Kayak Centre‘s kayak tours. I packed my bag, slathered myself with sunscreen, and set off for Manly. Feeling like a 12-year-old again filled with curiosity and excitement, I made my way to the ferry at Circular Quay and cruised on over to Manly.
My plus one and I strolled to Manly Wharf and were greeted by the youthful team at the Manly Kayak Centre. After the team equipped us with lifejackets and paddles, and we ‘gracefully’ plonked ourselves into a double kayak, paddles at the ready for the three-hour tour.
Our guide Lara led our fleet of dainty watercraft between ferries, schooners and luxury yachts as we made our way to the first destination, Reef Beach. This was to be the first of three beaches dotted along the northern harbour that we were to visit during the tour. As we drifted onto the sands of Reef Beach, we were encouraged to jump into the water to cool off, however we instead walked through the bush to the lookout to soak up the beautiful views of Manly.
After the pleasant break, we piled back into our kayaks and paddled over to Quarantine Beach. Our group was followed by the very helpful Craig in a small boat offering advice on how to keep a straight course, which seemed challenging for my plus one and me. Once we finally reached Quarantine Beach, we were allowed to explore the mysterious quarantine station and learn about its history.
The next and last beach we visited was Store Beach, where a lovely picnic lunch organised by Manly Kayak Centre awaited our arrival. As we settled down to eat, we watched a romantic marriage proposal (facilitated in part by the Kayak Centre). Despite no warning or rehearsal, the whole beach erupted with cheers for the happy couple. After filling our bellies we came to the final leg of our voyage, and paddled our way back to Manly Wharf.
Manly Kayak Centre offers a relaxed and fun way to explore the North Harbour, suited to anyone who has a sense of adventure. The staff are friendly, enthusiastic and especially patient. They offer a number of water based activities including fitness and yoga classes, kayak hire and paddle boarding. I have already recommended this experience to a few people and will certainly be back for another ‘oar’ inspiring experience.
Natalie has discovered a love for kayaking despite having no talent for it, but this does not dampen her enthusiasm for being out on the water.
Manly Kayak Centre
1/40 East Esplanade Manly 2095
1300 KAYAKS (1300 52 92 57)