Penrith Whitewater Stadium

Bucket list-worthy: Sydney’s watersporting experiences

We tried out Sydney’s most bucket list-worthy water sports, and our experience left us itching for more.

From all-age-friendly activities such as sailing, to more intense and extreme water sports like rafting, we tried out all the famously fun water sports Sydney has to offer. If you’re looking to go on some adventures this summer, try out the list of water sports we’ve compiled here.


Harbour sailing is always a good option to consider for families looking for a chill-day event. Sailing across the Sydney Harbour and taking a close look at famous landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House is guaranteed to be a fun, educational and memorable time.

For my sailing venture, I visited Sydney by Sail, which is well-known in the city to offer a whole heap of fun sailing services – from private charters, to romantic get-aways, to kid-friendly sailing lessons! Conveniently located in Darling Harbour Sydney and right in front of the Maritime Museum, the staff at Sydney by Sail were incredibly welcoming and provided me with a much-needed calming and therapeutic solo boating experience, leaving me feeling the most relaxed I’d been in a long while.


After my calming sailing session, I wanted to try something a little more thrilling, and what better way to get my monthly dose of excitement than going rafting? Having wanted to spend my summer basking in the Australian sun (with sunscreen, of course) with the occasional splash of water to cool me off, I decided to try my hand at rafting at Penrith Whitewater Stadium.

Located on the outskirts of the city, Penrith Whitewater Stadium is well worth the trip as it is hands down one of Sydney’s best whitewater sporting facilities. From young kids and cautious parents to clumsy adults like me, the stadium offered a wide range of rafting activities that were accommodating for everyone. Despite knowing I was completely safe with my life vest and the many lifeguards on duty, the rafting course was still extremely exhilarating and left me wanting to go back for another round.


Surfing is an absolute staple when it comes to Sydney’s best water sports. With so many beaches surrounding the east coast of the city, you can surf at almost any beach of your choice! Shopping for a surfboard and taking on your first wave with it is another fun activity in itself.

If you want to learn to surf this summer, check out Manly Surf School or Let’s Go Surfing. Having taken lessons and growing comfortable surfing myself, the friendly and knowledgeable surfing instructors at these venues are sure to provide you with a safe and rewarding surfing experience.

Kayaking & Canoeing

There are many ways you can enjoy the Sydney waters this summer. If sailing, surfing and rafting just aren’t your thing, what about kayaking or canoeing? 

Last week, I visited Rose Bay Aquatic Hire and was pleasantly surprised by all the kayaking and canoeing services they had to offer. At an affordable price point of $40 for two hours, the single kayak tour in particular caught my eye. A paddle and life jacket were included in the package. For two hours, I was able to paddle anywhere I wanted, take as many breaks as I needed and of course, enjoy a good dose of Sydney’s incredible harbour views. Although self-guided, my kayaking experience was definitely worthwhile and I would 100% go back to do it again.

Although water sports are extremely fun summer activities, they can get dangerous when the right precautions aren’t applied. Life jackets are an absolute must when riding water vehicles such as kayaks and canoes. For a more comfortable experience, you can consider purchasing water gear that is fit for you through Jetpilot. JetPilot offers a wide range of water sports gear, from life jackets to goggles, all at affordable prices.

– Richelle Lau
Richelle is a Sydney-based writer finishing up a degree in Journalism and International Studies, and is always keen to try out all the unique experiences Sydney has to offer.

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Image credit: Penrith Whitewater Stadium.