FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS and OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF
Do we really have to paddle for 3 or 4 hours?
No. The morning and lunch tours do take about 3-4 hours from start to finish, but actual paddling time varies between approx. 1.5 hours – 2 hours. A lot depends on the client. We like you to experience ‘nature at your own pace’ so if you prefer to paddle a little way and spend the rest of the time just relaxing on a sandy beach, or swimming, or birdwatching or fishing, that’s fine!
Is my child too young to paddle?
We have tour options for children as young as 4 years. Our double kayak is suitable for one adult and one child 4 to 8 years. Our single kayaks are easily handled by children 8 years and older. We don’t have a strict age limit to our tours – as long as a child is able to sit safely on top of a kayak and paddle, we can cater for kids. We can help tired little paddlers with a tow at times but generally – for safety’s sake – we need them to be reasonably fit and able.
Am I too old to paddle?
If you are relatively fit for your age, you can paddle our kayaks. We have had paddlers in their 80s and as long as you paddle at your own pace, you will enjoy the tour. We can always help with a short tow if people feel like it’s all too much effort!
Are disabled people able to participate in any way?
Please contact us and send your telephone number so that we can talk to you – we have taken people with mild disabilities in the past and are keen to be as inclusive as possible. Obviously, our main aim is to ensure our clients are safe and have a great time. We look forward to hearing from you!
Is there a weight limit on the kayaks?
Our kayaks are rated to carry people up to 130kg. For safety reasons we would prefer not to take anyone who is over 165cm tall and whose weight exceeds 120kg. We have also found that we have safety concerns with people under 165cm tall and exceeding 90kg. Please contact us by phone if you wish to discuss.
What’s the difference between the Upriver and Downriver tours?
Upriver the river narrows gradually, there tends to be more of the smaller birds, the occasional sea eagle or harrier, and usually a good number of basking water dragons along the edges. Fish are still visible although usually with less species diversity. The water is fresher with less tidal influence. There is no toilet on our upriver tour, but we have the gear to ensure you can go if you need to!
Downriver the river widens as it makes its way to Twofold Bay. We usually see more shorebirds on this trip, as well as sea eagles and kingfishers. Fish are more visible, as are the occasional stingray. The water is saltier and has more tidal influence. Our morning tea spot has a flush toilet as well.
We have seen sea eagles and wedge-tailed eagles on both trips, as well as a wide variety of smaller birds.
Can we choose Upriver or Downriver – what determines this?
Sure – but this will depend on the tides and also your experience and fitness levels. We try to start our tours paddling against the tide, so that we can enjoy a relaxing (lazy!) trip home, but we can go either way if our clients prefer a certain tour.
Why do you need to know our morning / afternoon tea preferences before the tour date?
Our morning/afternoon teas are prepared to each client’s liking and the beverages are prepared the night before the tour so we are not delayed in starting. And we need to know how many muffins to have ready! Orders for special dietary needs such as gluten free need to be placed 48 hours ahead of tour departure.
Is it safe to take my mobile phone and/or camera?
The kayaks are very stable and many people take phones and cameras (including us!). We provide mobile phone waterproof covers to help prevent phones getting wet. We cannot guarantee, however, that your phone will survive being dropped into deep water. In saying that, this has never happened and we hope it never does!
Can we swim whilst on tour?
You sure can! We often stop along the way for a dip in the beautiful clean river waters. Don’t forget your beach towel!
I (or my kids) can’t swim – will I (they) be safe?
For safety reasons, we assume most people are not proficient swimmers. Our Flatwater Kayak Guide training ensures that you (and/or your children) will be taught the basics of paddling a kayak safely in the river with the knowledge that we are able to help you at all times. You will also be provided with a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) so if you did fall in, you would be afloat until we were able to reach you to help you out of the water. If you have any concerns, please let us know. If you are nervous, please let us know. We are experienced and can make sure you are safe at all times. Our river water is clear, it has a sandy bottom and we can paddle close to the edge of the river to provide you with an extra level of confidence. Your safety is our highest priority – and paddling a kayak is one way a non-swimmer can enjoy the river safely.
Can we fish whilst on tour?
As long as the rest of your group is happy to do so, you can drop in a line and see if you can snag one of the many fish species in the river. Our river is known for flathead, bream, garfish, black fish and of course millions of mullet! We’d prefer you use lures rather than smelly bait and you’ll need to bring your own container to keep fish in until we get back home.
Can we use our own kayaks and/or PFDs (life jackets) on tour?
The answer is – No (sorry). Our safety management systems are based on the use of our top quality Hobie Quest 11 and/or Hobie Kono kayaks, each of which is fitted with several additional extras to make the trip that much more comfortable and safe for our customers. Many kayak owners have taken our tours and been amazed at the difference a quality kayak makes. Our Personal Flotation Devices (life jackets) are rated to the highest standards and form part of our Risk Management Strategy. They are non-intrusive and very comfortable.