A Hobart paddle tour is a great way to see the beautiful harbour from the sea, have a touch of exercise and enjoy fish and chips, delivered to your kayak, for lunch. It's a win-win.
Everyone gathers at Sandy Bay, has a briefing and is geared up with their paddling equipment life jacket, double kayak and paddles. If you are travelling solo, they will match you up with someone to share the work. The speed you travel is set by the group, but there is so much to see it's generally pretty mellow.
They take a maximum of 12 guests on the two-hour paddles and no experience is necessary to be able to manoeuvre a kayak. It's fairly easy to pick up.
Catriona Rowntree hopped into a yellow kayak and joined in a paddle around Hobart. Your guide points out everything of interest along the way as you leave the Derwent Estuary, along Hobart's shoreline to historic Battery Point. You'll see large and extravagant homes in the prestigious suburb, many dating from the first European settlement. Arthur's Circus is the most significant with cottages which were constructed for officers of the garrison.
You weave your way through tall ships, working fishing boats, fancy yachts and cruisers to reach Salamanca Place. It has rows of attractive sandstone buildings, once warehouses for the port of Hobart Town. They have been converted into restaurants, galleries, craft shops and offices.
On Saturdays the area buzzes with locals and tourists wandering around the Salamanca Markets, and after dark, its bars and eateries are very popular places.
The next point of interest was Sullivans Cove, the landing site of what is now Hobart. Lieutenant Governor Collins took a couple of hundred people there to establish settlement in 1804. It wasn't easy they suffered from scurvy and basic resources just weren't available.
Two centuries on, it has waterfront restaurants and accommodation, beautiful scenery and a good lifestyle, including all basic resources!
By the time you reach Sullivans Cove you will have worked up an appetite, so you paddle to Fishy Business, a floating punt, for fish and chips to enjoy while you are paddling.
Freycinet Adventures also has the option of a twilight paddle.
Catriona found the kayaks solid and secure and was confident there was very little chance of falling into the water. She suggests comfortable clothes and footwear, hat and sunglasses and to take sunscreen and bottle of water.
Related: where to stay in Hobart
Around Hobart by kayak.
Freycinet Adventures Hobart Paddle Tours cost $70 per person. They start at Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay at 10.30am every day. Twilight paddles start three hours before sunset every day. Equipment, clothing, guide and snack are included.
Virgin Blue has flights to Hobart.
One-way fares from:
- Melbourne $85
- Sydney $109
- Adelaide $139
- Canberra $169
- Brisbane $179
- Perth $289
- Darwin $329
There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are subject to change.
Prices correct at August 19, 2010.
For further information
Ph: 136 789
PO Box 226
Coles Bay 7215
Ph: (03) 6257 0500