Existing in that space between consciousness and coffee.
Published April 9th 2022
In a place you may not even know of, on Kaurna land, is South Australia's very own protected dolphin sanctuary.
Travelling over the bridge, not far from Largs North, Osborne and Port Adelaide itself, and onto Garden Island, you leave the industrialised areas behind in favour of centuries-old mangroves and glittering blue water.
The dolphin sanctuary is home to over 30 wild dolphins who use the waters of the river to play, take care of their calves and feed - and by booking a mangrove or ship's graveyard tour with Adventure Kayaking SA, you can see some of these wonderful creatures up close for yourself.
Adventure Kayaking SA has been operating since 1998, "ensuring adventure is alive in Adelaide, South Australia. Kayaking and stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is fun, safe, and (with us) suitable for all ages and levels of experiences."
The waters at Garden island are calm, clear and not too busy so if kayaking isn't something you're too familiar with it won't be a problem. The guides are friendly, knowledgeable and happy to go at any pace that suits the group or individual.
There are double kayak options for those adventuring with a child or friend, and there are single-seat options too.
You'll get a run-through of how to paddle, turn, stop and dodge the mangroves - but remember, you need to stay at least 50m away from any dolphins that you come across!
If you sign up for the ship's graveyard tour as well as the mangroves, you'll get to paddle around the Santiago, which is the oldest of the wrecks in the area. Launched in 1856, it's a rare still-visible example of an early vessel made of iron and not the traditional woods.
The mangrove tour on its own is roughly 90 minutes, but if you do the extra graveyard paddle you'll need to be prepared to spend about 3 hours at Garden Island and out on the water - pack a drink bottle, sunscreen and mosquito repellant.
While the kayaking adventures are not necessarily difficult, if you have mobility issues it might be worth a conversation with one of Adventure Kayaking's experienced guides before you sign up.
Autumn is a great time to get out to these tours too, as it's not blistering hot - and if the state government offers the 'Great State Vouchers' again, you can use these with the company to book.
So why not head out into the wilds and support a local business, hopefully spotting some beautiful dolphins and other wildlife in the process.