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Canoes, Cool Climate Wines and Canapés in Kangaroo Valley

Home > Sydney > Escape the City | Food and Wine | Nature | Outdoor | Unusual Things to do
by Postcards from Shayne (subscribe)
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Published March 13th 2021
An out of the ordinary nature experience
It's not difficult to entice me to head out to explore and enjoy nature. Considering going for a bushwalk, I'm there. Heading out on the water in a canoe or on a paddleboard, count me in. Fancy a bit of forest bathing, where do I sign up? However, I am aware that there are some people that need that extra little bit of encouragement. If you're one of those people, I've got some great news for you.

There is a place where you can enjoy all the sights and sounds of nature and still indulge in the finer things in life. Introducing the Canoes, Cool Climate Wines and Canapés experience.

canoes cool climate wines canapes kangaroo valley experience nature group
Need an incentive to head outdoors? Try this unique nature experience


Canoes, Cool Climate Wines and Canapés is run by Experience Nature Group in association with Paddle and Portage Canoes. Sessions are run on select dates in two locations – Kangaroo Valley and Canberra.

We chose the Kangaroo Valley option and our meeting point was Bendeela Recreation Area, around a ten minute drive from the main street in Kangaroo Valley. Our guides for the session were Travis and Dan from Paddle and Portage Canoes while Amanda from Experience Nature Group provided the food and beverages.

We were blessed with beautiful and sunny, although very humid, weather for our session so sunscreen and hats were a must. After everyone had checked in Travis explained the geography of the area, the relationship of the river to the Tallowa Dam downstream, and the part this plays in the regions water supply. Then there was a short safety briefing, which included the correct way to hold the paddle, and after donning our life vests we were ready to step into our canoes.

canoes cool climate wines canapes kangaroo valley experience nature group
Your deluxe double canoe awaits


The custom-built canoes are not your average hire model. Imported from Canada, the attractive Wenonah canoes are rigged up to be a double canoe separated by a large central board which becomes your dining table. This set up greatly enhances the stability of the canoes making them virtually impossible to capsize according to our guides.

Our group of 20 participants was split up into groups of four and Travis and Dan assisted everyone into the canoes. Some people opted to remove their shoes so as not to risk getting them wet, however it is also possible to get into the canoe without touching the water if desired. The seating arrangements are up to you but if you want to talk easily to your partner you are better off sitting in separate canoes, directly across from one another, rather than one person at the front and one at the back of an individual canoe.

canoes cool climate wines canapes kangaroo valley experience nature group
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Kangaroo River


On this particular day, there were quite a number of other people on the water who were canoeing and kayaking. However, once we moved past the busy section of the river, near the campground, the natural attractions became more apparent and it was a very peaceful experience.

canoes cool climate wines canapes kangaroo valley experience nature group
A relaxing & peaceful way to spend a couple of hours


There was no set destination for our session. In fact, it is entirely up to you how far you would like to travel on the river. We headed downstream for a couple of kilometres before pulling over to the riverbank to enjoy the surroundings. Some people opted for a swim in the river, while others were happy to remain in the canoe. It's important to mention that the water here is still, there are no rapids or rushing water of any nature, ensuring that paddling is not strenuous at all.

As you would expect the food and drinks are one of the highlights of this experience and they did not disappoint. The table on the canoe is decked out with a water bottle, bento box and cutlery for each person. There is also a bottle of wine for each couple. For those who prefer beer, this is supplied on demand by Travis and Dan, who dart between the groups in their single canoes, sharing their knowledge and delivering beers from their esky.

canoes cool climate wines canapes kangaroo valley experience nature group
Indulging our tastebuds with savoury treats


The bento boxes held a variety of gourmet canapés including savoury treats such as mushrooms, mini smoked salmon pikelets and a chicken sandwich. Sweet treats included chocolate cake, passionfruit meringue, berries, grapes and dates.

canoes cool climate wines canapes kangaroo valley experience nature group
A selection of sweet treats for dessert


You choose your beverages before you go and there is a choice of white wine, sparkling wine, red wine or beer. The cool climate wines are from local wineries and I enjoyed quite a few glasses of Sauvignon Blanc from Cupitt's Estate, while the sparkling wine was Blanc de Blancs from Tertini in the Southern Highlands. By all accounts the choice of beer was also a winner, it was a dry ale Ration Beer from Eden Brewery in the Southern Highlands.

canoes cool climate wines canapes kangaroo valley experience nature group
It's not every day you can enjoy a glass of wine in a canoe on the river


As for wildlife we heard many unusual bird calls and managed to spot a large water dragon in a tree on the riverbank. Overall we spent around two hours on the water.

canoes cool climate wines canapes kangaroo valley experience nature group
Wildlife on the riverbank


Canoes, Cool Climate Wines and Canapés is run by Experience Nature Group. I would recommend it to those who enjoy spending time in nature as well as to those who need an extra incentive to head outdoors. With this experience all of the hard work is done for you, all you need to do is turn up and enjoy it.

For more information or to make a booking click here.

The canoes are supplied by Paddle and Portage Canoes.

Kangaroo Valley is located around 90 minutes south of Sydney.

canoes cool climate wines canapes kangaroo valley experience nature group
Paddles or art installation - you decide
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Why? A different way to enjoy nature
When: See website for dates
Phone: (02) 4877 1742
Where: Kangaroo Valley, NSW
Cost: See website for pricing
Your Comment
Fantastically different activity Shayne. I like the idea of combined canoes which means you can't capsize. The food looks appetizing as does the scenery.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|2826) 135 days ago
Love this idea, Shayne, so innovative ...
by Elaine (score: 3|8290) 135 days ago
Each one of those experiences sound great on there own let alone putting them together for a terrific experience
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|2985) 135 days ago
This is on my bucket list. I love the idea of canoes combined with food and wine. Brilliant!
by Maria-MPG Narratives (score: 2|885) 135 days ago
What a unique and beautiful experience. Looks lovely.
by Irenke Forsyth (score: 3|2457) 135 days ago
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