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Kayaking from Wellington Point to St Helena Island

Home > Brisbane > Beaches | Day Trips | Escape the City | Free | Island Hopping
by Meg Forbes (subscribe)
Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane. https://www.instagram.com/megforbesphotography/
Published May 28th 2020
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Moreton Bay
Moreton Bay is a kayakers paradise, and especially so during the autumn and winter months when the waters are often calm. One fantastic route leaves from the beach at Wellington Point Recreation Reserve and goes all the way to St Helena Island National Park.

Kayaking across Moreton Bay from Wellington Point to Green Island
Kayaking across Moreton Bay from Wellington Point to St Helena Island


The beach at Wellington Point Recreation Reserve is an ideal launch for kayaks since there is a large amount of parking available, and motorised boats are not permitted within the small, calm bay. The beach here is affected by tides, however, which can be checked here, so it is best to plan your trip to leave and return within about 3 hours of high tide. This allows up to 6 hours paddling time for the trip.

This trip is best undertaken around high tide
This trip is best undertaken around high tide


The beginning of the trip is the most sheltered section since it follows the sand bar to King Island. However, once you get beyond King Island you find yourself in open water. The trip is easy to navigate since Green Island, your halfway stop, is closest on the horizon.

Approaching Green Island through the open water from Wellington Point
Approaching Green Island through the open water from Wellington Point


Coming in towards Green Island is beautiful, especially on calm days when it is possible to see right to the ocean floor which has a surprising amount of coral thriving on it here. There are also seagrass beds which many marine turtles and dugongs feed on. Both of these are frequently seen in the waters around Green Island.

The ocean floor is often visible through the clear water around Green Island
The ocean floor is often visible through the clear water around Green Island


The easiest beach to reach on this route past Green Island is also the most beautiful. Although some areas of Green Island are fringed by mangroves, this stunning beach is sandy and provides a great picnic stop. More often than not, visitors find they have this beautiful beach all to themselves. With this in mind, despite the beauty of this beach, its remote location means it is not ideal for swimming at if visiting Green Island alone.

Taking a break on the beautiful sandy beach at Green Island
Taking a break from paddling on the beautiful sandy beach at Green Island


After the break, it's time to get back to paddling through another open water zone to St Helena Island. I have found this stretch of water to be particularly popular with dolphins. They are often inquisitive and playful, diving under kayaks and coming up again unpredictably. This delightful behaviour unfortunately makes them incredibly difficult to photograph from a rocking kayak.

The beautiful, open water between Green Island and St Helena Island National Park
The beautiful, open water between Green Island and St Helena Island National Park


Once you reach St Helena Island it is time for another break. Unlike Green Island, St Helena Island is a national park that runs paid tours that include a boat transfer from Wynnum. For this reason it is not possible for kayakers or other informal visitors to explore the ruins by foot. The beauty is in the location, however, and it is a good place to refuel with a snack before heading back past Green Island to Wellington Point.

St Helena Island is a National Park that protects natural and cultural heritage
St Helena Island is a National Park that protects natural and cultural heritage


Although the specifics of this trip are fairly open to the whimsy of the individual kayaker on the day, I did once use my bicycle GPS tracker to see how far the trip was. The result was 18.1Km, on the route shown below.

Tracking the kayaking route from Wellington Point to St Helena Island
Tracking the kayaking route from Wellington Point to St Helena Island


There are a couple of inherent risks on this route, and for that reason it is best undertaken with at least one other person and a registered personal location device. A high visibility life jacket will help keep you visible to motorised boats that may cross your path. There is no fresh water available at Green Island or St Helena Island, so taking a little more than you expect to need is advised. When checking the tides it is always wise to check the local weather forecast, especially for changes to the wind or rain forecast. Additionally, sunscreen and a UV protective hat and clothing make for a far more pleasant day out on the water. Lastly, always let someone know when to expect you home so that they can call emergency services if you don't make it back on time.

Safety is key to an enjoyable day on Moreton Bay
Safety is key to an enjoyable day on Moreton Bay


Kayaking from Wellington Point to St Helena Island is one of the most beautiful routes on Moreton Bay. For this reason, taking a waterproof camera along is definitely recommended. That way, your adventure can live on even once you are back on dry land.

Almost home - approaching Wellington Point Recreation Reserve
Almost home - approaching Wellington Point Recreation Reserve
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Why? A fabulous day out enjoying the natural beauty of Moreton Bay
When: Anytime
Phone: 07 3829 8999
Where: Wellington Point on Redlands Coast, 2A Main Rd, Wellington Point QLD 4160
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Do you think this would be suitable for a child? Capable 8 year old.
by Kerenza Korostovetz (score: 2|163) 34 days ago
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