For families with kids who love to kayak, constant questions revolve around distances, safety, weather conditions, and the frequency of snack stops.
Kayaking with kids
One trip our family has found is ideal, is paddling from the Gold Coast to South Stradbroke Island. There are a couple of routes we've found work well, this article will focus on paddling from Shearwater Park, which has a fair amount of parking, freshwater taps, and a little sandy beach, on the mainland at the Gold Coast, to South Currigee Campground on South Stradbroke Island.
Safety equipment is essential
Before we even leave home, we check our safety equipment. Essentials include life jackets, hats, sunscreen, insect repellant, and plenty of water bottles. We always seem to need more water than we expect at the beginning of the day.
Kayaking across the Broadwater
The Broadwater provides a wonderful location to kayak with kids. The distance from the mainland to South Straddie is quite manageable, especially if kids and adults team up on tandem kayaks. Paddling directly from Shearwater Park will take you past little sandbanks and through mangroves on the way to the island.
Mangroves are fascinating places for kids to explore
Once you land at South Currigee Campground there is a sandy beach for kids to swim and snorkel at, and shaded picnic areas for a well-deserved snack. There is also drinking water available if you are starting to run low, and mobile reception should you need help of any sort.
Arrived at South Currigee Campground
This is also a great time to reapply sunscreen and insect repellant, keeping the kids out of the water while they eat so that the sunscreen has time to take effect.
Snorkeling at South Currigee Campground
From here you can either paddle along the shore, or walk across the island to the surf beach. You can use bicycle locks to lock your kayaks to a picnic shelter or tree before walking across. We usually do this short walk, and have a play on the surf-beach side before heading back to the mainland.
Playing on the sand dunes on the surf-beach side of South Stradbroke Island
When walking inland on South Stradbroke Island, keep a lookout for wildlife including birds, goannas, and wallabies.
Which way did the wallaby go?
Kids can tire quickly, and as ours have grown we have always tried to keep in mind how much they can manage at their respective ages. Ensuring that each adult is able to manage the tandem alone should their child-partner need to rest, and that conditions are easy for paddling in, really helps to ensure that what feels like a big adventure to the children is actually easily manageable for the adults.
Kayaking through mangroves on the way home
Once back at Shearwater Park there are freshwater taps that can be used to wash down your kayaks and children before heading home for an epic nap!
Get them home before they tire!