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.
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.
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.
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
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.