I have lived on the Northern Beaches of Sydney for many years and have always looked at the people Kayaking and Paddle Boarding and thought I must finally try it. Of course I was a bit nervous as I've never done it before. Then recently a friend who organised a social group day at the lake with the idea that all could go Kayaking or Paddle Boarding followed by a barbecue. This was perfect for me as some of the group going had also never Kayaked.
It was a beautiful warm morning, unusually hazy skies,very little breeze, perfect for kayaking. I was so excited to be finally getting into a Kayak. I parked at the bottom of Devitt Street, Narrabeen and walked along the path only 5mins walk. You can also park at the bottom of Narrabeen Street, which will bring you right out to the Boatshed where Pro-Kayaks are. There is also a much larger car park further along at Narrabeen main shops area - Berry Reserve Car Park just off Pittwater Road to your left if heading North and their are no parking fees. Or if you don't drive you can catch a L90 bus from Wynyard Station click here for the transport timetable.
Our group had already claimed a picnic area with barbecue and set up. The ProKayak shop is part of the Boatshed building, which also contains the Boatshed Cafe and Bar and in the top floor is Limani Seafood Restaurant. It's really the ideal location to go Kayaking due to having such great facilities available. More importantly it would have to be one of the safest areas to Kayak due to it being such a calm and not overly deep lake.
The people that work at Pro-Kayak are very friendly and will set you up with what you need to get started. There are plenty of options to choose from to suit your level of ability. They were even selling last season's beginner level Kayaks for $400.
Some of our group chose the Paddle Boards, a few chose double Kayaks and I chose a single Kayak which was considered the easiest to maneuver. You can hire a single Kayak or stand up Paddle Board for $20 per hour. The double Kayaks are $30 for an hour. You even hire Canoes and Pedal Boats. The lake looked beautiful and calm. We were all excited to get into the water.
A staff member gave us a quick run down on how to use the Kayaks and then we were off. As I had never been in one, my friend Sam who is very experienced, gave me a few pointers on what to do and how to paddle correctly. The tip he gave me was to hold the paddle out in front of you at an even distance from the ends and as you dip it into the water you bring it out at hip level also twisting slightly using your shoulder muscles. To turn you used the paddle on the opposite side to where you wanted to turn. It seemed easy enough.
It was quite challenging at first to keep the kayak on a straight course but after a few minutes I took to it like a duck in water and there was a lot of ducks in the lake too! Once you knew what to do it was surprisingly easy and the beginner level Kayaks were very buoyant so you didn't feel like you would flip over at all. So off we all went.
One of our group has a very daring Dog that goes everywhere with him and he had no problem being at the helm of his Paddle Board. He was using his own Paddle Board so don't start bringing your Dogs to Pro Kayak they might look a bit perplexed at your passenger. I'm not sure if Rangers would fine you for this but I have seen Dogs on boats in the lake before so I imagine it is fine as long as you keep them on the Paddle Board. He was a very happy Dog and extremely well trained.
Narrabeen lake is not only perfect for Kayaking and picnics but it is also a very scenic spot. You can see beautiful bird life especially if you take off on your own to kayak in the quieter less busy areas of the lake.
So many great photo opportunities I could stay for hours. But my tummy was grumbling and I could smell barbecue wafting in the air. So back to land we went. Once again I have to say how perfect this Kayaking location is due to the facilities. Being able to either buy your food or bring your own picnic and barbecue.
I was really thankful my friend Sam organised the day and also for Travis who took some of the photos for me. All really enjoyed Kayaking and I personally would now like to buy one knowing how easy and fun it is. Do give it a try. You will love it on your own or with a group. It will prove to be a great day had by all.