Writer and photographer, driven by travel, unique people and new experiences.
Published May 20th 2012
Enveloped by verdant parklands, holiday cabins and a kayak shop, the bustle of the city disappears from memory as 'holiday mode' grips you.
A five minute walk to the beach offers a delicious breakfast. The morning sun encourages your body to give a heaving sigh. What a relaxing start to the day! The breakfast menu showcases a prime selection of egg dishes, as well as sweet dishes like French toast or croissant with butter and jam. Considering the calorie-burning day ahead, I go for French toast with maple syrup (and it's the best I've ever had).
Excitement grows as we walk back towards the lake and look forward to getting into our kayaks. After a quick check in at ProKayaks, we've got everything we need to make the most of the next two hours on this warm 20c day.
Our friend (who has been here before) suggests that we slip under the first bridge to the northern side of the lake. This large lake is divided by two bridges; the first creating a smaller lake on the north side then the second bridge crosses the lake before it narrows into a stream and bends towards the ocean.
The oddly shaped lake is crossed by two bridges before it meets the sea
The first bridge isn't too far from where we boarded our kayaks, so we head there. The water is so still only gently rippling. The trees and houses are beautifully reflected. We glide under the bridge to the north side of the lake, and we're met with a small island. We paddle closer and see a white heron standing one legged on a thick branch. We awkwardly try to slow down as we head towards the bird for a photo.
The heron takes off as we uncontrollably float closer to it
Large homes with grassed backyards open on to the lake between the first and second bridge. Some homes have small boats or kayaks tethered to fence posts. I paddle towards a small boat for a closer look and discover how shallow it is between me and my goal. The undulating floor makes the lake less than ankle deep in a lot of places here.
A light breeze comes in as we paddle towards the second bridge. People catch flathead fishing from a dinghy and pelicans hang out with seagulls on a sandbar hoping they can catch something. Paddling into this breeze is really wearing me down.
One of our group becomes marooned on a sandbar and tries to move the kayak to deeper water without getting out; he thrusts his hips, shuffling the kayak forward inch by inch. It looks hilarious. I burst out laughing and can't stop. The laughter revitalises me in light of being worn out.
Our attention is now focused on finding a way across this sandbar without having to get out of our kayaks. I take the fastest route as I just don't have the energy to go around; thankfully I don't get marooned.
We make it to the next bridge and its piles are covered in oysters. A man on the shore wades in to a rocky outcrop and collects some oysters, so we guess they're good enough to eat. Manoeuvring the kayaks to stay within arms-reach of the oysters on the bridge's piles is extremely hard work while the breeze teases us away. My fingertips are covered in painful slices, like paper cuts, from hanging on to the oysters and trying not to drift away. We harvest a few dozen and decide to head back to the south side of the lake.
Sulphur crested cockatoos chatter as they fly overhead. The day is just beautiful with blue sky and the warmth of the autumn sun. The satin green head of a Mallard duck bobs past my kayak and heads towards what looks like a bush turkey in the water. It's a black duck with a red comb on its head (I don't know what it is).
We keep paddling toward the bridge and pass under again. The water is much deeper here so we paddle close to the grassed backyards. As we float between the homes and another island, the entire lake becomes completely still. Everyone and everything is reflected perfectly in the water. You could be anywhere in the world right now.
The lake was intermittently still and flat, reflecting everything like a mirror
We decide to land on a small island and enjoy the view as we stretch our legs. Everyone says the day has been perfect, and it has! Its felt like we're on holiday in New Zealand or another country famous for its beautiful mirrored lakes.
We park on an island, stretch our legs and enjoy the view
I'm happy to start heading back to Prokayaks now; I am exhausted. The lake is still flat and sun is still keeping us warm as we paddle back. We unload the oysters, offload our kayaks and walk back to the car. When you get home, relive the fun you had (in comfort) by checking out your photos.
It is easy to have a great day with Prokayaks, just make sure the sun is shining!