Born and raised in the Netherlands I basically breathe water. So what do you do when you get the opportunity to join in on a kayak tour? Ow yes count me in please! And what if this tour includes delicious wine, beautiful sunsets and (my all-time favourite) tasty cheese! Then you got me hooked. It’s time to hit off and explore the inland waters of Queensland; it’s time to Kayak the Gold Coast!
As a real backpacker, I’m not a massive fan of planning. So one hour before kicking-off I decided that it might be time to figure out where the tour was leaving from (ahum). A call to my tour guide Leana appeared to solve the ‘problem’ in now time. The tour left only a 2-minute walk away from the tram stop. As easy as life can be: It took me less than half an hour from Bunk Hostel in Surfers’ Paradise to the starting point of the tour.
Leana was already awaiting me with her van and trailer filled with kayaks. I’m teamed up with Ilona, another traveller from Sweden, to sail a double kayak. The double kayak appeared to be the best thing ever: The tie was causing quite a strong stream. At least with the double kayak, I had my life saviour Ilona with me to compensate for my endless amount of paddle-breaks to take pictures and videos. (thanks chick, you’re the best!)
The water maze
Whoever takes a look at a map of the Gold Coast, must have noticed that there’s almost an endless maze of rivers and canals in the city. The kilometres and kilometres long network of water stretches out to the far end of the suburbs. “Do you know that Gold Coast has more waterways than Amsterdam and Venice combined?”, Leana asks me, while we’re slowly paddling along one prestigious waterfront real estate after the other. “Wow? Seriously?”. Coming from Amsterdam myself, I can hardly believe it. Although I have to admit, the further the tour the more reality starts to kick in. The Australians definitely beat us on this point.
We paddle on a relaxed pace through the various landscapes of the outer suburbs of this vibrant city. We cross mangrove forest, private little islands, Miami-worthy-villa’s and a beautiful view of the skyline of Gold Coast. Leana explains all she knows of the area. From the birds we see, to the history of the area, to the current way of life of the ‘Coasters’.
It doesn’t take a long time to figure out that Gold Coast and water are irreversibly connected with each other. All the houses on the canals have pontoons, kayaks or at least a jet ski.
“The first canals were built in the 1950s and construction of new canals continues up to this day” Leana explains when we reached a massive water-crossing-point. “Nowadays we have more than 890 kilometres of constructed waterfront land within the city. Housing over 80.000 residents.”
Wining and dining
We stop at a little inland beach and pull the kayaks on shore. Leana came fully prepared and pulls out a coolbox, or as I should say it in proper Australian: an eski. There’s a delicious bottle of wine, some drinks for those who aren’t in an alcoholic mood, all sorts of tasty nibbles to catch up with the calories we burnt and….CHEESE! Honestly, you cannot make a Dutch girl any happier!
Here comes the sun
After some seriously satisfied tummies, we push the kayaks back in the water and continue our little journey. The sun starts to set, causing a scenic colour show in the sky. People start to come back home from work, filling up their gardens with family dinners and little home-picknicks. Some residents pull out their boats to enjoy the last hours of sun of the day. There’s no doubt about it. Here in Gold Coast the people definitely know how to live the good life.
The tour is perfectly suitable for everybody. The kayaks are really light what makes paddling very easy. Leana and Alicia keep the amount of participant in the tours small, which makes the tours relaxing and a perfect outdoor activity. It’s a great way to explore the city and enjoy the skyline and picturesque sunset. For those travelling as a couple: trust me you’ll score big points with your other half booking in this tour ;).
Want to come and explore the inland waters of the Gold Coast as well? Kayak the Gold Coast has offered Backpacker Deals a unique discount of $10 per head! Check out here!
Looking for a wildlife adventure? Check out the full day kayak to Burleigh Wildlife Park.