general and safety information

Planning to Paddle, Prepare to Float,  Kayaking and canoeing safely, Before you leave, Environmental and cultural considerations

USEFUL INFORMATION – including safety considerations 

Planning to Paddle

Check information about rules of water use, about sharing waterways, packing your kayak, and use a safety checklist for your fellow paddlers. As a guide when planning your route consider:

  • The paddling experience of your group
  • The time available
  • The suitability for the conditions of the equipment you are intending to use\
  • The camping facilities and equipment you have access to
  • The time of year
  • The water level especially in backwaters, tides
  • Emergency contacts
  • On smooth waters allow for a speed of approx. 4 km/h for adults, less for inexperienced paddlers or canoeists

Prepare a float plan

Download this Preparing a Float plan (PDF) and consider lodging it with someone responsible is advisable especially in case of multi-day trips. This ensures that you provide essential details about your group to an independent party and advise an estimated time of return after which they are to notify emergency services.

Kayaking and canoeing safely

Be smart. Paddle safe.

Download this kayak-and-canoe-safety-handbook – SA Govt Dept Marine and Boating

visit the SA GOV Kayak and Canoeing safety page

(PDF) The overriding purpose of this guide is safety. It outlines important regulations that paddlers should aware of and is presented in a concise and accessible format.

Before you leave

Check information about current weather, wave and wind conditions in the area where you are planning to paddle. Be aware that there may only be limited mobile coverage in the area where you are paddling. Other significant considerations might be the presence of fire bans (CFS website), the need to carrying fresh water, in addition to any requirement for permits for camping.

Environmental and cultural considerations

  • Dispose of washing water at least 100m from water courses, trails and campsites
  • Avoid using soaps or non-biodegradable detergent
  • Use toilets where they are provided or bury waste carefully
  • Pack to minimise rubbish, and take your rubbish home with you
  • Use gas stove for cooking
  • Respect wildlife and be considerate of other visitors
  • Leave natural and historical objects in place
  • Respect Aboriginal cultural sites
Paddling five checks BOM
Paddle SA is the governing body of paddle sport and recreation in South Australia. It leads and supports paddling in South Australia and encourages the safe exploration of our waterways. Paddling Trail South Australia has a range of Paddling Trails to suit different abilities. Know your ability.


Read this safety information page
before your paddling trip.


How to use maps and contact
Paddling Trails South Australia.

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Paddling Trail South Australia has a range of Paddling Trails to suit different abilities.

Know your ability

These are easy to access kayak and canoe trails through the Adelaide, Fleurieu Peninsula, Riverland, Murray River, and the Coorong.