Paddling Adelaide

Tucked away in suburban Adelaide are some surprising and unique paddling destinations. Safely venture in your canoe or kayak to some very different places – all just a few kilometres from the city centre – and explore secret places and connect with nature. For instance, come to Port Adelaide to explore untouched mangrove forests and shipwrecks, all the while keeping an eye out for the local Port River dolphins, so welcoming and friendly, often-times joining you as you glide through the mangroves and backwaters.

Ships-graveyard-2-photo-courtesy-Verity-Hanel
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North Arm Ships Graveyard

The Garden Island Ships’ Graveyard, in the North Arm of the Port Adelaide River, offers paddlers a chance to experience part of South Australia’s early maritime history. The 26 wrecks at Garden Island are part of one of the world’s largest and most diverse ships’ graveyards, boasting the remains of sailing ships, steamers, motor vessels, ferries, barges, dredgers and pontoons. A unique glimpse into our seafaring past.

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Onkaparinga-Wearing-Street-launch-photo-courtesy-Ian-Heard
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Onkaparinga River Explorer

The Onkaparinga Paddle Trail offers an opportunity to explore a waterway most view from the bridges which criss-cross its length. A half day’s paddle can take you up the waterway from the sea to the town of Old Noarlunga, providing views of the abundant birdlife, with opportunities for photography, exploring backwaters, and even fishing.

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Mangrove explorers Paddling Trail South Australia
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Swan Alley Creek – Garden Island

Garden Island in the North Arm of the Port River provides access to Swan Alley Creek which meanders through the mangroves on the eastern side of Barkers Inlet. This circular route returns to Garden Island Boat ramp.

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Torrens Island Trail

Torrens Island circumnavigation makes a good day trip. The quickest route is to take advantage of the falling tide by travelling in a clockwise direction from the Garden Island boat ramp past the ships graveyard to the Port River. At its northern end it is possible with at least quarter tide, to pass through the cutting at the top of Torrens Island and return via Barkers inlet.

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Heading into South Para Paddling Trails South Australia
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warren reservoir loop trail

This is a great trail for families paddling around the scenic Warren Reservoir. There’s easy parking and launching your kayak or canoe is easy too. Here you have the option of a longer (9km) or a shorter (3+km) paddle into the South Para river.

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West Lakes South Australia

Circumnavigate Delfin Island, West Lakes, departing from one of several convenient access points around the lake. The trip is approximately 6-7km in length and the paddler remains in relatively protected waters. However, be cautioned that winds from S to SW can generate challenging conditions near West Lakes Boulevard bridges at the southern end of Delfin Island.

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MYPONGA RESERVOIR, NORTH ARM SHIPS GRAVEYARD, ONKAPARINGA RIVER, PORT RIVER, PORT ADELAIDE, GARDEN ISLAND, TORRENS ISLAND, WARREN RESERVOIR, WILLIAMSTOWN, WEST LAKES

SAFETY

Read this safety information page
before your paddling trip.

INFORMATION

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.