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.
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.
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.
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.
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.