#15 Kayak down the Brisbane River

One activity that I had been to try for the several years that I have lived in Brisbane is kayaking down the Brisbane River.

The Brisbane River is pretty big and very brown, so it’s not so pretty in itself.
However Brisbane is a river city and the it winds around the suburbs, including my own and the CBD before heading out to the bay.

There is a centre that runs all sorts of outdoor activities located on the river by the Kangaroo Point cliffs – aptly named Riverlife.

The Kangaroo Point cliffs are made up of volcanic rock and were previously quarried for building materials and they just happen to be directly opposite the CBD. Therefore, the cafe at the top of the cliff has amazing views across to the city.     IMG_1834I caught up with a friend over coffee at the cafe and we headed down the steep narrow steps in the cliffs that are always packed full of fitness nutter running up and down… Watch out as training on these steps should really be classified as a contact sport!

IMG_1760The park at the base of the steps is a lovely tranquil spot, with BBQ areas allover the place.

There were 4 of us in total that went along for the paddle, which we got a steal for $25 thanks to my friend spotting an online voucher.

IMG_1761We got kitted out in our life vests and climbed down to the kayaks. The most difficult part is landing your bum in the kayak seat.
As an extremely accident prone/clumsy person I was fully expecting to land myself in the river and immediately be eaten by a bull shark… However, I am here writing this blog post so you can be reassured that thankfully I survived!

IMG_1831I had really hoped to be paddling downstream underneath the Storey Bridge, my favourite bridge in Brisbane (yes I am the kind of person that has favourite bridges). Alas the tides were against us and so we headed upstream towards the cultural centre. Whilst slightly disappointed this means I will just have to go again!

As this was the first time I had been kayaking out on the Brisbane River and as it has quite strong currents and lot of river traffic we opted for a guided paddle. If you are more confident/experience or even just feeling antisocial then it’s possible to hire kayaks to use on your own.

We headed out past the cliffs, watching people fishing along the river and edge and the climbers scaling the cliffs. The weather was quite overcast, which was good in some ways as it wasn’t too hot and sun-burny.

We rounded the steam tug Forcefull, at the Queensland Maritime Museum and worked our way under the the Goodwill Bridge and up to the eastern end of Southbank.
As we were going against the current on the way upstream, it was pretty hard work at times. I notice that I definitely paddle harder with my right arm – I need to be working out the left arm more to even out the strength!
It was quite funny all paddling along with some people zipping back and forth.
When we passed boats or ferry moorings you really felt the pull of the current dragging you in towards them. There were quite a few kayak collisions, especially when we would pause when a CityCat came past, a bit like kayak bumper cars. The wake created by the passing boats was also quite good fun.

After what felt like no time at all it was time to turn around and head back.

Heading back downstream with the current there was need to paddle at all, just sticking an oar in every now and again to steer. It was very relaxing. There’s really good views of the CBD on the way back too!

IMG_1832Halfway back and the skies opened, we sheltered under the bridge for a few minutes before submitting to the downpour. It was really quite nice and refreshing, but not so great for those wearing glasses!

Getting the kayaks all lined back up to be moored was interested, trying not to float off downstream with the current!

Everyone had a good time and we all felt energised afterwards.

IMG_1833Myself and Esther got clean and dry and headed to the cafe on the cliffs for a spot of lunch.I had a nice tuna nicoise salad, Although advertised as lightly seared I would have said the fish was well cooked, which was slightly disappointing, but the flavours were lovely.

The rest of the day was generally spent chilling out as I felt that with kayaking and lunching I had pretty much achieved all I needed to that day!

Great day out with great friends – thanks ladies…
So who wants to go again… 🙂

Oh and have another view of the city just to finish off…


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