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Exploring A New City On A Kayak

Exploring A New City On A Kayak

When visiting a city for the first time, we usually set off on foot and walk around as much as possible to explore our new surroundings. But occasionally it’s great to get a fresh perspective and do something completely different.

In Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania, we did just that by getting onto the Derwent River and going on our first ever kayaking adventure.

After meeting our tour guide Isaac at Short Beach in Sandy Bay (the former home of Errol Flynn), we were fitted for our life jackets and spray skirts and then given a quick safety lesson before eventually being let loose on the water.

Ready to go kayaking!

We felt like Olympians ready to paddle for the gold medal, but we soon learned that kayaking is a lot tougher than it looks! The person in the back of the boat is also responsible for steering using two pedals inside the kayak and multi-tasking when learning something new just isn’t easy.

Then there’s the technique of using the paddle properly to avoid getting saturated. Fortunately our skirts kept us relatively dry with the exception of a few stray drops here and there.

Despite the challenges we faced initially, it wasn’t long before we were paddling at a decent speed past some fisherman and rounded the bend into Sullivans Cove.

Kayaking with Hobart Skyline in the background

The two of us then paddled into Constitution Dock (the finishing point of the famous annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race) and were treated to a tasty snack of fish and chips without even having to leave the kayak.

Eating our fish and chips at Constitution Dock

Our tour didn’t end there though – we still had to paddle all the way back to Sandy Bay! We went under a couple of bridges, past several extremely expensive yachts and even a tall ship and a seaplane.

The most surreal experience on our tour was paddling past this massive Russian research ship that made us feel miniscule.

Isaac paddling past a Russian research ship in Hobart Docks

Throughout the tour Isaac pointed out plenty of interesting facts about Hobart and the Derwent River and was full of local knowledge. We asked plenty of questions along the way and he seemed to know the answer to every one of them!

Our tour with Hobart Paddle was tremendous fun and a superb way to see this waterfront city. If you’re looking for a new way to explore a city, see if you can go on a kayaking tour – you might just enjoy it as much as we did!

Would you ever take a kayaking tour as a way to explore a new city/destination?

Disclaimer: We received a free Urban Adventures day tour by winning a competition on yTravel BlogAs always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.


  1. Posted March 7, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Looks like you had a fun day! And congrats on winning that contest on ytravelblog!
    Ali recently posted..Milford Sound Overnight Cruise

    • Posted March 7, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      It was a fun afternoon! And thanks, we were pretty happy we could use the prize on something as cool as this.

  2. Posted March 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    So awesome–I’d love to explore a city via kayak. I’m usually happy on foot or on a bike–but that would be a really neat way to see Hobart! Loved just doing the ferry ride to MONA–the city is definitely best seen from the water :)
    Christine recently posted..Where to stay in Phuket: Bodega

    • Posted March 7, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      It was definitely a unique way to explore a new city, particularly since most of Hobart’s attractions are based near the water. MONA is on our to-do list for next time – 2 days just wasn’t enough to see everything we wanted to there!

  3. Posted March 7, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Love being on a kayak, but sadly it doesn’t happen too often. Great and unique way to see a city though…
    The World of Deej recently posted..Europe on a Budget – Defeating a Travel Oxymoron

    • Posted March 7, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      We would love to buy a kayak one day but they definitely don’t come cheap (the ones we rode on started at $3000). The next time we do it hopefully will be with the killer whales off Vancouver, Canada – now THAT would be an experience!

  4. Posted March 8, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Looks like a great way to explore a new city…. And kayaking is fun, did it in Thailand and Vietnam :)
    Kristina recently posted..some things about my life lately

    • Posted March 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      We would love to do it again somewhere else in the world! What’s it like in South East Asia?

  5. Posted March 8, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Looks like tons of fun! I’ve always wanted to go kayaking, but somehow haven’t done it yet. I think it would be a great (and different) way to get to know a new city!
    Amanda recently posted..Review: Propet Travel Walker as a Shoe For Female Travelers

    • Posted March 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Add it to the bucket list! I’m pretty sure they offer kayaking in Iceland haha…

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