Frequently asked questions
Quirky, intelligent and entertaining, our team have been asked them all. Remember there is no such thing as a silly question so don’t be too scared to ask. If you don’t find what you need to know below, then please contact us.
Do you have double kayaks?
We use single kayaks which are extremely stable, comfortable and great for both beginners and experienced paddlers.
Never fear, if you fall behind or get tired, our guides will happily give you a rest by towing you along behind their kayaks. (This option is great for kids, although adults have been known to take us up on the offer too!).
Are there height and weight restrictions for the kayaks?
Our kayaks are wider but shorter than some kayaks—which makes them very stable. For the tall (or those with long legs) we may need to make adjustments for your comfort. Please send us an email and we can organise a trial set-up for you.
The weight restriction for our kayaks is 110kg/240 lb.
Do I need to book online?
All bookings and payments are made through our website and you will receive confirmation of booking via email (so please double check your email address).
We love connecting with all of you social butterflies on our social media pages, and you will often find tour availability there. But expressing your interest through social media does not confirm a space on a tour—always go to our website to book.
What if I haven’t kayaked before?
Our kayak tours and social paddles and a great way to experience kayaking for the first time. Kayak Guides will brief you on safety and demonstrate the best paddling techniques, ensuring you have a great time out on the harbour. Let us know if you are a ‘newbie’ on the paddle questionnaire, so we can give you all the pro tips before you hit the water.
Will we kayak under the Sydney Harbour Bridge?
All paddlers on a Sydney by Kayak tour will enjoy amazing views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and we’ll snap an oar-some photo of you with the bridge in the background.
Kayaking under the bridge however, is only guaranteed during the warmer months on the Sunrise Kayak and Coffee tour (as it departs before the ferries begin) Sunrise Breakfast Kayak and experienced groups embarking on the Private Brunch Kayak.
Depending on the weather and the experience of all the paddlers in the group, other tours may kayak under the bridge, but it is at the discretion of the guides.
To help us understand everyone’s abilities, please complete the paddle questionnaire at booking, telling us about your kayaking experience.
What if it is raining or windy?
Weather is notoriously difficult to predict, especially for a natural, sheltered harbour like Sydney, and experience has told us that the forecast is often incorrect. We would hate for you to miss out on a beautiful tour, so please arrive at the boat ramp regardless of the weather forecast.
We want your Sydney by Kayak experience to be memorable for all the right reasons and we will do our best to get you out on the harbour for an incredible, safe and memorable experience. Paddles will go ahead if it just looks a little wet, so pack your raincoat and sense of adventure!
Should it look unsafe for kayaking we will provide a store credit and/or an alternative date or a 90% refund. For those of you who are coming from afar and don’t want to make the trip to the boat ramp to see what the weather is doing, please call us the day before to discuss options.
What do I need to bring?
Just like a trip to the beach you will need sunscreen, water, hat, sunglasses and comfortable kayaking clothes that you don’t mind getting a little wet from paddle splash.
Thongs/flip flops are ok in the kayak, but water shoes are highly recommended to protect you from oyster shells on the beach.
What should I wear?
Be prepared for paddle splash and wear something you don’t mind getting wet, such as shorts, leggings, rash vest or comfy gym clothes. Winter Sunrise Tours can be chilly first thing in the morning, so add an extra layer or two, a windbreaker, gloves and a beanie.
Is there parking?
Lavender Bay has free parking for up to 2 hours on Lavender Crescent (off Lavender Street) and there is usually plenty of parking during our morning tours. Additional parking can be found on King George and surrounding streets.
What is included in the cost of the tour?
- All equipment including a single kayak, paddle and life-jacket (available in various sizes).
- Qualified, experienced and friendly guides/instructors.
- Full safety briefing and kayak instruction prior to departure.
- Pre-ordered barista made coffee, tea, hot chocolate or food as advertised for your tour.
- Free digital photos, taken by your guides.
Can I paddle with my kids?
Kayaking is a fun family experience and we welcome children 8 and above (children under 15 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian 18 years or above). Our Eco and Social kayaks are more suited to younger paddlers as they don’t involve an early start!
If your kids struggle, we have tow lines for you or your guides to assist.
Where do your tours launch from?
Our tours leave from the Lavendar Bay boat ramp. Meet by the boat ramp on Railway Avenue, at the bottom of Lavender Crescent in Lavender Bay.
What if I can’t attend a tour?
Spaces are limited on our tours so that we can provide a 5-star, personalised experience. We understand that plans sometimes change but we appreciate your advance notice so that we can offer the space to others.
In the event that you need to move your tour to an alternative date, click on the ‘manage my booking’ option in your confirmation email and follow the steps. Please refer to our terms and conditions for our cancellation and refund policy.
What does your kayak location look like?
We are a mobile business and you will not find a shed, shop or storage place at our launch sites If you arrive early and can’t see the Sydney by Kayak van or kayaks, don’t worry, our guides are probably picking up your hot coffees! Check your map on your confirmation email, to make sure you are in the right place.
What time do your tours start and finish?
Tour times vary throughout the year based on sunrise times. Most tours are two hours, with the exception of the Clean-up Paddle which is 90 minutes and the Eco Tour, which is 2.5 hours. This includes meet-and-greet, safety briefing, launch and paddle time.
View launch times, availability and pricing for specific dates by clicking on ‘Book now’.
Do you take corporate and private bookings?
We can create a corporate or private package to suit your needs from work gatherings, corporate social responsibility events, birthday parties, hen’s brunches and everything in between. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.