Berri Kayaking Group – all you need to know.
Who are we?
Berri Kayaking Group (organized by Canoe Adventures – Riverland) is a bunch of friendly people who enjoy getting out on the water to enjoy the scenery and get a bit of casual exercise.
Read on for more information about where and when we meet, fitness and experience levels required (or NOT required!) how to access a kayak, and much more.
When does the Berri Kayaking Group meet?
The Berri Kayaking Group is recommencing on THURSDAY October 17th, 2019, at 5:25 pm sharp.
We hold paddling trips weekly during term time, during daylight savings, on Thursdays at 5:25pm, getting off the water at approximately 7pm.
(We also meet irregularly during the cooler months on the weekend at different times.)
How fit do I need to be?
We can accommodate almost any fitness level. Sometimes we do one-way trips – on these the faster people, who want to push themselves harder than everyone else, can simply kayak further past the exit point and then return to the exit point at the designated time. On round-trips the faster people simply paddle further before the turn-around time. Our routes are selected so that they can be completed in an hour and a half by a person of below-average fitness.
If your knees will let you get into and out of a kayak and you can sit with your legs out fairly straight in front of you, (all our kayaks have backrests) you sound like our kind of person! And there is always someone nearby to help you into and out of your kayak.
What if I’ve never kayaked before?
No problem! With a qualified kayak instructor and a qualified kayak guide running the show you’ll be paddling well in no time.
Do I need my own kayak?
Most of our participants hire kayaks from us at a cost of $25 for a single kayak or $17.50 for a seat in a double kayak – and you don’t need to supply the other person for the double – there’s always someone willing to team up. (Prices as at 1/10/19)
OR you can bring your own kayak. We charge $10 for one-way trips, this covers co-ordination and logistics, such as getting you and your kayak reunited with your car, at the end of our one-way trips. For round-trips the cost is $5
How do I get involved?
Give Kym a ring on 04211 676 45 and he’ll set you up on our text message booking system. We’ll text you a reminder each week on Wednesday, telling you where to meet (as it changes frequently throughout the season.) It is important that all bookings or cancellations are texted in before 3pm as we don’t want to either not have enough kayaks, OR have too many, as we can’t risk leaving them unguarded on the riverbank.
There is a facebook page for the group called “Berri Kayaking Group”. This sometimes gives a bit of extra information. Please note that it is NOT necessary to join the Berri Kayaking Group facebook group, and please DON’T communicate bookings through facebook.
Where do we paddle? The route varies week-by-week, and is mainly weather-dependent: If it’s windy we’ll take you somewhere sheltered, and if it’s not windy, we’ll take advantage of going in the more exposed locations. We do a mixture of return trips and one-way trips, making use of our bus. For one-way paddles we meet at the finish point, bus to the launch point and then paddle back to our cars. For return paddles we start and finish at the same spot.
Paddling locations include Eckert’s Creek, Jarrett Creek, Gurra Gurra Creek, Sawmill Creek, Ngak Indau Wetlands, Booky Cliffs, Ajax Achilles Lakes, and along the river. Our winter paddles go a bit further afield and may include Rilli, Katarapko, Pike River, the many creeks immediately north of Renmark, and Loch Luna.
What do we actually do?
We meet at the texted location at 5:25pm sharp, collect payment (correct change is appreciated, if possible), fit PFDs (Personal flotation devices – or “life jackets”) – make sure your footrests are on the right setting for you, give a safety briefing and basic instruction to first-timers, let you know where we’re headed, and set off. We’ll also ask you to fill out an indemnity/health form.
People generally go at their own speed, spread out along the right-hand side of the river. People wanting to push themselves have the option paddling past the exit point, and then making sure they head back to the end by 7pm. People wanting a relaxing paddle, or people feeling a little unsure of their ability are also catered for: We aim to always have one confident paddler at the end of the string of paddlers.
Unfortunately we’re not mind-readers, so if you’re wanting more detailed instruction, or wanting the confidence of having our qualified kayaking instructor Kym next to you, PLEASE let us know.
I am larger than average. Will I fit into a kayak and life jacket?
Our PFDs (personal flotation devices) are sized up to XXXL with kayaks/canoes to match. If you have special needs, e.g. a kayak with a larger cockpit or higher weight rating, please let us know at the time of booking and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Do I need to be able to swim?
No – Read out blog post
Will I get wet?
Our kayaks have been selected because they are all very stable. Capsizing is a rare event and will only happen if you lean a long way to one side. We recommend going in a double for tentative first-timers. We have never had a double kayak capsize.
Also – some people’s unique paddling styles do splash enough water to get clothing wet. On cooler days we recommend having a change of clothes in your car, just in case. Please make sure that any valuables (phones, car keys etc) are stored in waterproof bags AND secured to the kayak. We have dry bags available for purchase.
What should I wear?
We suggest beach shoes and sun-smart styles. Synthetic fabrics are best for cooler weather (as they dry more quickly) . Keep the natural fibres for the heat. Don’t forget your sunnies, hat and sunscreen.