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At what age can I take my child kayaking?

Young child kayaking with family
You know your child best, and whether they would enjoy a kayak trip.

(Note: This information is relevant to kayaking in protected flatwater – which is what we have in South Australia’s sunny Riverland.)

We’re occasionally asked if we have restrictions on children kayaking. We love getting children out on the water (with their family) Because you know your child better than we do, we leave it up to you to decide, considering the following questions:

Will they enjoy themselves? (Youngsters often have a great time trailing their hands in the water, spotting birds, asking great questions etc)

Will they follow your instructions and keep their pfd on at all times?

Will they be happy sitting in the kayak for an hour or two, or however long you want to paddle? (Snack bribery often helps with this point)

Some suggestions to make it easier.

If you’re not sure, but would like to give it a go, we’d suggest booking a tour exclusively for your family, or doing a hire in a pleasant, grassy spot like Lock 4 or the Berri Marina, where you can have as much fun on the land as the water, and do your kayaking in short stints. On a tour we can arrange for an adult with a small child to sit in the front of a double kayak with our guide in the rear, doing all of the paddling, leaving the parent in the front free to attend to their infant.

A note on PFDs (“Life Jackets”)

It is important that a snugly-fitting pfd (personal flotation device) is worn by all kayakers, children and infants included. The SA Government website has more information PFDs. PFD’s are included in the cost of all hires and tours with Canoe Adventures, including children sizes – if bringing an infant, give us a ring to check that we have a PFD to suit.


Berri Kayaking Group 2019-2020 Season

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.

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.

Hope you’ll join us! – 04211 676 45


8-6-19 Paddle and Lunch

Hi Lovely Paddlers.

We miss you!

Come and join us this Saturday for a paddling trip, and then come to 919 wines for lunch and a glass of wine by the fire.

Kayaking cost for this extended paddle is $20 for a seat in a double kayak, and $30 for a single kayak.

Lunch cost is separate and will be around $5-10 for a glass of wine and $15-20 for the meal, which will be prepared by Peter Kent of Salt and Pepper Catering, and as an added bonus – Mick Kelly will be entertaining, and there will be fire to stand next to.

If you’d like to go to the meal, you’ll need to book in with them to help them with catering numbers. You can have a look at the menu on the Salt and Pepper Catering Facebook page.

We will be kayaking along Eckert Creek and the Splash, doing a one way trip. We will meet at Katarapko near the information bay at 9am, bussing to the start of the adventure, kayaking around 8.5km back to your cars, probably arriving there around 12:30. this trip will include one portage, and a shallow section. Then those who would like to join us can head to 919 – if you’re doing that you might like to put a change of dry clothes in your car, in the unlikely event that you get a bit damp.

So – where exactly are we meeting?

  • From Berri head towards Glossop and turn left onto Winkie Road immediately before the Berri winery. ***NOTE: Don‘t take the earlier turn onto Lower Winkie Road ***.
  • Follow the brown “Murray River National Park, Katarapko Creek” signs for about 10kms, into the national park (watch out for roos!)
  • 130m after the information bay veer left onto the track signed “Campsite 1-17” It will look like it is closed off – don’t worry – you’ll be turning left just before the gates.
  • After 150m turn left onto a track that takes you to The Splash. This is our meeting point.

Please reply to Kym via text on 04211 676 45 if you’d like to join us for the kayaking. Don’t forget to book in for the lunch, if you’d also like to do that.


Katarapko Creek access update – 2019

What’s happening at Katarapko?

Works are currently being conducted along parts of Katarapko Creek to construct a blocking bank, regulatory structures and a better access road. It is anticipated to finish in the first half of 2020.   This project is part of SARFIIP and is part of the Basin Plan, and aims to “enable the Pike and Katarapko floodplains to be sufficiently inundated with relatively modest water flows of 10,000 – 15,000 ML/day to South Australia.The same level of inundation would otherwise only occur with much higher flows of 70,000 – 80,000 ML/day.” *

What does this mean for you?  Well, besides the long term benefits of improved ecology, there are short term implications while the works are in progress :  Access to parts of the park, by car, are restricted. Campsites 2-17 of the Katarapko Creek Section, and the areas around them are a restricted zone, and some machinery noise can be heard in the area. A map here gives more information

The good news

The good news is that:

  1. Katarapko Creek is still open for kayaking, and is still a great overnight kayaking trip.
  2. Campsites 18 –39 are still open and bookable online.
  3. If you wish to camp sooner than reaching campsite 18 – you can camp on Katarapko Island (anywhere) or Clarks Sandbar (the first 30m from the river is public land)
  4. You can still portage around the Stone Weir (most easily done on the right when travelling downstream) however you are requested not to wander around there – simply portage and move on.
  5. When the project is completed even more wonderful paddling trails will be available during managed inundations – stay tuned!

What else do I need to be aware of?

  1. Flows in adjoining creeks – Eckerts, Widewaters, The Splash will vary during this time and may occasionally become too challenging for inexperienced paddlers – please check with us if you’re planning a trip along them.
  2. Vehicle access is still possible along Eckert Creek, at the Widewaters, and on The Splash 300m past the Katarapko Section information bay.
  3. During blocking bank construction Sawmill Creek is closed and Jarrett Creek does not have sufficient flow for paddling.

Kym Werner.

Canoe Adventures – Riverland


0421 167 645

Sawmill Creek, Murray River National Park – Katarapko Section

* (Ref – https://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/files/sharedassets/sa_murray-darling_basin/water/2016-sarfiip-faq-may-v2-gen.pdf)


Berri Kayaking Group

We’re feeling keen!   The Berri Kayaking Group’s 2018 2019 Season is underway.

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.

When do we meet?

We hold paddling trips
• weekly during term time, during daylight savings, on Tuesdays at 5:25pm, getting off the water at approximately 7pm.
• irregularly during non-daylight savings at different times on the weekend.

How fit do I need to be?

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