FAQ

Do you have double kayaks?

No, we don’t. We have single kayaks for our
tours, which are extremely stable, comfortable and great for beginners and
experienced kayakers. If you haven’t kayaked before or if you have only paddled
a double, don’t worry. These little kayaks are perfect for our leisurely paddles
and if you do fall behind or get tired, our Guides will happily tow you along
behind their kayak to give you a rest. (This option is very popular with kids,
although adults have been known to take us up on the offer, too!)

Do you have height and weight restrictions for
your kayaks?

Yes. Our kayaks are fairly wide, which makes them
very stable. They are also quite short in length, compared to other kayaks, so
if you are on the taller side (or simply have long legs) we may need to make
some adjustments to make you comfortable. If in doubt, send an email and we’ll
see if we can organise a trial set-up before you book or head out on the water
with us. The weight restriction for paddling a Grifinn is 110kg/240pounds.

Do I need to book online?

Definitely! We use a
variety of advertising streams and social media platforms, so the easiest way
to know if you have RSVP’d and officially booked one of our available kayaks,
is to book and pay via our website booking system. If you have simply RSVP’d on
one of our adverting sites (such as Facebook), but you haven’t booked and paid
via our booking system, you may run the risk of missing out on the day. Please
make sure you enter your email address correctly when booking, so you receive our
confirmation email.

What if I haven’t kayaked before? 

That’s OK! If you are
new to kayaking, please make sure you select this on the pre-paddle
questionnaire. We tend to split the (Sunrise tour) groups up into more experienced paddlers
and beginners, with a Head Guide on each tour. Your Guide will spend some
time going over safety and technique before heading out on the water. For
your first paddle, we also suggest trying one of our shorter paddles first,
such as our Sunrise tour. Our “Couples Tours” are a great one for new
paddlers, too!

Will
we kayak under the Sydney Harbour Bridge?

This
is not a guarantee. Generally,
the
only tours that definitely go under the harbour bridge are the Private Kayak
and Brunch tour, which is for experienced couples, and the Sunrise Kayak and
Coffee during the warmer months, when the tour departs before the ferries start.
Other tours might go under the bridge, but this is at the discretion of your Guide.
You will definitely get to see the Harbour Bridge and have your photo taken in
front of it, but you will only go under the bridge if your Guide feels the entire
group is capable and comfortable to do so in a timely manner. It can get choppy
under the bridge and once the ferries have started, it can get very busy with
boat traffic. If there are new, slow or nervous paddlers in the group, your
Guide will hug the shore and head around Blues Point instead.

If
you would like to guarantee a paddle under the harbour bridge, please book into
our summer sunrise tours or consider one of our Private Couples Tours and tell
us about your kayaking experience, so we know you’re confident in paddling
under the bridge.

What if it is raining or windy?

Generally, kayaking
sessions will be cancelled in bad weather. We want you to enjoy
your paddling with us, and of course, be safe. We therefore don’t expect
you to kayak in wet, windy conditions.

Our Kayak Guides and
Instructors are trained to read wind, wave and tide forecasts. For your safety,
if the weather looks unsafe for kayaking, we will cancel in advance and
reschedule for a later date. If you are unable to attend a future tour, we
will happily offer you a full refund. This decision is generally made at
4.30pm, the day before each tour (after the final weather report for the day).

What do I need to bring?

Think about what you
might need at the beach. Sunscreen, water, hat, sunnies, comfortable kayaking
clothes, (so something you don’t mind getting a little wet). We also recommend
you bring suitable water shoes. Thongs/flip flops are OK, but if we’re getting
out on a beach, we highly recommend proper wet shoes to protect you from oyster
shells on the beach.

What should I wear?

You are very likely to
get wet from paddle splash, so wear something you don’t mind getting wet in,
such as shorts or leggings, rash vest and comfy gym clothes. In winter, on our
Sunrise tours, we highly recommend an extra layer or two and a windbreaker,
plus gloves and a beanie. It can be a little chilly first thing in the morning.

Is there parking?

Lavender Bay has free
parking for up to 2 hours on Lavender Crescent, just off of Lavender Street.
There is usually plenty of parking during our morning tours.

Our Tunks Park
location has a car park on Brothers Avenue, near the boat ramp. It is free and
untimed, but can get very busy with dog walkers, fisherman, other kayakers and
kids sport on the weekends. Our advice is to give yourself an extra 10-15
minutes to get a spot (just on weekends). Weekdays in Tunks Park is usually
fairly easy.

 

What is included in the cost of the tour?

Our “Sydney by Kayak”
vans carry everything we need to take groups of paddlers out on the water.
This includes single kayaks, paddles, life-jackets in varying sizes, towels for you and even small
towels for your hands/phones whilst kayaking, a passionate Kayak
Guide/Instructor or two, and of course, we will also order your coffee and/or
food that is advertised for the paddle. Our Guides will also take photos of you
and send them to you after the tour via Airdrop or email.

Can I paddle with my kids?

Yes, however all paddlers on
Sydney by Kayak tours must be 8 years of age or above. Unless previously arranged in writing with us. All children
(under the age of 15) must be accompanied by a guardian 18 years or above.
If your kids struggle with any of our tours, we have tow lines that can
either allow you or our Guides to assist with their paddling.

What locations do your current kayak tours launch from?


Lavender Bay Boat Ramp
 –
meet by the boat ramp on Railway Avenue, at the bottom of Lavender Crescent in
Lavender Bay.
Tunks Park Boat Ramp – meet on the grassy area next to
the boat ramp on Brothers Avenue, Cammeray.

What if I can’t attend a tour?

In the event that you need to move your tour to an alternate date, we have made it simple, just click on the manage my booking option in your confirmation email, and follow the steps to reschedule, alternatively  or obtain a refund. Simply,  that you have booked, you need to log-in and cancel/reschedule online within 24 hours of the tour, or you will forfeit that tour. Spaces are limited, so if you can’t make it, it’s only fair to give someone else the opportunity to kayak that day.

What does your kayak location look like?

We transport
all of our kayaks and equipment in the back of a hi-ace van, so if you arrive
at the boat ramp early and you can’t see any kayaks, don’t panic. You are most
likely in the right place. We just haven’t arrived to set up yet (your Guide
will probably be at the coffee shop, collecting your hot coffees!). We don’t
have a shed, shop or storage place and there are no signs, so please refer to
the map on your confirmation email to see if you are in the right place.

What
time do your tours start and finish?

Most of our Lavender
Bay tours are two hours long, with the exception of the brunch tour, which is
three. We recommend allowing two hours, including meet-and-greet, safety briefing,
launch and paddle. Tour times vary throughout the year, based on the sunrise
time and the sunrise tour return time. The best thing to do is head to our
website and go through the beginnings of the booking process to view all of our
availability, pricing and launch times for specific dates.

Do
you take bookings over the phone?

No, we don’t. We
are a husband and wife team and we are on the water most of the day. We don’t
have a reception team, so all of our bookings are done through our website. We
require you to go through the booking process online, entering coffee orders and
kayaking experience of each paddler, medical notes and terms and conditions. Once
you have filled in all of the questionnaires and contact details, you’ll be
emailed a confirmation email. (If you don’t receive it, it’s usually because of
an error in the email address entry).

Why don’t you have a
phone number?

Being a family
run business with both of us on the water all day, we struggle to take everyone’s
calls. We try to keep our costs down by not having a reception team and we like
to keep things simple. We try to answer as many questions as possible via our
website and if you can’t find it, we ask you to send us an email, so we can
respond when we get home. If you really want to talk to us, send us your phone
number and we’ll call you when we’re off the water, but first, please see if
you can find what you’re looking for on our website
😉

Do you take corporate and
private bookings?

Yes, we do. If
you would like to organize a private paddle, special event or corporate
booking, please email laura@sydneybykayak.com.au
with the details of what you are hoping to book. Please include number of
paddlers, time and date preferred, inclusions (coffee, birthday cake, brunch
etc.) and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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