Paddling - Kayak & Canoe
12 Apostles Coast & Hinterland has interesting waters to explore for both beginner and advanced paddlers. Vistas range from the iconic pinnacles and sea cliffs of the Apostles, gorges and bridges to volcanic lakes and soothing estuaries.
If the conditions are right, paddlers will be treated to some of the most sublime seascapes imaginable including sea-sculptured cliffs, panicles, gorges and bridges. Being on the water gazing up at the towering features provides a unique aspect not accessible to most.
Viable put-in points are accessible at Port Campbell Bay and from the boat ramp in Bay of Islands Coastal Park.
Knowledge of local swell, sea, wind, prevailing conditions and sound judgment is necessary for safe experiences in this area. Paddlers attempting these waters need to be experienced and able to read ocean dynamics in a setting of multiple headlands, overhangs offshore stacks and reef platforms.
Paddlers will need to have a confident roll and sound self-rescue management skills. All groups should be carrying EPIRB, flares, compass, marine charts and tow gear. Sea fogs are common in summer (often without warning) convection fogs are more common in autumn and winter.
Always inform someone on shore of the groups intention and don’t paddle alone!
For less experienced kayakers or canoers, volcanic lakes and estuaries offer calmer waters.
Lakes & Estuaries Kayaking
For recreational paddlers, the volcanic lakes and estuaries around 12 Apostles Coast & Hinterland provide protected waters with fantastic exploration.
The Gellibrand River has a viable put in point on Old Coach Road West near the bridge in Princetown. The Gellibrand is navigable for around 12 km upstream and 1.5km downstream of this point. There are no practical upstream exit points (with vehicle access). Return trips are the only option. The upside of this is some picturesque upstream waters that are rarely traversed.
The Curdies River has a good estuary put in point at the boat ramp and jetty north of the Great Ocean Road (Irvine st). A good northern put in point can be found at Curdievale some 8km upstream. Best access is on the western bank and boat ramp car park although there is an informal jetty directly below the Boggy Creek Hotel. The river is currently navigable for around 4km upstream of this point.
Exploring our volcanic lakes by canoe and kayak is highly recommended Lake Bullen Merri and Purrumbete (near Camperdown), which at present have the best water levels. Other lakes can be navigable but low water levels mean you need to be prepared to get out and push through shallow sections.
A shoreline road at Lake Bullen Merri offers any number of put in points. Jetties and ramps are located at South Beach 4km south of Camperdown.
Currently a short portage is required from the boat ramp at Lake Purrumbete.
* Visitors will need to bring their own equipment to enjoy these paddling opportunities.