Kayaking in The Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary and Ships Graveyard Suprising Beauty. In the Adelaide Coast region of South Australia

A real "secret spot!" Best explored by kayak! Just 30 minutes from Adelaide CBD! Guided tours and hire. Transfer service from the Port Adelaide Visitor Information Centre on request.

The Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary is a "wetland of national significance" and one of Adelaide's "secret spots", an area of incredible beauty and ecological importance. The mangrove forests and sheltered creeks are home to a fascinating array of marine life, birds and the Port River Dolphins.The Ship's Graveyard is a unique feature of the area with over 20 "wrecks" to view. All of these make for a sensational kayaking adventure and kayaking is the most environmentally sensitive way to explore and interact with the animals that call it home.

Tours are conducted in double sea kayaks which are very stable, comfortable and easy to paddle. Single kayaks are available for hire. You can join a guided tour or hire kayaks; either way its great fun and safe. Tours and hire generally operate 4 days a week: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and most public holidays. See THIS WEEKS TOURS or our TOUR CALENDAR for the latest information. BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL! If the date you want is not available please enquire about a PRIVATE TOUR.

More info at http://www.adventurekayak.com.au/dolphin.html

Postcards 2009 day with Phil Doddridge's Adventure Kayaking SA

Kayaking in the Coorong: Amber paddles the Coorong in the Fleurieu Peninsula region of South Australia

If you believe all of what you see and hear in the media lately (this was in 2009), you'd think that this part of South Australia was bone dry. While the River Murray and the lower lakes are hemorrhaging, in this part of the iconic Coorong at least, there's still lots of water.

Phil Doddridge, Adventure Kayaking SA: "This area is tidal so as long as the sea doesn't dry up we're going to have plenty of water."

Phil Doddridge runs Adventure Kayaking SA and he's seen a distinct drop-off in the number of visitors down here for all the wrong reasons. He conducts full day kayaking tours through the Coorong and he says no two trips are ever the same, which is one of the things that makes this area so special.

Phil Doddridge, Adventure Kayaking SA: "The Coorong is still a pretty wild place. There's lots of places along here that are very infrequently visited and even in the short paddle that we've done so far you get the feeling that you're a long way from anywhere."

The Coorong is a shallow lagoon stretching more than 100 kilometres south of the Murray Mouth and is separated from the Southern Ocean by a spectacular range of sand dunes that make up Younghusband Peninsula.

Phil Doddridge: "The word Coorong actually comes from a Ngarrindjeri name, 'kurangh' meaning the neck. The Ngarrindjeri had a presence down here for many thousands of years and they actually lived in this area - they didn't travel around - they weren't nomads."

"This is Barker's Knoll, the first prominent dune on the Coorong. Barker's knoll is named after Captain Collett Barker who disappeared in this area after surveying a lot of the Fleurieu. He found the Murray Mouth and swam across to what is now the Younghusband Peninsula and was never seen again."

Barker was actually speared by Ngarrindjeri warriors who feared he was another rough sealer from Kangaroo Island.

Phil Doddridge: "This area is a major bird stop-off point on their migratory trail. Some of the birds down here have come all the way from Northern Europe and they appear every summer."

Recognised as being of international significance under the RAMSAR agreement, the Coorong is home to 200 species of birds. Further south though, a group of islands in the southern lagoon is a major breeding ground for the Australian Pelican. Perhaps even home to some offspring of Mr Percival, that lovable bird immortalised in Colin Thiele's Storm Boy.

Soon we arrive at Godfrey's Landing, one of the designated camping areas on Younghusband Peninsula and it's also one of the few areas with a track through the dunes.

Phil Doddridge: "Godfrey's Landing is named after Charles Godfrey who was a cockler in the area and a bit of a character."

The dunes change as we get closer to the ocean - less plants and a lot more wind-blown.

Phil Doddridge: "Just over this next dune is the southern ocean so this cops the full force of the winds coming off the ocean."

Soon, we climb one more dune and stretching out before us the Southern Ocean - too rough for kayaking today but that hasn't stopped Phil in the past. This former teacher has represented Australia in canoe polo - a fiery cross between basketball and water polo. He's also tackled some BIG kayaking challenges - including several trips across Backstairs Passage to Kangaroo Island, the Sir Joseph Banks group on the west coast and three paddles across Bass Strait to Tasmania.

Phil Doddridge, Adventure Kayaking SA: "Australian's are discovering kayaking and they are actually quite surprised at how easy it is and the fantastic places a kayak allows you to get that no other watercraft can."

We return to Godfrey's Landing where Phil's crew has fired up a seafood BBQ. It's a great way to finish a great day - spend the morning kayaking through the magnificent Coorong, walk the boardwalk across to the roar of the southern ocean and top it all off with prawns on the BBQ. Just proves the news isn't all bad down the end of the Murray."

Phil's Adventure Kayaking SA runs a number of kayaking experiences. From the Dolphin Sanctuary and Ships graveyard at Port Adelaide, Rapid Bay Caves'n'Cliff and, of course down at the Coorong. If you have any further questions please email bookings@adventurekayak.com.au or for bookings click here

Adventure Kayaking SA
Phil Doddridge
Mob 0429 019141
Ph. 08 8295 8812


Published 22nd March 2009

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