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Sydney by Kayak

  • Things to do
  • North Shore
  1. Photograph: Peishan Tan
    Photograph: Peishan Tan
  2. Photograph: Peishan Tan
    Photograph: Peishan Tan

Time Out says

Get up at dawn and watch the sun rise from an enviable position

The most challenging part of the Sunrise Kayak and Coffee tour is getting up before 5am – but rising early gives you glassy waters and glorious photo opportunities that’ll make your hungover friends incredibly jealous on a Sunday morning.

Instructor Laura Stone, her husband Ben and their incredible team run dawn tours that make the most of Sydney Harbour before most people turn and hit snooze. They set up single kayaks at Lavender Bay Boat Ramp ready for the pre-sunrise meeting time – and while we’re learning the best way to hold our paddles, Laura is picking up everyone’s coffee orders from a local café.

Each raft has a custom coffee holder, and the cups keep the brews warm until you’ve paddled under the Bridge. The harbour water is velvety smooth, and the kayaks are very stable so you don’t need to work hard to paddle around Luna Park and into position as the sunlight hits Sydney Opera House.

Our fleet rafts up to enjoy the view, sipping flat whites and snapping away with our phones. There’s a photographer on each tour snapping pics that you can take home for free, but it's worth bringing a GoPro along if you have one for the ultimate action shots. 

Though the kayaks have glass-bottom windows the water’s still too dark to reveal any sea life – however, we do spot a fur seal frolicking by Blues Point Reserve. After an hour or so of gentle paddling we glide over to Sawmillers Reserve to check out the shipwreck. 

It’s one of the drier tours we’ve encountered; expect to get wet legs from paddling, but you probably won’t need that towel, or extra set of clothes. Though you set off in the dark, you’ll appreciate packing a pair of sunnies for when daylight hits.

Sydney by Kayak contribute $15 from every booking from their Clean Up Paddle tours towards ocean conservation charities, and to date, they've rasied over $51,000.

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Written by
Time Out editors


Lavender Crescent
North Sydney
Opening hours:
Sun 5-7am
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