Sea kayaking challenges, white water thrills or tranquil river canoeing – you set your pace in Western Australia 

On WA’s wild and tranquil rivers and stunning 12,500 kilometre coastline, you’ll find plenty of kayaking action, white water rafting thrills, canoeing challenges and sea kayaking adventures.

Kayaking and canoeing tranquil rivers

One of the best ways to take in Perth’s iconic city skyline is from the seat of a kayak on the Swan River. There are a number of places to hire and launch your craft along the foreshore. Venture to the river’s upper reaches and find yourself a spot for a lazy lunch at a Swan Valley winery.

The tall timber forests of the South West are fed by many meandering rivers that are blissfully flat and tranquil for much of the year. Head to Bridgetown or Augusta for a Blackwood River kayaking or canoeing experience, or go a little deeper into the diverse woodlands of the Frankland River near Walpole.

In contrast, the Murchison River in Kalbarri National Park will lead you through a spectacular 400-million-year-old outback landscape of rugged red rock gorges and curious rock formations. Go kayaking or canoeing here between July and October and you’ll also be treated to one of the world’s most striking displays of wildflowers.

Catch the white water rafting action

For the biggest rush of all, be sure to head for the Avon River in August, when it plays host to the annual paddle craft and power dinghy event – the Avon Descent. Test your skill, or watch hundreds of participants tackle the gruelling 124-kilometre course from Northam to Perth.

Good winter rains also bring white water rafting thrills to the Murray River, near Dwellingup, and the Collie River, at Collie. Amateurs and pros will enjoy the drops, waterfalls and grade 2 to 3 rapids.

Seek a sea kayaking adventure

Sea kayaking gets you closer to the amazing marine life of WA and the wonders of its World Heritage listed marine parks. Float over the pristine coral gardens and aquamarine lagoons of Ningaloo Reef, spotting turtles, rays and a rainbow of tropical fish. Paddle with friendly dolphins and the world’s largest population of dugongs in Shark Bay Or meet the world’s smallest penguin and rare Australian sea lions on a sea kayaking trip to Penguin Island, near Rockingham.

Ask local hire companies for details of the top spots, or join an organised kayaking, white water rafting or canoeing tour.