FAQ

Questions about paddling with us

The Myall Lakes Area

Are their many mosquitoes in the mangroves?

Mosquitoes tend to prefer stagnant water. The waters of the lower Myall River are tidal and constantly flushed by the ocean. Insects of all types will bother you less in a kayak, floating along the river, than they will on the shore.


Will we see dolphins?

Port Stephens is estimated to be the home of the largest colony of Bottlenose dolphins in Australia so the chances of a good encounter with these beautiful mammals is high. Dolphins are often in the river and they do sometimes venture all the way up to the Myall Lakes. We probably see dolphins on more than half the tours we do and we have had some amazing encounters with them over the years.


What are we likely to see?

We have had some amazing encounters with the dolphins while on tour. We pass by several historic ship wrecks and we glide through magnificent local nature reserves to see some of the most amazing and abundant bird life. We often see sea eagles, black swans, osprey, herons, egrets, curlews, godwits just to name a few.


The Kayaks

How comfortable are the kayaks to sit in?

All our kayaks, both double and single, are fitted with the extremely comfortable, high back seating that has revolutionised the comfort factor in modern kayaking. Guests often comment that they are surprised how comfortable they are.


Do we paddle double kayaks or single kayaks?

It’s up to you. We have both doubles and singles available for hire. Tours are usually in double kayaks where numbers allow.


Will we get wet?

The simple answer is yes! But not too wet. Wear shoes and clothes you do not mind getting a little wet.


What should we bring?

You are welcome to bring almost anything you like. There is plenty of storage in the kayaks. We do recommend that you wear a hat and sun-cream and if you have footwear that you don’t mind getting wet we recommend that you wear them too. You will get your feet wet just getting in and out of the kayak. We have dry-bags in which you can carry cameras, some people prefer to take the risk and carry cameras with them in their vest pocket – it is still a risk but only a small one. Of course you’re welcome to bring your own drinking water if you like but we do provide cold drinks and a light snack for everyone during the tour.


What age limits apply to participants?

Lazy Paddles has provided magical kayaking experiences for all age groups, our youngest participant to date was just 18 months old and our oldest was 83 years old. As long as we have a personal flotation jacket to fit, age is not a restriction. In most cases though, we do ask that each child under 12 be accompanied by an adult.


How stable are the kayaks?

The chances of tipping over accidentaly are very low. Of course it is possible but we provide good instruction on how to avoid a capsize. On the other hand, there are many days when the water is so inviting, you might like to capsize. Naturally, a larger person will find a kayak less stable (centre of gravity is higher) but again, we give good instruction to help avoid tipping over if you don’t want to. The Ocean Kayaks we use perform well below their capability on our sheltered Myall River tour.


The Tour

How many people go on a tour?

Unless it’s a special purpose tour, we do like to limit our group sizes to about 10 or 12 people to keep it small and personalised.


Will we get wet?

The simple answer is yes! But not too wet. Wear shoes and clothes you do not mind getting a little wet.


What should we bring?

You are welcome to bring almost anything you like. There is plenty of storage in the kayaks. We do recommend that you wear a hat and sun-cream and if you have footwear that you don’t mind getting wet we recommend that you wear them too. You will get your feet wet just getting in and out of the kayak. We have dry-bags in which you can carry cameras, some people prefer to take the risk and carry cameras with them in their vest pocket – it is still a risk but only a small one. Of course you’re welcome to bring your own drinking water if you like but we do provide cold drinks and a light snack for everyone during the tour.


What if I can’t swim?

We are more than happy to include people who can’t swim but we do like to know this before we go. Although most of the tour is in water less than a metre deep we still provide personal flotation jackets for both swimmers and non-swimmers alike. The jackets we wear are specifically designed for kayaking and do not restrict arm movement.


What age limits apply to participants?

Lazy Paddles has provided magical kayaking experiences for all age groups, our youngest participant to date was just 18 months old and our oldest was 83 years old. As long as we have a personal flotation jacket to fit, age is not a restriction. In most cases though, we do ask that each child under 12 be accompanied by an adult.


Will we see dolphins?

Port Stephens is estimated to be the home of the largest colony of Bottlenose dolphins in Australia so the chances of a good encounter with these beautiful mammals is high. Dolphins are often in the river and they do sometimes venture all the way up to the Myall Lakes. We probably see dolphins on more than half the tours we do and we have had some amazing encounters with them over the years.


From where does the tour leave?

We meet at Anzac Park on Marine Drive in Tea Gardens, but you do need to book first. Please note that we are not always in attendance, but if we know you’re coming we’ll make sure there is someone there to meet you.


What are we likely to see?

We have had some amazing encounters with the dolphins while on tour. We pass by several historic ship wrecks and we glide through magnificent local nature reserves to see some of the most amazing and abundant bird life. We often see sea eagles, black swans, osprey, herons, egrets, curlews, godwits just to name a few.


Where does the tour go?

To find out exactly where the tour goes, of course, you’ll have to come with us 🙂 We paddle in the Myall River, launching at Tea Gardens. We actually do a circuit, we don’t just paddle up and down the same route. We stop at many different points of interest along the way taking time to take it in as we go. The exact course can change depending on the conditions and tides at the time. We’ve conducted this tour thousands of times and it’s different every time.


What time do tours depart?

The exact time of departure varies from day to day – depending on tides and demand etc. Best to phone us regarding the particular day that interests you.


How long do the tours go for?

The whole tour is about two hours. It’s a very interesting two hours and a very leisurely two hours – it’s not called Lazy Paddles for nothing – there’s a lot to see in a very small distance from Tea Gardens.


What if I’ve never kayaked before?

Many Lazy Paddles’ tour guests have never kayaked before. The tour is specifically designed to suit both experienced and non-experienced paddlers alike. Our tour is a historical/nature tour and not just about kayaking. The route comprises a very leisurely paddle and does not cover a great distance at all, instead we prefer to visit special points of interest along the way. Before departure, your tour guide (certified by Australian Canoeing) will provide very clear and simple instruction on how to operate the kayaks.


What if the weather looks doubtful?

If you book with us, even though we don’t normally ask for advance payment or deposits, we do ask that you trust our judgment with regard to the enjoyment factor and weather. If the conditions are such that we think your enjoyment may be reduced, we will not hesitate to warn you in case you would like to cancel or postpone. For example, if the wind is strong and you think you’d like to cancel your booking we are only too happy to oblige. If the weather is calm and warm, but there’s a little rain about, please be advised that this is not just good for kayaking, it’s PERFECT for kayaking. Please don’t cancel in these conditions even though the booking is just a ‘handshake’ agreement.


How long has Lazy Paddles been operating tours in the Myall River?

Lazy Paddles was established in 2002. During that time we have helped thousands of people, safely enjoy kayaking in our wonderful local waterways. Today it’s not uncommon for us to be stopped by somebody, and told something like, “You may not remember us but you’re the reason we’re launching our kayaks right now”.