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Stroke of genius – taking your teens canoeing in Noosa Everglades


When you hear the name ‘everglades,’ a fairy-tale scene of bubbling rivers and lush, shady green springs to mind. A canoe trip in the Noosa Everglades, accessible only by foot or boat, feels just like that – a secret, secluded immersion amid the stunning flora and fauna of the Great Sandy National Park. With Kanu Kapers, your troop of explorers can delve into Queensland’s first UNESCO biosphere via its waterways.

The Noosa river system ambles through diverse ecosystems and wetlands to its mouth at Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast. Equipped with a hardy double sea kayak, a day or overnight paddling tour with local supplier, Kanu Kapers, is a great way to get your family out on the water. They provide half, one, two or three-day expeditions that are either fully guided or self-guided.

The guided program caters to all ages and abilities. Newbies to the world of the paddle should tag along to the half-day guided tour which includes a quick canoe training, all equipment, a delicious brunch and a ticket direct to the most secluded locations! A full-day splash requires a medium fitness level and will involve exploring Lake Cootharaba, Fig Tree lake and the upper Noosa River, famously known as the river of mirrors. See if you can tell why! On two or three day overnight tours you will camp near upper Noosa River and get to see Cooloola National Park properly.

Self-guided tours with Kanu Kapers include all necessary equipment and extras – like your kayak, a paddling lesson, safety equipment, maps and landmark orientation. When you hire all equipment be sure to ask about the best spots to visit. Favourites on the list of must-sees are Mill Point, Kinaba Information Centre, Kin Kin Creek, Harry’s Hut and Lake Cootharaba, the largest lake in the river system, for a quick dip if it is hot!

Lake Escapades is another local provider offering all day or overnight trips from their base at Boreen Point on the western shore of Lake Cootharaba. Sleeping over at the riverside campgrounds opens up a whole new kind of Everglades magic, allowing you to enjoy activities on land like the extensive walking trails. The most popular trip is a 2-night camp using Harry’s Hut and Fig Tree campground as headquarters. When you finish, a water taxi will spare you the difficult paddle across Lake Cootharaba.

A delightful and unique way to spend time as a family in the great outdoors and marvel at the nooks and crannies of the Noose wetlands, canoe and kayak trips are best suited to older kids. Long days paddling can be exhausting and difficult, especially if you have never been in a canoe or kayak before. If you have keen kid kayakers, try a half-day trip.


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