G’day nature lovers,
I love kayaking. I’m not that great at it, but I love being immersed in nature and kayaking does that in a wonderful way. So it’s lucky, I suppose that I live 100m from the beautiful Brunswick River (15km north of Byron Bay).
I normally go paddling with my mate Kris, when the tides are right we drop our kayaks and paddle 2-4 hours. If we are feeling clever, we time the tides right so we don’t have to work too hard.
The other day I was helping out on my mates cruise boat and they pointed out Minjungbul Creek off the Brunswick River, there was heaps of mangrove and rainforest on a beautiful creek. Trouble is, it would take me quite a while to get there in my kayak, and I could be fighting tides and head winds just to get the start of the creek. Simon from Byron Eco Cruise and Kayaks informed me, that its where they go on their Kayak, Cruise and SUP tour, they use their boat to get to the creek and then hop in the kayaks. This seemed like an excellent idea, so I asked them if I could go out with them on their next tour.
I didn’t have to wait too long until I got the opportunity and met them at the Brunswick Boat Harbour. As soon as we left the boat harbour, we started seeing wildlife, pelicans, little black cormorants, pied cormorants and a big white bellied sea eagle sitting majestically in a tree.
About 3kms, down the river we arrived at the beach. I helped Rob unpack the kayaks, and we donned our life jackets. Rob gave a how to paddle demo for the other people, I obviously didn’t need that, but my fellow paddlers had not ever paddled before, one of them couldn’t even swim. But having grown up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, I can’t remember ever learning how to swim, or row or paddle, or catch a wave, or snorkel, I just seem able to do all those things – I couldn’t represent Australia, but am fairly competent at most water-based activities.
We got in the kayaks and started down Minjungbul Creek, almost straight away we saw, pelican, striated heron and sacred kingfisher. The pace was really easy, my mate Kris usually sets quite a pace, and this was much slower and very relaxing. I had plenty of time to get out my camera and take some photos. It took about 5-10 minutes for the other people on the tour to get used to steering and power, but by the end, they were paddling like pros.
As the creek narrowed, the mangroves and rainforest got thicker and we could hear and see more birds, Lewins Honeyeaters, king parrots, more sacred kingfisher. The tide was a little low, so the water wasn’t that clear, but it was so nice paddling in the rainforest. After about 40 mins we turned and started to head back to the beach. Everyone seemed to be quite relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed their paddle.
When we arrived at the beach, Rob got our lunch out and we munched our delicious lunch as we watched Brahimey Kite and White Bellied Sea eagle soaring above the river.
After lunch Rob got out the Stand-up Paddle Boards and we tried the SUP’s, everyone got the hang of it quite quickly. Just when we were all finishing up on the SUP’s Simon arrived back with the boat, picked us up. On our way back to the boat harbour spotted an osprey much on his fish lunch.
What a great day, perfect for families or people who are new to kayaking or people like me wanting to explore a different part of the river.
Thanks Lorraine, Simon and Rob from Byron Eco Cruise and Kayaks.