up the creek

With just three words, you’ve got everything you need to leave the traffic behind: low, loose and long. The experienced guides at Sydney Harbour Kayaks are explaining how to get the best out of the Eco Tour for novice paddlers – keep your hands low near the kayak, your grip loose and use long strokes in the water.

 If your experience of Middle Harbour is traffic winding up Military Road, this will be a refreshing change. Within a few minutes of kayaking, you’ve slipped under the noisy Spit Bridge, past colossal motor cruisers, and are paddling through some of the most serene and secret scenery Sydney has to offer.

 Even before you get to Garigal National Park, ancient red gums, spiky black boys and pristine sandstone line the shore. The estuary of mangroves in Sugarloaf Bay is a hidden delight sheltering bird life and a bristly carpet of oysters – enough to send you directly to a hotel room if only they were edible!

 A tiny sandy beach is perfect for stopping for a well-earned morning tea break (when Tim Tams can be excused as “energy food”) and a stretch of those sea legs. You can also congratulate yourself for paddling through a bull shark breeding ground, though they conveniently inform you of this only after you’re safely back at the Spit.

 A new game develops on the paddle back while hugging Seaforth’s shoreline – it’s called, ‘Pick the award-winning architect designer waterfront house to buy when I’m a millionaire”. *Sigh*. So we are in Sydney after all.

 Sydney Harbour Kayaks, ‘Middle Harbour Eco Tour’ runs for four hours every Saturday and Sunday from 8.30am, $99 per person, The Spit in Mosman 2008, (02) 9969 4590.

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