Kayaking on the Brunswick River

Kayaking in Minjungbul Creek

Kayaking in Minjungbul Creek

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.

Byron Cruise and Kayaks BoatThe 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.

White bellied sea eagleI 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.

lewins honeyeater

lewins honeyeater

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.

 

Lunch 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.

Standup paddle boards

Standup paddle boards

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.

Enjoy nature.

Top 10 nature activities for kids in Byron

G’day nature lovers,

Top 10 nature activities for kids in byron

Top 10 nature activities for kids in byron

Are looking to get your kids off their screens and into nature these school holidays? Here are my top 10 nature-based activities for kids around Byron Shire these school holidays.  They are in no particular order, some cost money some are free, but they all give your kids an opportunity to explore nature.

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Pushing your limits

G’day nature lovers,

Top of a Swiss Mountain

Top of a Swiss Mountain (1997)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes when walking up a mountain, going for a long hike or bike ride, I think, “Why on earth am I doing this when I could be relaxing with a nice glass of wine”. Then you get to the top of the mountain, end of of the hike/ride, and you think “I’m so glad I did that”.

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Byron Lighthouse Walk

Top 10 tips for navigating the Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk

Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk, always take the high road.

Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk, always take the high road.

G’day nature lovers,

The lighthouse is one of the iconic features of Byron Bay, no trip to Byron is complete without a visit.

I’m often asked “What’s the best way to get to the Byron Lighthouse?” I always reply, “It depends on your fitness, but as with everything in live, always take the high road.” Here are my top 10 tips to navigating the Byron Bay Lighthouse Track.

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Byron Wetlands

G’day, we had a few walks yesterday morning around some of the Byron Bay Wetlands.

Cumbebin Wetlands

First we went for a walk at the Cumbebin Swamp. A beautiful board walk through Melaleuca forest. The board walk is not long (about 300m), but you really get a immersive  wetland experience and a really appreciate the conditions the people worked in to build the wonderful board walk.

You can access the board walk behind the Butler St Reserve. Park near the corner of Somerset and Wordsworth Streets.

Arakwal National Park 

Secondly we went for a walk through Arakwal National Park. The path goes past the water treatment area an opens up onto a tea tree lake and Wallum. The path is quite busy and a favourite of local dog walkers, but has plenty of bird life.

You can access the track on Bangalow Rd, about 200m on the left past Byron Bay High School.

There are plenty of other wetlands and tea tree lakes in and near Byron Bay, these are just two of them. Enjoy your journey.