Canoeing in Western Australia

Most canoeing takes place on the rivers and estuaries of the south-west corner, from Perth around to Albany. Sea kayaking is growing in popularity along interesting sections of our long coastline.

Further north the climate becomes very hot with the rivers paddleable only after summer cyclones. The distances are vast and many areas are inaccessible. Then there are man-eating crocodiles to watch out for! Only the most intrepid and adventurous paddler will want to explore the Kimberley, its coast and islands by canoe or kayak.

Paddling for Fun
Flat Water
The ivers have tidal sections which are paddleable all year round, as well as slow moving stretches as they cross their coastal plains. As well, there are some estuaries which make for extensive paddling.

Perth environs

  • Swan & Canning, rivers
  • Moore River
  • Peel Inlet, Murray & Serpentine rivers, Harvey estuary

Bunbury environs

  • Collie, Preston rivers, Leschenault Inlet
  • Margaret River upstream from the rivermouth

South Coast

  • Blackwood River, from Warner Glen Bridge to Augusta
  • Warren River from Larkin Road Bridge to river mouth
  • Broke Inlet
  • lower reaches of Deep & Frankland rivers & Nornalup/Walpole Inlet
  • Irwin Inlet
  • Wilson Inlet & lower reaches Denmark River
  • Kalgan & King rivers, Albany

 Rod Fry paddles C1 at Baden Powell Water Spout on the Murray River


(click on image to see a larger version)

White Water/Moving Water

  • Avon and Murray rivers are easily accessible and close to Perth.
  • Collie River above Collie
  • Bridgetown - Blackwood River to Warner Glen Bridge
  • Manjimup - Warren River
  • Walpole - Deep and Frankland rivers
  • Kalbarri - gorges of the Murchison River with heavy winter rains
  • Collie River when Wellington Dam overflows with heavier than normal winter rains ( can be dangerous)


  • The Collie River below Wellington Dam is a popular paddlers' playground.
  • The Murchison River near Kalbarri is paddleable when summer cyclones move over the catchment area. 

The Ocean

  • Rottnest Island, Penguin, Seal & Carnac islands
  • islands near Albany and Esperance,
  • Shark Bay - World Heritage Area
  • Ningaloo Reef

There is an extensive competitive programme run by the West Australian canoeing association:

  • canoe polo
  • sprint
  • marathon
  • slalom
  • wildwater racing
  • ocean racing

In addition, there are various other races which involve paddling - these vary from time to time:

  • Avon Descent
  • Perth to Fremantle Classic Paddle
  • Collie, Blackwood & Donnybrook Marathons
  • Collie Descent



 John Day competing in slalom race.


(click on image to see a larger version)


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