Kayak Port Stephens Broughton Island | Great Value | Walking Rivers (2022)


No other company is offering people the opportunity to kayak and camp on Broughton Island.

Kayak Port Stephens Broughton Island, is the only island on the NSW coast where camping is encouraged.

Walking Rivers has tailored a two-day kayak and camping experience on the island designed to give anyone the perfect getaway experience.

Kayaking, discovering the wildlife, snorkelling & camping are just some of the fantastic activities you can do on the island.

Key points why are we different

  • Comprehensive training included
  • All kayaks and equipment included
  • All camp equipment included
  • Delicious food included
  • Transfers to the National Park included


Our Kayak Port Stephens Broughton Island experience is one of our most outstanding adventures, and it’s for a good reason.

The 148-acre island is part of the Myall Lakes National Park. A large variety of wildlife lives both on the island and in the waters around it. We camp amongst an active seabird colony of wedge-tailed shearwaters.

Being only a couple of hours drive north of a major city, Newcastle NSW also adds to the appeal of the port Stephens Broughton island experience.

Kayak Port Stephens Broughton Island provides the opportunity to get up close and personal with humpback whales in the migration season
The island offers a sense of tranquillity and isolation that can be difficult to achieve on the mainland.

Key points why we love our Island

  • The abundant and varied wildlife
  • A challenging, rewarding environment
  • Not too physically demanding
  • Very few people kayak to the island
  • Outstanding views of the mainland


There are so many highlights about a kayak Port Stephens Broughton Island adventure its hard to know where to begin, but i will try.

Firstly, there is the opportunity to hike up the Ninety-meter high headland of Esmeralda Cove.Once you reach the top, the views are just breathtaking.

You will be able to look out over Little Broughton island, Australia will fall away from you both to the North and the South. Additionally, you will be looking down on a cutting that runs through the island known as the Looking Glass.

Secondly, you will be able to swim and snorkel in the cutting, a place that all manner of underwater creatures calls home. Including Grey Nurse Sharks, giant rays, wobbegong sharks and a myriad of different species of fish.

Thirdly, sitting in Esmeralda cove at night with the surf gently breaking on the pristine sandy beach, sharing stories from the days paddling as well as curling up in your tent will leave you feeling like you are in another world.

Additionally, with all of Walking Rivers experiences for people with a penchant for photography, the opportunities are everywhere.

Finally, a leisurely Kayak around the shores of the island can also reveal more of the secrets of the island.

Key points, activity highlights

  • Explore the islands many outstanding viewpoints
  • Snorkel and swim in pristine clear waters
  • Camp next to a seabird colonies nesting grounds
  • View a new perspective of the mainland
  • See amazing stars unhindered by city light pollution


The Port Stephens coastal region is famous for providing access for people to be able to get up and personal with both Whales and Dolphins.

Depending on the time of year you choose to book your island experience can have an influence on which sea life you may encounter. Between May through to November is whale watching time and dolphins are around in the warmer months of November through to April.

The Broughton Island experience offers some of the best opportunities for viewing and paddling with these creatures available anywhere.


Paddling silently along in a kayak enables you to watch the Dolphins and Whales swimming from the same level as them. Seeing them this way makes for a truly memorable and unique experience.

With whales, you will often be close enough to see the water part as these gentle giants of the deep rise to the surface to take a breath. Sometimes being close enough that you will see the spout of water they blow out turn to mist against the island backdrop.Its guaranteed to get your heart pumping with excitement and bring squeals of joy to from your mouth.

As with all creatures in nature, there is never a guarantee of seeing them. However, the chances are better than 90% of viewing both whales and dolphins during the right seasons.

Broughton Island will provide you with memories and dinner party conversations that will last a lifetime.

Key points, about the wildlife

  • Get up close and personal with:
  • Dolphins (anytime)
  • Whales (winter months only)
  • Turtles (anytime)
  • Wobbiegong Sharks (anytime)


Firstly, we start our journey from our home base in Newcastle, travel North on the Pacific highway eventually turning off towards to the Myall Lakes National Park (approximately two hours).

Our bus can pick people up at one of our designated meeting places along the way and return you to the same spot. We are as flexible as possible with our pickups to try and make it easy for you. Talk to us on an individual basis to arrange your pickup point.

Of course, we will bring you back to your pick up location when your adventure ends.

The island lies approximately fourteen kilometres northeast of Port Stephens and about three kilometres offshore. Or roughly an hours Paddle from our launch point.

Note: Paddling can be longer depending on weather and launch location.

We have had a range of age groups complete Kayak Port Stephens Broughton Island tour. Although initially many people are hesitant fearing the unknown about a paddle offshore.
The guides have years of offshore experience, and additionally, we only go in ideal weather conditions.
There is nothing to be fearful of the worst that has ever happened is people have got wet.

Key points, about getting there

  • Its only 1.5 hours paddle to the island
  • Paddling in the sea is a whole different experience
  • It feels like you are arriving at a unique destination
  • Very few people kayak and camp on an island
  • View the mainland from a new perspective.


Camping on Broughton Island is a privilege and it is strictly controlled by NSW National Parks.

Firstly, the main restriction is numbers of people at any one time. Secondly, where we can camp is the other restricted item.

Our tents are pitched on man made wooden platforms overlooking the beach, in the fabulous Esmeralda Cove. Right in the heart of the Island.

The camping platforms are complete with a toilet block ,which is nice as many of our journeys do not have any facilities.

Key points, about our camping

  • Sheltered timber platforms
  • Toilet facilities
  • A unique experience
  • Isolated but not too remote
  • Outstanding views the Cove


Primarily all our food is vegetarian or similar, the reason for this is simple ,we have no refrigeration. Don’t let this put you off though , we specialise in cooking food in remote areas that tastes outstanding.

No one has ever complained about our food.

When possible we use locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables sourced from our nearby farmer’s markets.

Additionally, we like to top our delicious meals of with some camp style baking.

Furthermore, we also provide 24-hour snacks just in case you get a hungry for something late at night. It is a Walking Rivers policy you will never go hungry, even after a day’s paddle in the fresh air.

Key points, about the food

  • Included in the price
  • Plenty to eat
  • Cooked in the camp setting
  • 24-hour snacks and fruit
  • Diverse menu


If you are at all apprehensive about your abilities to undertake something like the Port Stephens Broughton Island Kayak Adventure, please remember our experienced guides will train you in the skills needed to paddle the Kayaks with ease.All you need is to be moderately fit and have a yearning for some safe and controlled adventure.

Going on a fully guided adventure is very different to going it alone. Being conducted by professional, trained, qualified people allows us to go to many places that would be unthinkable on our own. Additionally, we consider you to be part of a team overcoming all the challenges our journeys throws at us.

Walking Rivers has comprehensive risk management and contingency plans in place as well safety procedures that ensure you will be free to not worry about anything too much other than having fun.


  • Professional guiding service
  • All kayaking equipment
  • Meals on arrival at camp (four total included)
  • Cooking equipment
  • Camping equipment including tents, thick Therm-a-rest mattresses
  • National Park Fees


  • Accommodation before or after the kayaking portion of your trip;
  • Flights, airport transfers, ferries, taxis
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Alcoholic or carbonated beverages
  • Personal items (toiletries, clothing, etc.)
  • Sleeping bag liner

Let us know if you are you are bringing any of your own camping equipment. After checking the list of what to bring lets us know if you have any questions about anything relating to gear.




Our adventure begins the moment we climb on board the bus bound for our Kayak Port Stephens Broughton Island Adventure . Relax and enjoy the journey as we whisk you along the highway to firstly, morning tea in Hawks Nest & then secondly onto the Myall Lakes National Park.



Approximately one week before leaving


We endeavour to telephone or Skype every person who has booked the Kayak Port Stephens Broughton Island Adventure with us. After the introductions, your guide will tell you about the logistics of the journey and any other relevant details.

The call also gives us a chance toanswer any questions or concernsyou may have about your adventure.
Additionally, we will confirm the exact departure time and location, for each person or to alert you if there are have been any last minute changes.


You will be a member of a team partaking in an adventure experience from the moment we meet at our bus departure point.

Our Kayak Port Stephens Broughton Island Tour is the most favorable weather dependant tour we have. It can mean sometimes getting away very early on our first day, to fit into a narrow weather window. You will be advised the night before departure of our exact departure time.

Initially, if you are departing with us from Newcastle, our first one and half hours are spent highway driving up to our first turn off into Tea Gardens the gateway to the southern end of the Myall Lakes National Park.
On arriving at our destination, a lakeside camping area situated between the lakes and the ocean, we unload the kayaks, our gear and say goodbye to the bus.


Its now time to get out on to the water and get comfortable with the kayaks and how they behave.
However, before we get in the boats, we will do some onshore training just to make sure everyone is on the same page.

We will start be covering the following strokes:

  • forward stroke
  • reverse stroke
  • Sweep strokes
  • Draw stroke

Its a great chance for some revision for the more experienced paddlers and for the new kayakers they will quicklysee how easy kayaking is.

Don’t worry too much if you can’t get these strokes one of the guides can always give you a tow.

Next task will be to pack all our gear into the Kayaks getting ready to leave for our campsite on the island roughly 2 hours paddling away.

Before heading off, we will have a bit more instruction about:

  • Self-rescue techniques
  • Equipment Demonstration
  • Group management
  • Safety procedures

Wow!!! Fully armed with all our new kayaking knowledge and everyone on the same page it should be an excellent paddle out to our island paradise.

Before we go ashore onto the island and set up camp, we will spend some time paddling around exploring the shoreline.


Eventually, it will be time for us to go ashore at a place called Esmeralda cove and settle into getting our campsite functional.

After setting up the campsite, there will be some free time for people to relax and enjoy the ambiance of camping in such an outstanding location.

Dinner time will see us tucking into a sumptuous feast, then sitting under the stars re-living the days highlights.

For those people that are tired, bed is going to be very welcome at whatever time you wish.


Rise and shine ready for another very exciting day.

Firstly we have a hearty breakfast. After which we head off for an island discovery walk which includes climbing up to the highest point for a look at the stunning views and learning about the native animals that reside on the island.

Don’t worry we also will have plenty of time for those who like to go snorkeling among the island unique gutters and caves to see the outstanding sealife.

Finally, it will be time to pack everything up, load the Kayaks and then set off on the return paddle to the mainland and then back onto the bus and home.


Our approximate return time to Newcastle is between 5 -7 pm, however, due to the number of variables in wilderness travel we recommend that you don’t plan any critical appointments that rely on us being back at this time. Fixed times and dates can cause unnecessarily stressful complications should our return be delayed by something out of our control. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss your travel plans in more detail. We can pick you up or drop you off at the Airport or from your house.


We want you to have a great time on the Kayak Port Stephens Broughton Island Adventure. Have more questions, call +61 438563307 or email [emailprotected]


On the kayak Port Stephens Broughton Island adventure, we will be packing everything we need into our kayaks. We are restricted to onlybringing what can fit into a kayak.


You will need to bring two bags:

1. your bus bag, a small backpack or similar
2. your general gear bag, these items will be packed into the rear of the bus .

Please remember the saying “when kayaking less is more”

Your bus bag only needs to fit items you may wish to have with you while we are traveling.
For traveling, wear anything you feel comfortable in.

We do stop for toilet breaks and also from time to time and if we are passing through a town we might have a coffee break. This is usually done by consensus.

Items for consideration in your bus bag:

Kayak Port Stephens Broughton Island | Great Value | Walking Rivers (1)
  • water bottle
  • snacks
  • lollies
  • book to read
  • sunglasses
  • reading glasses
  • travel pillow
  • travel rug
  • clean underwear
  • change of clothes to wear home

All participants need theses items / should be in your general gear bag:

You will paddle wearing the items below.Our priority is protection from the sun it can be brutal in the middle of the day.

Small bottle of Sunscreen

Pay particular attention to face, neck, under chin, ears, backs of hands.


Ideally should be broad-brimmed and wind resistant. An excellent choice is a safari type of hat that covers your neck area. Remember we are paddling on open sea water and so your hat needs to provide good sun protection. (Baseball caps are not ideal)


Should be attached to a strap. We recommend taking a spare pair.

Short Sleeved Shirt

Over a thermal top. Both shirt and thermal top material need to be the quick-drying synthetic material such as polypropylene/polyester fleece or blend. DO NOT WEAR COTTON.

T-shirts and jeans etc. are not suitable clothing for Kayaking.

A long sleeved Rash shirt is ideal, but a bit more expensive.

Long synthetic thermals

A pair of shorts over the top of synthetic thermals are ideal for your legs.


Kayakers should always wear shoes with sturdy grippy soles, toe protection, and a secure fastening system.Enclosed footwear can also assist with sun protection.
Genuine Dunlop volleys are a great option.
Avoid sandals and wetsuit boots, as they do not provide sufficient support when moving around on wet rocks;

Wind & Rain Considerations

We recommend at the very least pack a lightweight spray jacket with hood.
It can be preferable to have a waterproof and breathable material like Gortex. Other options include paddling specific apparel such as dry tops.

Warmth considerations.

In cold conditions avoid apparel made from cotton. Cotton insulates using open air pockets in between the fibers. When cotton gets wet, these pockets fill with water, and the garment loses its insulating properties.
Fabrics such as wool, nylon, and polypropylene insulate with closed air pockets inside the fibers. Garments made from these materials will hold some of their insulating properties when wet.
Consider a Fibre pile/fleece jumper if cold weather is forecast.

Medication – please ensure

1) The name and expiry date of drug is on the container;
2) You have the detailed instructions for your dosage and frequency;
3) Packed in a waterproof bag; i.e., sandwich bag or similar
4) Pack a full spare prescription in a separate container.

Your guide will carry this in case you misplace or lose yours. Lousy weather can also cause delays so having additional means you are safe.
If you are flying, please pack all necessary medication in your carry-on luggage. It helps eliminate some stress should your checked bags be misplaced in transit.

Water bottle.

One litre Nalgene bottles are superior to all others for kayaking.

Waterproof camera

Lightweight waterproof digital cameras (can be attached inside your life jacket with a lanyard);
GoPro or similar waterproof action cameras can produce excellent footage however they are savage on batteries. Consider how you will charge or bring
spare batteries and memory cards.


Because we are only away for one night do not need to bring a lot. Below is a list to prompt you in what you may wish to bring.


We do supply snacks but if you have some favorites then bring them with you

Head Torch

A small hand-held torch will suffice but it is much better to get a head torch so as to be able to free your hands up for tasks. A good Head torch also allows you to read in bed at night if you wish.

Extra thermals

One set of synthetic thermals (we keep dry) for wearing in camp or sleeping in if it gets cold. A puffer jacket may also be worth considering. You will not need a pile of clothes.


We will let you decide how much of these you need.

Sleeping bag Liner

We are supplying down sleeping bags, that we have tested and know they are both comfortable and they fit into the Kayaks. All we ask you to bring isyour own liner. If you are really susceptable to cold a great liner is the sea to summitt fleece one. Our bags are comfortable down to zero degrees celsius. If you are someone that really feels the cold then its ok to also pack a travel rug or similar. We will do everything we can to get it into a kayak for you. Glenn often has lots of empty space in his Kayak.

If you would prefer your own sleeping bag we recommend getting the smallest one you can that suits your temperature range . Big cheap K mart type bags will not fit into the Kayaks. Please ask us if you are unsure.

We supply inflatable sleeping matts .

Inflatable pillow

A pillow is always nice but for the diehards who don’t mind roughing it you can always stuff your jacket and spare thermals into a dry bag and use it as a pillow.


Often people just swim in their paddling clothes. Either way is successful.

Footwear around camp

Thongs or sandals for walking around camp work well and don’t take up much space in the Kayak


Minimal soap, toothpaste, and toothbrush, dental floss, feminine hygiene products.
Small comb/hairbrush, 2 disposable plastic razor.

Optional items for consideration

  • Beanie
  • Gloves either neoprene or fingerless sailing type
  • Insect repellant small roll on
  • Book to read
  • Reading glasses
  • Binoculars
  • Down jacket
  • Travel boardgames
  • Cards

Please avoid wearing jewelry on the water.

We would just feel bad if you lost something precious to you. Leaving it at home is the safest place for it to be.


We supply a range of teas and coffee as well as juices. You are welcome to bring alcoholic beverages. Please note however that we do expect our guests to consume alcoholic beverages responsibly and strictly enforce a no alcohol on the water policy.


It is against the law in Australia to smoke in National Parks. If you are a smoker, please consider nicotine patches as an alternative solution for the time you are on the river.

Leave no trace

Everything we take into the National Park we must take out. Including toilet waste. Don’t worry we have a system for dealing with everything. Your guides will go through it all with you when we are in camp on the first day.

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