Whitewater kayaking may not be as popular in Australia as it is in other countries, but the Outback has some of the best destinations in the world when it comes to kayaking on the rapids. Kayaking in the river is one of the best ways to explore vast wilderness reaches that are inaccessible by foot or vehicle. The Outback has several rivers that even require a helicopter ride to put-in-bay. Australia also boasts a World Heritage-listed ancient rain forest, volcanic mountain ranges and unique bushland that you’ll surely enjoy when you go kayaking. So here’s a list of the best whitewater kayaking destinations that Australia has to offer.


Considered as the longest whitewater trail in Australia, the Clarence Canoe and Kayak Trail covers around 200 kilometres of river starting from the Nymboi-Binderay National Park north of Dorrigo to the village of Copmanhurst near Grafton on the NSW North Coast. When you get on the trail, you’ll soon forget all the troubles and bask in the glory of nature. This is the most common description for Clarence Canoe and Kayak Trail. One thing to note though, there are areas on the trail that are quite demanding, so you have to be careful.


Located in Victoria, the Mitta Mitta River offers the best rafting in southern mainland Australia. Even though Victoria is not really known for its whitewater adventures, the Mitta Mitta River is very abundant in terms of rapids and can be gruelling, especially in the colder months. If you’re looking for a good balance of challenge and fun, the Mitta Mitta River is your best choice.


In Western Australia, the Avon River provides a serene kayaking experience which is accessible almost throughout the year. The Avon River is the main destination in Western Australia for all the whitewater aficionados in the region. It is only an hour’s drive from Perth and is the home of the Avon Descent, a time-trial event that lasts two days and covers 124 kilometres. It’s a reasonably solid introductory river during the warmer months but provides enough challenge during the colder ones.


The Barron River is located in Queensland and is the go-to whitewater destination for families looking to try the experience. It has an exceptional balance of beautiful scenery, challenge and accessibility. Pegged as a great place for beginners to try whitewater kayaking, it also provides enough challenge for the experienced yakkers. One of the most accessible destinations in the country, you can either go on a half-day or full-day whitewater adventure On the Barron River.


If you’re looking for a multi-day adventure, then head on over to Tasmania and experience the challenge that Franklin River offers. Considered as one of the world’s most remote kayaking rivers, it’s located deep within the south-west Tasmanian wilderness. For experienced adventurers, this is one of the must-visit destinations in Australia.

The trail can be quite a challenge, but the reward is great. You get to view and experience some of the most beautiful scenery the Outback has to offer. You’ll definitely feel the prehistoric aura that Tassie is well known for. Since it is a protected region, you can only go there during open season, which runs from October until April.

So, what are you waiting for? These five destinations are some of the best that the Outback has to offer. So hurry up and grab your paddles and visit any of these locations. It’ll surely be a fun-filled and memorable experience that you have to try at least once.

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Jake Taylor
Jake Taylor

Jake is a global traveller who has recently called Australia his home again. If he's not travelling, he is writing about it and his experience.