Kayaking is a serene way of touring at eye-level with nature. Gliding with a light ecological footstep, or paddle-stroke, through parts of a city that even locals rarely experience. Here we’ve found a handful of the best tours by kayak in some of our stunning cities. So grab your paddle and head up creek.

1. Yarra River, Melbourne

Kayak Melbourne’s River to Sky tour takes you up the Yarra under the Princes Bridge, past Flinders Station and right through the city, depositing paddlers a short distance from Eureka Tower where they can ascend to the Skydeck to swap the fish-eye view with a bird’s-eye view of the city.

There’s also a Moonlight tour and a Yoga Sunrise tour that incorporates a few downward dogs before setting out.

2. Sydney Harbour

No visit to Sydney is complete without a sojourn onto her famous harbour, and while a ferry ride is still an iconic experience, it does miss the many nooks and crannies to be explored by paddle.

In the east, Oz Paddle sets out from Rose Bay and takes in the big-ticket items of the Bridge and the House, and makes a stop at one of the minimally accessible harbour beaches for a swim.

On the north side, taking in Middle Harbour, Sydney Harbour Kayak’s Eco Tour begins in waterside suburbs before venturing into the bushland of the Garigal National Park.

Both are incredible ways to explore this waterside city.

3. Swan River, Perth

The Water Wanderers City Sunset Tour sets off along the South Perth shoreline as the city lights up and the day simmers down.

There’s a chance to spot feeding dolphins and fish as you slip through the water on the two-hour paddle.

Caught between a watery sunset and a skyline, it’s an incredible experience only our western city can offer.

4. Moreton Bay, Brisbane

The southern Moreton Bay waterways are teeming with wildlife adventures that take in the island of Coochiemudlo, Thompson’s Beach and Cleveland Point, but our pick is the wetlands of Tingalpa Creek at Brisbane’s south boundary with Redlands Kayak Tours.

The creek is a wildlife corridor where you may spot kingfishers, green tree frogs and bandicoots.

5. Around Hobart

Take in city, mountain and river views with the Hobart City Kayak.

On this two-and-a-half hour tour, glide past the historic waterfront and, we can barely believe this, have fish and chips delivered to your kayak!

If you have extra time in the city, take to the water again on the Hobart’s Beaches, Cliffs, and Caves paddle.

Australian Traveller issue 68

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