Our kayaking Rhyll Inlet tour with Ash from Outthere Outdoor Activities starts at 7.30am. Not what I expected but the tour time depends on the tide and wind.
We meet Ash at Rhyll and unload the kayaks onto the beach.
A series of exercises has us well and truly limbered up for the exercise ahead.
I suggest you wear a long sleeved shirt (in summer) plus old shorts or bathers as you will get wet. Wear a hat with a strap and sunscreen.
Shoes are not necessary although I wear water shoes.
Take water, camera, and binoculars in a waterproof bag.
Leave a towel in your car to dry yourself on your return, keeping your car seat dry.
Our tour starts near Rhyll Jetty. Early fishermen are starting to launch their boats for a day on the water.
The water remains fairly shallow for most of the trip although the tide is high. Often we can see the bottom.
Thank goodness there is barely a breath of wind so we don’t have to paddle into the wind. Even on the return paddle, there is only the slightest breeze – perfect conditions!
We paddle around past the jetty to the Ramsar-listed Rhyll Inlet.
At The Nits, a long spit of sand, we see plenty of migratory birds such as whimbrels, eastern curlews and bar-tailed godwits.
Because it is high tide, there are fewer birds on sand bars.
Their long bills are perfect for digging deep into the sand for crustaceans, molluscs, marine worms and other marine creatures.
A flock of black swans cruises across our path. On the banks there are also lots of ibis.
Along the shore we see pied oyster catchers, poking around among the rocks for limpets and mussels.
Ash leads us up one of the arms of the mangroves, peaceful and serene in the early morning light.
We come across a rookery where birds have built large nests from the mangrove twigs and leaves, effectively killing the mangrove plant.
Ash is very
knowledgeable and gives a running commentary about the inlet and the ecology of
Sometimes the mangroves arm closes up and we have to paddle hard to get through – very much like explorers!
We head back towards Rhyll with our arms and quads starting to tire.
Kayaking Rhyll Inlet is not a breeze!
level of fitness is required as we are paddling for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Although
we did stop for some rests, it is hard work on arms, shoulders and quads, particularly if you aren't used to it.
Even so, it is an enjoyable tour. It is fascinating to learn the importance of healthy mangroves to the eco-system.
I very much recommend a kayaking Rhyll Inlet tour when visiting Phillip Island.
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