The idea of taking in the city sights while paddling down the Yarra River sounded like a pretty unique sight-seeing experience, different from the usual walking or biking tours. Despite the relatively hefty price tag (99AUD for 2.5 hrs of workout), this fun activity was definitely on the top of my “TO DO” list during my stay in Melbourne. Do you know what’s the irony of it? Back in Singapore, the chances of anyone catching me out in a kayak will be close to nil as I, like most typical Asian girls, detest the sun, for fear of premature aging and pigmentation. Heck, I apply SPF 50 sunblock and carry a UV-protected brolly every time I’m out in the sun so kayaking is usually out of the question. There’s a reason why I opted for a sundown activity lol.
Wanted to have a sisterly moment by sharing a kayak with my sis, Ginette, but our guide, Matt, advised otherwise as it would be better for each kayak to have a strong paddler. And obviously, both Gin and I are the weakest of the 4. In a way, I guess I was lucky to end up having Matt as my partner because not only did I feel VERY safe with a highly experienced kayaker (But i promise that I really did work out those arm muscles!) but I also had a fantastic time exchanging stories about Melbourne, Singapore, our travels and life experiences. Gin and her bf, Johan, reckoned that Matt did 90% of the paddling work, with me only contributing the remaining 10%! Hahaha.
Just when we thought that we were ready to embark on an urban adventure, the weather took a sudden turn and the clear skies gave way to the rain clouds. We had 2 options – Either to stop kayaking and return to shore or paddle on and hope for the best. We might be amateur paddlers but we will not let a little rain ruin our night and thankfully, we didn’t as it turned out to be my most memorable night in Melbourne. Moreover, kayaking in the rain just sounded a tad more thrilling and cool – Another 1st for me!
Explore Melbourne by Kayak with Kayak Melbourne.
One of the highlights was supposedly the “on-the-water” dining experience, aka having our Fish n Chips meal while floating in our kayak. Unfortunately, the sudden downpour ruined our plans and we had to resort to having our dinner in the restaurant instead.
It was a fantastic experience to be able to paddle through the city’s scenic waterways and under the low lying bridges, and to be rewarded with the stunning view of Melbourne’s skyline at the end of the trip. To add to that, we had the whole river to ourselves throughout the 3hrs (not surprisingly, kayaking in winter is not on the top of anyone’s list!), thus making our journey even more magical! Having said that, I must confess that it’s still difficult to beat Singapore’s spectacular night view… Still 1 of the best that I have seen and I’m proud of it!
I have always believe that it is the interaction that we have with people from all walks of life and different nationalities that can make a holiday memorable or just plain ordinary. Matt was extremely informative and shared with me snippets of the city’s history and famous landmarks. It was also very fascinating to listen to his stories – From him travelling to many places as an international model (He’s hunky! I’m lucky!), devoting his time to social causes and him finding the balance in life as a father and his many commitments (He has a landscaping business and works as a freelance kayak guide/ fireman/ model!). Wow – I sure do need to pick up a tip or two on juggling the different roles in life!