2 Spitfarm Road, Opossum Bay TAS, Australia

Distance: 5-6kms

Skill level: Basic (green section on map) and Intermediate (blue section on map)


  • limited previous paddling skills or experience
  • the basic skills to manoeuvre your kayak forwards, backwards and sideways
  • competent to paddle in 10km/hour winds
  • practiced how to recover if you capsize
  • the skills to land your kayak on a boat ramp or beach without breaking waves
  • basic navigation and map reading skills
  • can understand the Bureau of Meteorology marine weather forecasts and observe signs of changing weather conditions


  • all the above listed for basic skills
  • reasonable fitness to paddle longer distances
  • competent to paddle in 20km/hour winds
  • good navigation and map reading skills
  • skills and experience to handle larger waves (up to 1 metre), swells and winds
  • skills to land your kayak onto a rocky shore or beach with breaking waves

Note: This section is only a short distance but can be exposed to weather conditions with limited landing spots along the rocky foreshore. This section is graded for mostly someone with basic skill level in Halfmoon Bay but would suit intermediate skill level between Opossum Bay to the northern end of South Arm Beach if exposed to strong winds conditions.


  • South Arm Beach.
  • Great views back to the city, Alum Cliffs, Tinderbox and Bruny Island.

Clarence Kayak Trail waterproof/tear-proof hard copy and pdf

The Clarence Kayak Trail is available for purchase as a waterproof/tear-proof brochure folded to A5 size and a pdf version is also available. Find out more…


  • Kayaking

Hazards: Can be exposure to strong winds from the south, southwest, west and north. Strong southerly and southeasterly sea breezes can occur in summer. This can create bigger swell and waves given the fetch on the river.


Rocky foreshore and platforms between Opossum Bay to northern end of South Arm Beach limit coming ashore.

All coastal waters can be dangerous at times and it is recommended that you read about the paddling conditions, the skill level proposed for sections of the Clarence Kayak Trail and go through the checklist before you decide where to go for a paddle.

There are specific risks in paddling the coastline and users should do so at their own risk. Trail users should exercise due care, skill and diligence in undertaking the activity and undertake appropriate weather checks with the Bureau of Meterology and MAST beforehand and take appropriate safety measures. Paddlers should ensure they comply with all applicable laws and regulations.  

Be prepared, check out our Paddlers Checklist.

Paddling Conditions

River and open water conditions can vary according to many factors such as:

  • wind strength;
  • direction and duration that the wind has been blowing;
  • fetch (the distance over which the wind has blown);
  • depth of water;
  • physical characteristics of the shoreline;
  • tide and currents; and
  • air and water temperature.

You should access up-to-date weather and wind forecasts on the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology: www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/ or ring Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) marine weather on 6233 9955 before setting out to obtain the latest weather forecast.

MAST has a website for paddle craft users: www.mast.tas.gov.au/recreational/paddle-safe-program/kayak-canoe/

You can also use beachsafe.com.au to obtain information about beach conditions and available facilities.

You should always consider having an alternative plan when planning your trip and know where you can get off the water if the weather conditions change.

When on the water keep a look out for:

  • Changing weather conditions especially strengthening winds and off shore winds
  • Other boats and users of the coastal waters
  • Pylons, navigational buoys, rocks and any other hazards
  • Avoid main navigation spans on the Derwent River