Distance: 11km or 17kms
Skill level: Intermediate
- 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
- 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: Some parts of Ralphs Bay would suit basic paddlers in favourable weather conditions e.g. Mortimers Bay, western side of Ralphs Bay (South Arm) and near Lauderdale.
- Views of the scenic coastline with various route options to traverse the bay.
- Lauderdale Canal (accessible at mid to high tides) to then give access to Lauderdale Beach and Frederick Henry Bay.
- Remoteness around the western side of Ralphs Bay to Gellibrand Point with a series of bluffs.
- Several isolated beaches including Richardsons Beach, Huxleys Beach, Musk Beach and Shelly Beach.
- Option of a paddle from Bezzants Road around to Opossum Bay or South Arm Beach.
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…
Hazards: Northeast winds can make it difficult to paddle from Droughty Point to Rokeby. Strong southerly and southeasterly sea breezes can occur in summer.
Shallow waters and mudflats occur around much of Ralphs Bay at low tide, especially towards the South Arm Neck.
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.
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