So, you’ve booked (or are thinking of booking) a tour with Redland Kayak Tours. What can you expect to happen on one of our tours?
From the start, you will be contacted by Katrina, one of the owners of this family business, about your booking, maybe you’ve already spoken to her on the phone. Katrina will send you an email confirming your booking and including important information about where the tour will leave from, what time to be there, and what to bring.
RKT pride ourselves on our satisfied customers and our safety record. The Redlands Coast paddling sites we offer for our short tours (an hour and a half on the water) have been selected for their natural beauty as well as their suitability for beginners and the less experienced. We monitor weather conditions and forecasts very closely, and that sometimes leads to a change in location or tour direction for the comfort of our guests.
You will be asked to arrive at the departure point half an hour before our scheduled departure time. Waiting to greet you will be our guides and/ or host for the day. You will be asked to fill in a registration form which gives us a little bit of information about you, importantly your level of experience and confidence in the water, and any medical or physical conditions we need to be aware of. That information allows the guides to better tailor the tour and briefings to the group’s needs.
Next step is fitting you out with a life jacket and paddling gloves. We have a range of jackets to fit and your guides will assist you to adjust these for comfort. You’ll be asked to make sure you have applied sunscreen, brought your hat, and have your water bottle.
Then it’s down to the beach where the kayaks will be already set up waiting for you. One of the guides will give you a briefing – comprising three parts.
Firstly, the guide will outline where the tour will take you, what you might see, and what water and weather conditions we can expect.
Secondly, the guide will provide a safety briefing. Paddling is a relatively safe activity, you are on very stable kayaks with excellent visibility, and we will only paddle in safe weather conditions. However, like all outdoor water sports, there are some inherent risks and we like to make sure our customers are briefed on how to minimize those risks.
Thirdly, the guide will provide instruction, including an on-water demonstration of how to kayak – aimed at the beginners and less experienced (although we often find even those who’ve kayaked before learn something from our highly experienced guides).
Before getting on the water, we have our guests sit in their kayak for an adjustment of their foot pegs. This adjustment, along with the comfortable padded seats that our kayaks are equipped with, provide the best ergonomic position for paddling.
The guides will then help everyone board and launch their kayaks. Close to shore there will be a final check to make sure everyone is ready to go – then we are away!
Unless it is a very small group, most of our tours will have at least two guides. One guide will take the lead and set off at a pace that we know from experience suits most customers. The other guide will be the “sweep” staying at the back of the group. This means that everyone is between the two guides.
Paddling a kayak takes about twenty minutes to get the hang of, and a lifetime to master. Our guides will use that initial twenty minutes of a tour to check out how each person is going, and offer advice where needed on how to make the experience more enjoyable. We haven’t met anyone yet who couldn’t learn the basics and get themselves moving along.
For those who are interested in improving their basic skills, our guides are always willing to show you some more advanced skills and to refine your paddling stroke.
As mentioned earlier, the lead guide will set the pace that suits our average customer. However, we know that won’t suit everyone and we are keen to make sure everybody has a comfortable and pleasurable experience. Therefore, we will stop regularly to re-group and have a breather. The guides will also use opportunities to point out wildlife, scenery, or items of interest.
Make sure you’ve got your smiles ready on the trip as the guides will also take photographs along the way. These photographs will be sent to you free of charge within a few days of finishing the tour.
Each of our tours offers something different, all of them give you the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the Redlands Coast. All the short tours keep you either close to the shore-line or take you up our small creeks and waterways, enabling you to see our local area from a different perspective.
Most of our short tours are an “out and back” course. Once we have reached the half way point, we simply turn around and head back. Whenever possible, we time the tours to coincide with the tides, making the paddling just that little bit easier.
Waiting for you back at the departure point will be a hot cuppa and fresh home-baked cake or muffins. As you relax, we enjoy hearing your impressions of the day and any memorable experiences you’ve had.
So, what are you waiting for, make that booking and we hope to see you soon.