Kayak to Goat Island in Sydney Harbour with Local

Kayak to Goat Island in Sydney Harbour with Local

3 hours 30 minutes New South Wales, Australia

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Come enjoy a morning sea kayak adventure on Sydney's beautiful harbour. No engine noise or fumes, just the sound of your paddle in the water and the sea birds squawking above! We'll experience the built environs and get up close and personal with many of the harbour's natural wonders and marine inhabitants. We'll paddle to the center of the harbour where we'll get some photos of you framed by the Harbour Bridge (I'm a professional photographer in my other job so expect good pics - no charge of course!) We'll then land and explore Goat Island (Memel in the local Aboriginal Language) before paddling back via Darling Harbour. Goat Island is closed to the public and landing is by special permit only. Your permit is included as part of the tour. After we're finished your welcome to have a hot shower before treating yourself to a great lunch at the famous Sydney Fish Markets a short walk away.

We'll use professional grade sea kayaks and high end paddles to kayak right to the heart of Sydney Harbour. After getting some spectacular photos of you framed by the famous Harbour Bridge we'll land our kayaks in a secret cove on the seldom visited Goat Island (Me-mel) where your guide will take you on an exclusive tour of this very special place. Goat island is a designated conservation zones with lots of bird life, remnant native bush and some of Sydney's oldest convict built sandstone buildings. Your National Parks Landing permit is included as part of your tour. We then get back in our kayaks and head back to where we started at Blackwattle Bay not far from the Sydney Fish Markets and lots of other great cafes and restaurants where you can treat yourself to a well earned feed.

Stop At:

• Paddlepirates, Sydney, New South Wales 2037 Australia
• Goat Island, Sydney, New South Wales Australia


  • Expert Kayak Guide (your guide is a born & bred Sydney local who is fully qualified sea kayaking expert)
  • Top notch composite sea kayak - we have singles and doubles and can help you choose the best option on the day
  • Carbon fibre paddle
  • PFD (Life jacket)
  • Paddling Gloves, Water Shoes and a hat if you don't have your own
  • Sun Screen
  • We'll send you a link to your photos later - professional quality!


  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Departure Point

Blackwattle Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Minimum age is 18 years
  • Guests must be able to swim and be comfortable around water
  • Guest should not weigh more than 100KG (205 pounds)
  • Resonable fitness is required
  • Must not have any serious medical issues
  • A waiver needs to be signed
  • Near public transportation
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Not recommended for XL sized travelers
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 6 travelers
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required for travelers
  • COVID-19 vaccination required for guides


91 Reviews

Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews

5 Stars
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Jade A October 2021

So much fun! Booked for my family and we had a fantastic time paddling out to Goat Island. Matt was an awesome guide, giving us kayaking & safety tips as well as expert tour guiding on the trip. These were the best kayaks we've ever hired (professional ones) and they made paddling much easier and super fast! This is an adventure trip - so don't expect to sit back and relax. We got some great exercise in whilst seeing more of Sydney Harbour. Totally want to do it again!

bloodygoodtimes April 2021

We did the Paddle Pirates Goat Island tour this morning with 4 adult “kids” (20yo and 18yo) and we all absolutely loved it! At almost 4 hours of fun and activity it is such great value and left us all energized and feeling like we’d had a 5star experience. We kayaked under Anzac Bridge and the Harbour Bridge and right around Goat Island and Blackwattle and Lavender Bays. The tour of Goat Island was great - so special to be able to hop off and explore there - the history and building and the views. It was also great exercise! I would do this again in a heartbeat and highly recommend.

DajanaGrabovac March 2021

Yesterday 3 friends and myself went on a kayak tour around Sydney Harbour with Matt from Paddle Pirates. We were all expecting it to be good but our expectations were exceeded. Matt is professional but honestly it feels like he’s another mate on the tour with you! That part alone was a huge reason as to why we had such an incredible time. He made us all feel safe and were talked through everything and all our questions were happily answered before heading out on the water. He is full of really interesting facts and history about the gorgeous Sydney Harbour and Goat Island- side note Goat Island was such a rare treat! He was so personable, easy going and a heap of fun, even treated us to a little sea shanty! He took his role as a photographer very seriously and got some really awesome shots of us that I know we will look back on and smile in years to come. I honestly cannot fault a single thing about Paddle Pirates or Matt, the entire experience was a solid 10/10 and such great value for money. This is such a wonderful, non invasive, respectful and intimate way to see our beautiful harbour. If you’re considering this at all, don’t hesitate, you won’t regret it, Paddle Pirates with Matt is the way to go!

CSPNorwich February 2021

This was the best day out in 2020. Matt was knowledgable , friendly and so helpful. Kayaking under Sydney harbour bridge and seeing the opera house by water was the most amazing experience and one I will never forget. Some of our family were experienced paddlers and some had no experience, it really didn’t matter. The equipment was excellent and the views fromGoat island were breathtaking. Matt took pictures of the trip which were included in the price and were excellent quality emailed to us afterwards. The photos are along lasting memory of such a fabulous trip. If you are going to Sydney, this trip is a must. I can’t recommend it enough .

sophiepQ655EA January 2021

A great kayaking tour around Sydney harbour. Views were picturesque and kayaking equipment was good quality and comfortable for the 3 hour tour. Group sizes are limited, which was great as we were able to get a very personalised tour with lots of information provided and questions answered. Tour guide (Matt) was very professional and enthusiastic. A great day. Would definitely recommend!

Anne_W503 January 2021

This was a much anticipated trip for us to kayak around Sydney Harbour and visit Goat Island, so naturally the rain decided this was the day it would pour out of the sky as we set off from Blackwattle Bay. We shouldn't have worried, the trip was just amazing - perhaps the weather helped to keep the boats away and the harbour quiet and so it felt we practically had the place to ourselves. Matt is an excellent tour guide and has a wealth of local knowledge about the area and its history. He's also a great leader, making sure all six of us were confident and relaxed as we got used to the kayaks. The added bonus of this trip is the time allowed on Goat Island which provided more history and stories. The weather didn't spoil the trip at all - as it wasn't too hot, the time on the water was even more enjoyable. Loved every minute!

456heatherj November 2020

As a 68 yr old female Sydneysider I had an awesome morning kayaking to Goat Island, accompanied by Matt our instructor who was fun, safety conscious and knowledgeable explaining the history of Sydney Harbour, it’s culture & heritage including stories of the traditional owners of this beautiful land & water A wonderful experience, not to be missed

Hollie M November 2020

My mum and I had a lovely time out on the kayaks when we visited Sydney in February this year. Matt was a great guide and very informative on the history of the island and the harbour. He got some great pictures of us out in the water with the harbour bridge. Memories to last a life time! I would definitely recommend Matt and his kayak trip around the harbour. Thank you so much!

JenGda October 2020

Fantastic way to experience the Sydney Harbour. Great value for money and had so much fun. Matt was enthusiastic and very friendly, highly recommend the Goat Island tour with Paddlepirates! We will be defiantly be going back.

benjaminkT8696OO August 2020

WOW! An awesome experience that was thoroughly enjoyable. We had the best possible equipment to use and Matt was so kind and friendly. We felt safe at all times and heard and saw so many fantastic things. The water was amazing and being in the Kayak was just THE BEST! Thank you!

leaeisenhuegel July 2020

Paddling with Matt was definitely the highlight of my Sydney visit! So much fun and such a great way to see the harbour, the goat island, the harbour bridge and the opera house! Matt is really knowledgeable and told me a lot about the history of the harbour. Definitely worth it and I would recommend it to everyone! I hope I can come back one day. Thank you Matt for this amazing day!

EMStephen June 2020

Beautiful morning for a little bit of fitness on the iconic Sydney Harbour. We learnt some great techniques to improve our kayaking and were also told some great stories about the harbour (which we practically had to ourselves due to the early morning). Despite being winter, the water was warm and you soon warm your body up! Could not recommend more, great value for money and so so much fun (you almost forget it's a work out).

Kenneth Y March 2020

One of the most unique and exciting adventures one can embark in Sydney! Matt was a great teacher and we managed a 0 capsize trip! Glad we got to explore Sydney and Goat Island with Matt! Big plus: the pictures were also amazing!

Toronto2424 February 2020

A great way to see Sydney harbour and get the chance to explore Goat Island which is only accessible by permit which Matt has. Matt made sure everyone was safe and confident before we set out on the water . I really appreciated we did not have to bring our iPhones on the water as Matt took great pics and sent them to us. Matt was born and raised in Sydney and on the goat island walk he shared a very impressive knowledge of local history ! Also clear he loves his city. Highly recommend.

Guy T January 2020

The kayaks and instruction from Matt were great. His upbeat attitude was awesome. We'd definitely do another trip with him in the future. Highlights for us was getting so close to the harbour bridge and going up onto goat island for the walking tour. Matt's knowledge of the history of the island and coast was impressive and entertaining.

Kimbutler64 December 2019

We had a great morning out with Mat who was super enthusiastic and friendly. If we are ever back in Sydney we would love to go again. Thanks gain:)

E7207ONalisons December 2019

My husband and I can't recommend this adventure trip enough. You don't have to be super fit or have been kayaking before just as long as you can get in and out if a ka yak you'll be fine. The guide is lovely and very knowledgeable and keeps you safe. Check out the photos on their web site and you will be amazed that that could be you paddling across the harbour. My friends thought the pictures must have been photo shopped. By the way the photos are all free which is a huge tick from us as other tours we have been on charge you for them knowing you can't take your camera or mobile phone with you. Hats off to this tour for not doing that. Alison and Robert

Siobhan M December 2019

What an amazing thing to do! Thank you Matt for being a great guide - telling us lots of fascinating commentary, as well as some well timed tips on how to kayak better! Really enjoyed the stop on Goat Island too. Matt took some great photos of us to add to our memories of our wonderful holiday.

Karen V November 2019

We did the kayaking tour this morning. I was a bit nervous about how I'd handle it but I shouldn't have worried. Matt took great care of us & I had no problems at all. It was a fantastic morning & it was terrific hearing about all the history of the local area and Goat Island which I hadn't known about before. I would totally recommend this to visitors and for Sydney locals - go and learn more about our wonderful city!

Paul D October 2019

What a fantastic day. Matt was the perfect host. Constantly giving encouragement, advice and non stop captivating commentaries on the history and possible future of this beautiful harbour. A must do activity.

Emmanuel_Onumah October 2019

We had a great time kayaking with Matt around the Sydney harbour and hopped onto goat island as well. Matt was very knowledgeable, took loads of great pictures of us. We managed to cover a lot of distance on the day and even rode some waves. Would highly recommend for anyone wanting to see Sydney from a different point of view.

i_am_grace_fan September 2019

This tour was fantastic! Matt clearly loves boating and is passionate about what he does. He was really proud of the fact that we were using proper sea kayaks and his new fibre glass paddles were so light which made paddling easy. It was really fun to be able to paddle across Sydney Harbour and get off at Goat Island for a walk around. Matt took photos of us in the best spots and was full of stories throughout the tour- the increased biodiversity of the area, the urban regeneration that was happening, the history of Goat Island etc I’m sure he could have gone on if we’d asked. This was definitely a memorable off the beaten track type tour with amazing views to boot. Great for a tourist like me but also suitable for those wanting to see a different side of Sydney. I only wish I’d brought a waterproof camera with me so I could have taken all the photos I wanted! Thanks Matt for a great time!

Daisy P September 2019

Thank you so much Matt for a once in a lifetime experience, enjoyed every minute of it. We would reccomend this to anyone and everyone. Pictures are fantastic too!

Sandra S July 2019

It was a wonderful experience! I was a bit nervous at the beginning but Matt made me feel comfortable. Everything was absolutely perfect: explanations, kayak preparation, on the water and on the island! Thanks a lot!!
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

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