Out and about with Allan Shephard
If you see people out enjoying waterways of the Redlands, but don’t have your own paddling equipment, Tony and Katrina Beutel have a solution. For the past five years, they’ve been running Redlands Kayak Tours.
My wife and I recently joined their relaxing sunset kayak tour along Tingalpa Creek. We met Tony, Katrina and other tour participants at the Thorneside canoe and boat ramp on Tingalpa Creek. The group was a mix of their regulars and kayak newbies like us. All we had to do was book our tour and arrive at the appointed time. Everything was provided, even post-paddle refreshments.
Katrina welcomed us with lifejackets and gloves. Tony gave the group a safety briefing and rundown on kayaking basics. After jumping in our kayaks and making a few adjustments, we set off on the tour with Tony as our guide. The group kayaked through quiet, sheltered waterways taking in parts of Tingalpa and Lota Creeks. Tony was a great guide. He cheerfully talked about local history and birdlife, and ensured the group paddled together safely. The 90 minute tour passed very quickly.
The relaxed sunset tour is one of the shorter paddles on offer, with longer tours available for the more adventurous paddlers. For a magnificent bay experience, check out the half-day tour that departs from Wilson Esplanade at Victoria Point and circumnavigates Coochiemudlo Island. This is the kind of tour where a group may see dolphins, turtles and stingrays along the way.
If you’re up for a full-day adventure, the tour from the Thorneside ramp on Tingalpa Creek all the way up to the Leslie Harrison Dam wall might be just your thing. The dam wall paddle is a 25km return trip! Wow. You need to be fit and an experienced kayaker for this one.
If you’re not quite ready for a full-day adventure, there are a number of short and half-day tours to choose from. Visit their website to book or take a look at their Facebook page for more information.