Places In Sydney To Get Out On The Water With Kids

  • Family

It’s summer time. Who doesn’t love a day out on the water. We’ve listed below some great kayak and boat hire businesses. And if you’re thinking you can’t hire a boat because you don’t have boat license – we’ve got that bit sorted. These boat hire businesses hire out boats that you don’t need a boat license for as the boats travel at less than 10 knots on inland waters. See you out there!

Inner West: Annandale Boat Hire

Annandale Boat Hire offers boat, paddle board and kayak hire.  What type of boat is for hire, you ask? A 7m Pontoon (seats 8 adults) with Bluetooth stereo, map, shade cover, swim ladder, snorkelling gear and swimming noodles (BBQ and fishing equipment are optional extras) – no license required! This makes for a perfect day out on the harbour. At the time of writing, pontoon hire rates are:

  • morning (8:30am – 1:00pm) $399
  • afternoon (1:30pm – 6:00pm) $449
  • full day hire (9:00am – 6:00pm) $699

Please note that that above rates are subject to change. Please refer to the website for special day and public hire rates.

Stand-up paddle board hire costs vary depending on how many people are boarding. 2-hour hire rates costs start at $40 per person (groups of 2 or more) or $50 (solo paddler)

Single and double kayaks are available for hire. 2-hour single kayak hire is $50 per person. Double-kayaks are available for 2-hour hire for $80.

Where: Lot 4, Chapman Road, Annandale NSW (next to Bicentennial Park)


Image: Annandale Boat Hire

Lower North Shore: ECO Boats Hire

ECO Boats Hire is a family run business located in Sydney’s beautiful Middle Harbour. They have a range of battery-operated boats for hire – no license required – including “Woolwich 20’” (seats 8) and “Duffy 21’” (seats 10). Both boats are equipped with a roof and windows (to protect you from the wind, spray and sun) and an esky, and are perfect for enjoying a relaxing lunch or sunset cruise. Catering options are available. Please note that fishing is not permitted. Hire rates for both boats differ, and the hire rates differ for weekday and weekend hire. Please refer to the ECO boats hire website for further details.

Where: Northbridge Marina, Widgiewa Road, Northbridge (next to Northbridge Baths)


Image: ECO Boats

Lower North Shore: Balmoral Boatshed

Balmoral Boatshed offers boats, kayaks and paddle boards for hire.

Their boats are licensed for 4 adults max, or a maximum capacity of 400kg (so 2 x adults and 3 x kids is fine). Boat hire rates very depending on the number of hours hire, but as a guide, the 1-hour rate is $90 and the 2-hour hire rate is $150 (we all know 2 hours can be a LONG time with kids!). Safety equipment, including life jackets are include in the hire rate. Bait and ice are also available for sale.

Paddleboards are available for hire by the hour, half-day or full-day, with rates starting at $30 per hour.

Where: Balmoral Beach


West: Horizon Line Kayak and Stand Up Paddle Board Hire

Horizon Line provide canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard hire for you to discover the nearby Nepean River. Single kayak hire rates are $15 for one hour, $40 half-day and $60 full-day. Please refer to the website for further details. Please note that boat hire takes place in store, and trolleys are provided so that you can talk down to the river, which is about 500m from the store (or you can use roof racks).

Where: 69 Great Western Highway, Emu Plains


Eastern Suburbs: East Sail

For those of you who already have some boating experience or would be happy to take some lessons, the Arvor 23’ Weekender, a luxury self-drive motor boat is available for hire. This boat can carry a maximum of 7 people and it comes complete with a fish finder, gas cooker, bar fridge, private bathroom, deck shower, cockpit awning, CD stereo and iPod jack. This boat is available for overnight charter (5 people can stay onboard overnight). East Sail have a mooring in Taylors Bay where you can tie up overnight. For overnight charters, linen and towels are available for $20 per person. Charter rates vary. As a guide, a 4-hour charter is $390 from March to October, and $520 from November to February. These rates do not apply to public holidays. 

Where: D’Albora Marinas, New Beach Road, Darling Point


Image: East Sail

Cockle Bay Wharf Pedal Boats

For a true 'first boating' experience - try hiring a pedal boat and let the kids 'drive'! Down at sparkling Darling Harbour in January you can hire a pedal boat ($30 for 30 mins) and take to the seas with your children in a safe and fun environment. Find out more here.

Image: City of Sydney

Lane Cove Boatshed 

Have a Notebook moment with the kids when you hire a rowboat from Lane Cove Boatshed. Nestled in the National Park, you can hire rowboats, pedal boats and kayaks by the hour. We especially love the swan pedal boat! Then cool off with an ice-cream by the water. It's a lovely day out and you can combine it with a bushwalk if you're feeling particularly energetic. 

Where: Lane Cove National Park, Riverside Drive, Lane Cove


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Hero image: Destination NSW