Up the creek: Kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddle boarding

While the uncrowded beaches around the Coffs Coast are an incredible drawcard for visitors and residents, the pristine waterways running through our region are just as picturesque and brimming with life - above and below the surface.

Matthew Sparrius, founder of C Change Adventures, is so passionate about all things aquatic that he ditched a big city gig in finance to follow the tide along our unique local creeks, rivers and estuaries.

“I studied oceanography and I just love being so close to nature. This is my happy place, anywhere near the water,” he said.

These local waterways are a great way to get off the beaten track around Coffs Harbour and experience our nature up close. C Change Adventures holds tours along Coffs Creek, Boambee Creek or Bonville Creek, which winds through the Bongil Bongil National Park in the east. Matthew also takes paddlers out west on the Orara River or Urumbilum River travelling along the rapids through Bindarri National Park.

Destination NSW

The kayak, canoe and stand up paddle board (SUP) tours are flexible and can be tailored to most abilities all year round.

“While summer is a great time to be around the water I also love winter because there’s often less wind and in the middle of the day it’s still 20 degrees,” he said. 

Matthew also teaches those looking to refine their skills and has all the gear for hire. While children are catered for with yabbying, ball games and races, big kids can perfect their SUP and kayaking skills by the hour with a certified instructor. 

“We do marine science-based tours, sunset tours, kids party groups and once a month - weather dependant - we also do moonlight tours. I’m happy to adapt to what people want, but I always try to make it quite educational, as well as fun,” he said, adding that the tour participants aren’t the only ones discovering new things.

“I’m always learning from other people’s experiences. That’s why I love what I do.”

Destination NSW

Above sea level, around what Matthew has coined the mangrove mazes, Coffs Harbour’s waterways are the stomping ground for a large number of common birds as well as some endangered species. A trip along the creeks and rivers could unearth a sighting of Silver Gulls, White-Faced Herons, Eastern Great Egrets, Ospreys, Little Black Cormorants, Azure Kingfishers and Royal Spoonbills.

Underwater finds include bream, whiting, flathead, jew fish, estuary rays who leave their telltale potholes in the sand and even the occasional dolphin or sea turtle find their way inland.

“Kayaking for me is just a means of travelling around quietly to observe the nature around us. It’s a whole different experience than when you’re in a boat because they can be noisy,” Matthew explains.

Committed to keeping the local waterways pristine C Change Adventures is part of the eco-tourism movement and is proudly associated with Take 3 For The Sea and Clean Up Australia. 

Contact: C Change Adventures on 0468 406 222 (bookings essential)
Single kayak hire: $20 per hour
Double kayak hire: $30 per hour

SUP hire: $25 per hour

Distance from Coffs Harbour CBD: 9.5kms (Boambee Creek) 4.4kms (Coffs Creek)
Distance from the airport: 8kms (Boambee Creek) 6.4kms (Coffs Creek)