The boat ramp at Poddyshot drive in Ocean Beach is rarely used by recreational boaters. On a busy weekend you would still be lucky (or unlucky) to see three or four cars in the car park. This makes it a great launch area for kayaking around the Wilson Inlet.
Getting your gear to the water’s edge is very simple as you can park right next to the ramp, so it is suitable for craft of all sizes, and those with children have the bonus of not having them run around a carpark! I would recommend wearing boat shoes or thongs as you put the boat into the water as it can be slippery. There’s also plenty of seaweed and seagrass near the edges, so for those of you who can be a bit squeamish around that, keep your feet up!
Heading north east around the inlet following the water’s edge, there is an abundance of bird life. While they are mostly seagulls, pelicans, and other common waterbirds, spotting them will keep the kids entertained. Generally, this area is also shallow, so quite safe if you do come off in rougher waters. Running parallel to the little river walk trail there are several small bays to explore, and some great photo opportunities. For those who are extra keen, the Rivermouth Caravan Park is approximately 5km from the launch area and a great stop for coffee before a return leg, or a good option for a car shuffle for those wishing to do a one-way trip.
Heading south from the launching point will see explorers paddling approximately 2.5km towards Ocean Beach, a popular surfing and swimming spot with locals and tourists alike. Depending on the time of year the channel may be opened up to allow the inlet to drain to the ocean, so it is important to find out before you go, as the water can run fairly quickly out to sea.
Overall, this paddle is well suited to all ages and abilities, with the trip being easily modified to suit the group or conditions. Remember, it’s easier to paddle into the wind at the beginning of your trip and with the wind when you’re a bit tired on the way back!