Top 5 Places to Launch your Kayak in the Harvey Region

The Harvey Region is blessed with an abundance of waterways that make the perfect playground for any kayaker. Tranquil rivers, turquoise lakes, dams, an estuary… and that’s before we mention the 42kms of uninterrupted coastline.

Whether you’re visiting the Harvey Region for a day-trip or deciding to stay a little longer, there is place suitable for kayakers of all skill levels. Below we’ve compiled a list of our top spots and some of the best places in South West Australia to launch your kayak.

1. Leschenault Estuary

Perhaps one of the most famous and treasured landmarks of the Harvey Region is the glorious Leschenault Estuary. The shallow water estuarine lagoon is one of the biggest water bodies in Western Australia and stretches 13.5 km across the entire length of Australind and into Leschenault. You will be awestruck by the natural vistas from the looming sand dunes and scrub of the Leschenault Peninsula Conservation Park to the fringing wetlands with its abundance of native flora and fauna.

The Leschenault Estuary has become a haven for birdwatchers, many who do so from the comfort of their kayak. The tidal habitats attract a diverse range of bird life including shorebirds, waders, raptors and migratory birds. The estuary is teeming with Black Swans, pelicans, cormorants and ibis. If you’re particularly lucky you may even spy some of the Critically Endangered Eastern Curlews that make the enormous journey from North China and Russia.

Other recreational activities that people use the estuary for include crabbing, fishing, kite-surfing and boating.

If you’re really craving an adventure the south east end of the lagoon connects to the mouth of the Collie River or to south west The Cut provides access to the breath-taking expanse of the Indian Ocean.

There are multiple places to launch your kayak into the Leschenault Estuary. The most popular is the boat ramp at the Ridley Place Foreshore which you turn into from Old Coast Road. Further north you will find Cook’s Point off Cathedral Avenue. To the south of the Leschenault Waterways Eco Museum and Australind Jetty there is an unsealed car park and launch site.


2. Harvey Dam

Harvey Dam is a vast and impressive waterway located up in the Harvey Hills ideal for any keen kayaker looking for a day on the water. Constructed in 1916, you’ll have plenty of room for aquatic adventures – 553 hectares to be precise!

The picturesque dam is surrounded by lush forests and an abundance of bird life from birds of prey, heron, kookaburras and even the iconic Black Cockatoo’s. The calm waters are suited to kayakers and stand up paddle boarders of all skill levels.

For those that fish, Harvey Dam is a great place to drop a line. The Water Corporation teamed up with Fisheries WA and Recfish West to re-establish Rainbow Trout and Marron populations in the Harvey Dam. Marroning, trout and perch fishing are only permitted at the rear of the dam in-season and with a permit.

When your arms need a break there is plenty do on the shore, including walkways, landscaped recreational areas, free electric BBQs, playground facilities, shady gazebo’s, picnic tables and public toilets. The jewel in the crown is the stunning Gibbs Pool amphitheatre, a breath-taking venue for major events and concerts.

No power boats are permitted at Harvey Dam. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash at all times.


3. Collie River

While paddling up the tranquil Collie River, make sure not only to soak up its visual beauty but also the cultural significance of the waterway.

The Nyungar people are recognised for their strong connection to this water, not just as a historical source of food and water but in a spiritual and mythological context. The Aboriginal people of this land associate this meandering river with a serpent deity known as Waugal (or Marchant) whom they believe to be both a creative and destructive force. Destructive due to waters innate danger and creative for the way it shaped the landscape during the dreamtime*.

The Collie River is a tranquil paddle and meanders through suburbs, forest and farmland. You don’t need to kayak the entire 154 km length to appreciate the diversity of this river and the natural environment that surrounds it. The mouth of the river opens up to the Leschenault Estuary as well as The Cut for ocean access.

Like all areas within the Harvey Region, the bird life is spectacular and the trees alongside the Collie River are home to several Osprey families that can be seen hungrily watching the water for fish. It’s also more than likely you’ll bump into one of the resident dolphins who are sighted daily by adoring locals.

While you’ll find kayak launching spots dotted along the shores of the river, the best place to launch is the Eastwell Boat Ramp at the end of Eastwell Street on The Elbow of the Collie River. Here you’ll find a floating jetty, public toilets and some basic BBQ facilities. There is parking available for trailers.

* The “dreamtime” is an Aboriginal term that describes ‘time before time’ or ‘the time of the creation of all things’.


4. Binningup Beach

Credit: Haydn Jones Photography

Without a doubt Binningup Beach is one of the Harvey Regions best kept secrets; a stunning white sandy beach with 180 degree views of Geographe Bay. This is an absolute paradise for anyone that loves the water and is found just 90 minutes south of Perth.

A reef runs parallel to the shore line which not only creates a protected kayaking and swimming zone, but the perfect ecosystem for snorkelers and anglers to explore. Between December and April, the thriving reef boasts Tailor, Yellowfin whiting, Herring, Flathead and Salmon.

Binningup Beach also offers a fun little surf break colloquially known as ‘Weedies’ which is great for the novice surfer. When the swell is Northwest and Westerly, surfers will see the break 150 metres offshore when looking north-west from the boat ramp.

If you’ve brought along the family for a day on the water, in between paddles you can rest under one of the permanent shade structures on the beach while kids enjoy the newly refurbished Binningup Beach Foreshore Waabiny Playground. The attention grabbing ship is named Waabiny, named via local competition, which is the Nyungar word for ‘play’. It lives up to its name and you’ll rarely find it uncharted by children who love scrambling over and under it.

Binningup is only 25 minutes from Harvey and 15 minutes to Australind, making it a great base camp while you explore all that the Harvey Region has to offer.

With a nearby car park and wide boat ramp, kayakers have easy access to enter the Indian Ocean. There are also a number of lookout points along Binningup Beach, including the Binningup Beach Lookout, Valentine’s and West Coast Drive.


5. Lake Brockman

You may not have visited Lake Brockman before – but you’ve likely seen its dreamy turquoise waters shared online by that travel blogger you follow.

Lake Brockman – otherwise known as Logue Brook Dam – is an incredible holiday spot that offers countless activities for the outdoor types; especially if you’re fond of a paddle!

Tucked away in the Darling Ranges, Lake Brockman is surrounded by state forest and your kayak will provide the perfect vantage point to take in the leafy view. You’re welcome to try your luck in snagging a trout (just make sure you remember your permit).

As well as being a kayakers dream, the crystal clear waters are calm and make the ideal location for other water sports including swimming, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding or floating around on a giant inflatable unicorn.  The lake allows motorised boats and has designated areas for skiing.

When your sea-legs grow weary, there is plenty to do on dry land. Bushwalk part of the Bibbulman Track or if biking is more your thing, try out part of the world-famous Munda Biddi Trail on your bike.


The Lake Brockman Tourist Park offers plenty of options for accommodation whether you want to set up your swag by the lake, cosy up in a cabin or grab a campsite (powered and RV-friendly sites available). If you enjoy the finer things why not book in for a glamping tent?

A café is open daily for breakfast, lunch and snacks.

Dogs are allowed at Lake Brockman but must stay on a lead at all times.

A final note

Before you set out on your kayak adventure, remember to check local weather conditions and water levels for your safety. Additionally, we adore and respect our pristine waterways and ask that you do the same; please dispose of any rubbish you create responsibly to keep our natural environment beautiful.

Whether you are a novice paddlers or an experienced kayaker, the Harvey region offers something for everyone. So grab your paddle, pack your sense of adventure, and prepare to explore the beauty of South West Australia from the tranquility of your kayak. Happy paddling!

Please feel free to email any of your favourite photos to that we can share them on social media.

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