Kayaking at World’s National Parks
These are some of the best national parks to kayak in worldwide. The list is divided between international parks and American parks.
Kayaking at International National Parks
Shark Bay — Shark Bay sits off the Western Coast of Australia and offers a view of wildlife from humpback whales, to loggerhead turtles, to bottlenose dolphins. Because of its unique geological and biological features, Shark Bay was added to the World Heritage list of valuable lands in 1991.
Bay of Loreto — The Bay of Loreto sits off the coast of Mexico and was created in 1996. Later in 2005 it was recognized as valuable by the United Nations and made into a World Heritage site. There is plenty of places to kayak among the 14 different islands and the area has average temperatures in the 80s year round so weather will not become a hazard.
West Fjords — West Fjords is off the north coast of Iceland and boasts the world’s largest bird cliff in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Hornstrandir is the area of West Fjords that is a national nature reserve and full of unique wildlife.
Abel Tasman (http://www.abeltasman.co.nz/ and http://www.abeltasmannationalpark.co.nz/) — Abel Tasman is one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. It sits on the coast of New Zealand and recently was a finalist the 2010 New Zealand Tourism Awards. It is a great place to travel internationally and to kayak in clear blue waters.
Kuna Yala — Kuna Yala is rich in both biological diversity and political history. It is home to a native people of Panama who had to fight in the early 1900s to keep their native lands and cultural practices. Kuna Yala is home to a biosphere reserve called the Pemasky Nature Park, which supports both marine and land ecosystems in the area.
Komodo National Park — Located in Indonesia, the park was originally made to protect the komodo dragons, which roam it. Later it was made to protect other species and in 1991 it became a World Heritage site. Among the areas coral reefs there are a variety of wildlife that can not be seen in other areas of the world, such as the blue-ringed octopus, ocean sunfish and clown frogfish.
Chiloe National Park (http://www.chiloedomos.com/index.html or http://chiloekayak.com/) — Chiloe is a national park in Chile, South America. The park was created in 1983 and has unfortunately been slowly reduced in size over the years.
Palau — Palau is part of Micronesia and sits out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Because of its location, the area is unique in its wildlife. Its lagoons offer calm waters for kayaking.
Vancouver Islands — Vancouver Island in Canada is the largest Pacific island east of New Zealand and is home to many different groups of indigenous peoples. Its cultural diversity along with its biological diversity make it an interesting place to travel.
Queen Charlotte Island — Queen Charlotte Island is separated and has been thousands of years. This causes it to have extremely unique life forms and has caused some people to dub it the Galapagos of the North. Along its rivers and coastline it offers great conditions for kayaking.
— Bruce Peninsula is another Canadian national park that sits between Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. It is known for its cliffs which are able to be seen either by foot or from the view of a kayak in the water. Either way, both are beautiful.
Kayaking at American National Parks
Grand Canyon — The Grand Canyon is one of the most well-known national parks in the United States. It was carved out over thousands of years by the Rio Grande River. People can travel through the Canyon by kayaking along the river. But be warned a license is necessary beforehand.
Florida Everglades — The Florida Everglades are a unique environment that has many different life forms through its swampy atmosphere. And although the water is not very clear, this area there is a kayaking experience like no other because of the grasses that will be surrounding you as you kayak.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways — This area of Missouri is in the middle of the United States and is landlocked, but it is still a great destination for kayaking because of the two rivers that run in this area. This rivers are park of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways and are known as the canoe capital of the world.
Kenai Fjords — Kenai Fjords is a national park off the coast of Alaska. Because of its fjords, long narrow inlets created by glaciers, it is a great place to go kayaking and discover. The wildlife there ranges from sea lions to different types of porpoises and there are over 38 glaciers to discover.
San Juan Islands — San Juan Islands is a collection of about 60 inhabited islands off the coast of Washington State and near Canada. Through these different islands there is great kayaking and the area is known for being able to sight Orca whales.