Our Latest News

Bruny Island Quarantine Station - now open five days a week

13/10/2014

The Wildcare Inc Friends of the Bruny Island Quarantine Station and the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) are pleased to announce the Quarantine Station will be open five days a week from 10am to 4pm over the summer months.More

Strategic fuel reduction burn for Ansons Bay

08/10/2014

The Parks and Wildlife Service is continuing its fuel reduction burning program with a planned burn of about 425 ha in the Ansons Bay area of Mt William National Park.More

New Cockle Creek bridge completed for tourist season

07/10/2014

A new bridge at Cockle Creek in the far south of Tasmania has been completed, just in time for the start of the busy spring/summer tourist season.More

Boating, Rafting and Kayaking

Minimal Impact Sea Kayaking

Leave No Wake - A Guide to Minimal Impact Sea Kayaking in Tasmania

Before Paddling

sea kayaking

Minimising your impact starts when planning a sea kayaking trip:

  • When planning your route, choose landing and camping sites carefully. Plan to use campsites that can accommodate your party size. A maximum of 12, even less for extended trips, is recommended. Use existing campsites where possible.
  • Learn about and plan your route to avoid sensitive natural areas, especially wildlife breeding sites. These sites may vary with the seasons.
  • Pack smart. Take suitable equipment to reduce your reliance on the natural environment – carry a fuel stove, a trowel to bury human waste, a suitable tent and sufficient food and clothing for the season. Avoid excess food packaging that may be left behind as rubbish.
  • Secure necessary permission to visit restricted areas such as Nature Reserves or private land.

Coming Ashore

Much of your unintentional impact occurs when ashore, whether camping overnight or daytripping, especially in wilderness areas.

  • Take home all your rubbish, including empty packaging, food scraps and sanitary products. Collect rubbish left by others if possible.
  • Use existing campsites and tracks whenever possible. If visiting a previously undisturbed site reduce your movement around the area to a minimum. Carry, rather than drag, your kayak.
  • Use a fuel stove for cooking. Campfires leave ugly scars, reduce the availability of dead timber as habitat and can escape to start destructive wildfires.
  • Be sensitive where you deposit human waste. Burying your waste is a minimum: also consider disposal in the sea or even carrying it out of areas where appropriate disposal is difficult.
  • Avoid using soaps or detergent when camping. Beach sand is an excellent alternative for cleaning cookware.

Meeting The Locals

Sea kayaks are perfect platforms from which to view our coastal wildlife. Here are some guidelines that will help you to reduce your impact, while still enjoying the wildlife close up:

  • Learn about our wonderful wildlife. A greater understanding will help you appreciate their behaviour so that you can modify your own to minimise impact.
  • Maintain a respectful distance from all wildlife, both on land and water. 50 metres from birds, seals, whales and dolphins is a rough guide but will vary with species and the season.
  • Do not disturb breeding wildlife. Avoid landing on smaller offshore islands used for breeding, and camp well away from other breeding sites
Warning Warning: All sea kayakers should be aware that they may require specialist skills and equipment to visit many of the places shown on this map. Before venturing out consult with any of the sea kayak clubs or commercial operators about your plans
Map
Breeding seabird areas Breeding seabirds Marine Reserves - no fishing Marine Reserve Seal haulout sites Seal haulout sites Seal breeding sites - keep away Seal breeding sites No fires - use a fuel stove only Fuel Stove Only Areas

Living Off The Land

Readily available food sources abound along our coastline and are great to supplement camping tucker. Reduce your impact by being self-contained and following these suggestions:

  • Obtain appropriate fishing licences (for crayfish, abalone, scallops and all inland fishing).
  • Learn about and observe the 'no-take' regulations governing our Marine Reserves (see map).
  • Do not take undersized fish, and only keep enough to satisfy your immediate needs.

Unwelcome Hitch-Hikers

Sea kayakers may unwittingly transport plant and animal pest species to previously uninfected places. You can avoid this by following these guidelines:

  • Wash all soil from tent pegs, boots etc before leaving home or moving to other campsites to avoid transporting seeds or soil-borne pathogens such as Phytophthora.
  • Clean out your kayak between trips to get rid of mice, spiders, insects and other freeloaders.
  • Wash any mud or plant fragments from yourself, your gear and your kayak before moving from one campsite to another.

Breeding Seabirds

Albatross

Twenty one species of seabird breed along the Tasmanian coastline and offshore islands. The birds may breed on the surface or in burrows, in concentrated colonies or in isolated groups over a large area. The following guidelines will help you reduce your impact on breeding seabirds:

  • Do not land at a seabird breeding colony.
  • Do not walk where there are concentrations of seabird burrows.
  • Do not camp on penguin 'runways', ie between penguin burrows and the water.
  • Avoid the area just above high tide mark on beaches between September and March as this is favoured nesting habitat for Hooded Plovers, Red-Capped Plovers, Oystercatchers and Terns.
  • If you see birds behaving erratically, flying in circles, squawking or perfoming a 'broken wing display' move to another section of the beach.
  • Do not light fires near any breeding seabirds.
  • Seabirds also 'roost' on shore to rest and groom. Avoid landing at, or approaching, popular roosting sites such as sandspits and mudbanks. Back off when the birds show signs of disturbance.

    See our chart below for more details of the breeding patterns of Tasmania's wonderful seabird population.

This breeding seabird timetable will let you when to keep clear of breeding seabirds and their young.
breeding denotes the months when individual species breed
tending young denotes months when adults tend their young

Species Nest Types Jan Feb March April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Little Penguin Burrow breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding tending young breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding
Shy Albatross Surface breeding breeding breeding breeding tending young tending young tending young tending young breeding breeding breeding breeding
Short-tailed Shearwater Burrow breeding breeding breeding breeding tending young


breeding breeding breeding breeding
Fairy Prion Burrow breeding breeding breeding




breeding breeding breeding breeding
Common Diving Petrel Burrow breeding breeding breeding breeding tending young tending young tending young tending young breeding breeding breeding breeding
White-faced Storm Petrel Burrow breeding breeding





breeding breeding breeding breeding
Australian Pelican Surface breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding
Australian Gannet Surface breeding breeding breeding



breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding
Black-faced Cormorant Surface breeding breeding



breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding
Cape Barren Goose Surface



breeding breeding breeding breeding



Silver Gull Surface breeding breeding




breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding
Kelp Gull Surface breeding breeding




breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding
Pacific Gull Surface breeding






breeding breeding breeding breeding
White-fronted Tern Surface breeding







breeding breeding breeding
Caspian Tern Surface breeding





breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding
Crested Tern Surface breeding breeding




breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding
Fairy Tern Surface breeding breeding






breeding breeding breeding
Red-capped Plover Surface breeding breeding breeding





breeding breeding breeding
Hooded Plover Surface breeding breeding breeding



breeding breeding breeding breeding breeding
Pied Oystercatcher Surface







breeding breeding breeding breeding
Sooty Oystercatcher Surface breeding breeding






breeding breeding breeding

Seal Breeding Sites

Tasmania is home to three species of seal: the Australian Fur Seal, the New Zealand Fur Seal and the Southern Elephant Seal. All three breed ashore on islands around the Tasmanian coastline. These seal breeding sites are especially vulnerable to human impacts. Here are some guidelines to follow when approaching a seal breeding site:

  • Seals feel most threatened when out of the water, so approach from downwind, slowly and quietly.
  • In November and December, when seal pups are young, approach no closer than 100 metres, and 50 metres at all other times. This is to avoid stampedes which may injure seal pups.
  • Do not swim with seals as sharks often share the same habitat.
  • Back off if seals show any obvious signs of disturbance.
  • Never land at a seal breeding colony.

Seal Haulout Sites

Seals often come ashore for resting and grooming at seal haulout sites. Follow the same guidelines for approaching seal breeding sites, and avoid landing at seal haulouts whenever possible, but if you must land:

  • Approach from downwind, slowly and visibly so that seals are well warned.
  • Do not obstruct seals' clear access to the water.
  • Do not land until seals have vacated your landing site.
  • Once ashore, leave the haulout site as quickly as possible.

Marine Reserves

Marine Reserves are best described as underwater national parks. To help with the sustainable management and protection of marine ecosystems these areas have a 'no-take' policy ie. no fishing or removal of underwater plant life of any sort is allowed.

Historic Sites

Historic sites, both Aboriginal and European, dot our coastline. You can minimise your impact by recognising these sites and following some simple guidelines:

  • Do not disturb shell middens, or any sites of Aboriginal activity.
  • Leave any cultural artefacts where you find them. Yesterday's leftovers are today's history!

Unplanned Tracks

Excursions inland from coastal campsites in wilderness areas such as south west Tasmania have the potential to form tracks in previously untracked areas. This can result in visual scarring and hillside erosion.

To reduce your impact:

  • Stay on formed tracks if they exist.
  • Spread out if there is no track: damage to vegetation can occur at very low levels of use.
  • Use forested areas rather than open slopes.
  • Move on harder surfaces rather than on vegetated soil.
  • Move across steeper slopes rather than travelling straight up. Any pad formed will then cause less erosion as water follows it downhill.
Phytophthora cinnamomi is a soil borne pathogen, sometimes called 'root rot fungus', that can severely damage and often kill many native plants. Phytophthora is spread through movement of soil from one site to another, often carried into an area on infected plant roots or on equipment such as vehicle tyres, boots, spades or tent pegs. It is essential therefore that any soil is washed off your equipment before moving into an uninfected area.

Fuel Stove Only Areas

Fuel Stove Only Areas are areas within some reserves where portable cooking stoves are to be used instead of campfires. These include the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and Freycinet National Park. These areas exist to reduce the risk of wildfire and to minimise the impact of firewood collection and fireplace scarring.

Knowing about Fuel Stove Only Areas does not mean that it is safe to light fires in other areas. We suggest that you can minimise impact by using a fuel stove in place of a campfire at all times, and in particular observe the following:

  • No campfires in alpine and rainforest areas – there are many such areas within short walking distance of Tasmania's coastline.
  • No fires on peat soils, marsupial lawns or herbfields.
  • No campfires on days of total fire ban.
  • No campfires on islands with roosting or beeding seabirds.

Breeding Seabirds

How well do you know the 21 species of seabirds breeding around Tasmania's coastline? When next out paddling why not carry one of the many pocket-sized field guides to help you with identification, a set of small binoculars so that you can observe the birds without disturbing them and a waterproof notebook in which to record your observations. Report any unusual or interesting sightings. The chart below provides some information on the breeding seasons of our seabird population.

More Information

This brochure has been prepared by a group representing recreational and commercial sea kayaking interests in Tasmania, as well as independent environmental organisations and land managers. You can find a more detailed version of the material produced in the brochure on the web at www.coastview.com.au, produced by Thomas Moore, or you can contact the following organisations:

Tasmanian Sea Canoeing Club
Telephone: (03) 6266 3148

Maatsuyker Canoe Club
Telephone: (03) 6247 7045

Licenced Sea Kayak Operators of Tasmania
Telephone: (03) 6267 5000

Department of Tourism, Parks, Heritage and the Arts:
Parks and Wildlife Service
(Land Management)
Telephone: 1300 135 513

Department of Primary Industries and Water:
Nature Conservation Branch
(Wildlife and Vegetation Management)
Telephone: (03) 6233 6556

Marine Resources
(Recreational Sea Fishing)
Telephone: (03) 6233 7042

Birds Tasmania (Tasmanian group of Birds Australia)
GPO Box 68 Hobart Tas 7000

Marine and Coastal
Community Network
Telephone: (03) 6234 3665

This project has been funded by Coastcare - a cooperative Commonwealth/State/Local Government program supporting communities caring for our coast. Original design by Lynda Warner.

For further information on minimal impact boating, see Better Boating.