When you drive on the M1 above the Logan River and the Albert River, it’s hard to imagine you’re just minutes away from a calm and serene experience in nature. Indeed, the City of Logan has created kayaking trails (see map here), and we had a fantastic time kayaking Logan River and Albert River around Eagleby. It exceeded our expectations. Read the few tips below before planning your trip.
Distance: 13.7 km
Time: 3.5 hours
Disclaimer: the kayaking time and difficulty are based on our experience. We’re skilled kayakers with a good level of fitness. However, we like to stop to watch birds and take photos. Before you go, always check the park alerts and notes, and the weather forecast. Things may have changed since our visit. The distance and time can vary with the weather conditions, paddlers’ performance and the type of kayaks you have. You can see the one-person model of our inflatable kayak here*.
Our kayaking route on Albert River and Logan River, and tips to plan yours
The numbers in brackets refer to the map at the end of the article.
Where we started and finished
We left from Albert River Park (1) and finished at Logan River Parklands (2). Our smart watch indicated it was 13.7 km in total. We added a few extra kilometres (+4.5km; 18.3km in total) with a return trip to Alexander Clark Park (3). Once at Logan River Parklands, one of us took a lift to go back to our starting point (4 km, $10) and pick up our car.
During the trip, we stopped after 2.5hrs of paddling at Skinners Park (4) (9.5 km from Albert River Park) for our lunch (and toilet) break.
Why we started two hours before low tide
Although the tide wasn’t very strong, it was a lot nicer to paddle with it rather than against it. To have the tide pushing you all the way from Albert River Park to Logan River Parklands, you’ll have to leave Albert River Park approximately 2 hours before low tide. You should arrive at the confluence of Albert River and Logan River (5) when the tide turns. It took us 1hrs45 to paddle the 6 kilometres to reach the junction as we stopped a lot for bird watching.
Then, you turn left to go to Logan River Parklands. When the tide starts rising again, it will push you up on the Logan River.
When we added a return trip to Alexander Clark Park at the end of our activity, we had to paddle against the current from Alexander Clark Park to Logan River Parklands. Although it was more effort and we wouldn’t have liked to do it for 18 km, it was feasible.
Access to the pontoons
We launched our kayak from the first pontoon at Albert River Park, near the car park next to Luna’s Memorial. It was a good call as we saw many birds in the first 500 metres between the two pontoons in the park. However, the first pontoon is approximately 200 metres away from the car park, whereas the second one can be accessed by car. We have an inflatable kayak in a bag with wheels, so it wasn’t an issue at all for us to pull the bag on the well-paved track. But those carrying rigid kayaks may prefer the second pontoons.
The other pontoons we stopped at (Skinners Park and Logan River Parklands) were both located close to a car park.
The pontoons are used a lot by fishermen, so you may not have all the time and space you wish to embark and disembark. We were lucky to be alone when we launched and took the kayak out of the water. When we stopped for lunch, fishermen had to take their line out to let us come in. They were very kind and acknowledged that “those on the water have priority”. I don’t know if it’s always like this, but we did appreciate it.
Other possible routes
As it’s only a 4-kilometre walk between Logan River Parklands and Albert River, we found it was a good opportunity to do a one-way trip and see more of the river. Of course, you can also turn around when the tide changes to go back to your starting point.
We turned left on the Logan River to go towards Skinner Park and Logan River Parklands. Turning right to go closer to the ocean all the way to Riedel Park (6) is another option. According to the map, Riedel Park pontoon is approximately 11km away from Albert River Park and 8 km away from Skinners Park. You should plan to turn around at low tide at Riedel Park to be pushed by the tide for your entire trip.
If you’re limited by time, I highly recommend focusing on the Albert River. We particularly loved our time along Eagleby Wetlands.
Are you thinking of buying an inflatable kayak? We love how we can now explore more places easily since we got one. Check out my tips on how to choose an inflatable kayak and the most important questions to answer first. You can see the single model of the inflatable kayak we chose here*.
What we saw when kayaking Logan River and Albert River
If you like birdwatching, you have to put this kayak trail on your list. Logan River and Albert River are particularly famous for fishing. But I had no idea it was such a great place to see birds. We counted no less than 18 kingfishers (azure, sacred and maybe forest) and spotted three in our first ten minutes on the water! By letting our kayak glide silently, it allowed us to approach with no movement and watch them from close.
We also saw egrets, ducks, rainbow lorikeets, darters, pelicans, herons, swamphens, a white-bellied sea eagle (closer to the sea on the Logan River), swallows, one (only!) cormorant and many more birds that we could not identify. Keep an eye out for water dragons on the branches too!
Our highlight was our time on Albert River, especially near the Eagleby Wetlands (7). It’s one of the best places in Brisbane for birdwatching. The Albert River is a lot narrower than the Logan River, so it’s easier to spot birds or other wildlife on the edge. There was also less boat and jet ski traffic, which may have been due to the time or tide level. Following the floods, the Logan River mangrove is sadly still retaining a lot of plastic, which is not the nicest sight.
Just after Logan River Parklands, you can see the Red Bridge (8), which is described as a symbol of Logan. It’s just after the motorway, so it’s a noisy part of the river. We pushed to Alexander Clark Park with the hope of spotting a koala, but in vain. Although we spotted a few birds on that last leg, we didn’t enjoy it as much as the rest of the river because of the motor noises from the M1.
Have you done kayaking on Logan River and Albert River? Share your experience in the comments below!
Map of our kayaking experience on Logan River and Albert River
It only takes 30 minutes to drive from Brisbane CBD to the Logan River and Albert River Park. While in the area, you may also be interested in walking around Eagleby Wetlands for more birdwatching.
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