Adventure Kayaking SA (AKSA) was the first paddle sport tourism business to operate in Adelaide and remains a favourite with locals and international visitors.
Garden Island, where AKSA operates, is in the centre of the Port River estuary.
It encompasses several environments of critical importance, including the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National Park—Winaityinaityi Pangkara, Garden Island Ships’ Graveyard and the largest mangrove forest in southern Australia.
The business was first established in 1998 by Phillip Doddridge under the trading name Blue Water Sea Kayaking Glenelg.
It soon became apparent that Phil’s hobby had become a viable business and in 2008 Adventure Kayaking SA was born to service local families and tourists seeking adventure.
Phil says the use of modern business tools has been critical in order to keep the business fun and maintain a healthy work life balance.
“Our product offering will always be relevant as adventure activities, such as kayaking in stunning natural landscapes, is important for mental wellbeing,” he said.
“Our adaptions over the years have been in the way our customers find us, engage with us and tell others about the great experiences we have on offer.
“The use of Rezdy as an online booking platform has given us global reach and allowed for easy up scaling of the business.
“Rezdy allows me to walk away from the desk and feel assured that the customers are still getting all of the information they need to confidently make a booking.
“Platforms such as TripAdvisor have also been marvellous in providing us with great feedback to ensure that we are exceeding customer expectations.”
With a mission to provide the best paddling experiences for their customers, AKSA remains committed to delivering excellence at every level.
“This is achieved through intensive staff training, investment in tailored products and quality kayaks, and the ongoing review of up to date tourism research data,” Phil said.
“Being an Accredited opeator, we also proudly display the Quality Tourism logo.”
Looking ahead, the business hopes to introduce two new products into Port Adelaide:
Paddle’n’Pint – an evening kayaking experience which includes an exploration of the historic inner harbour, followed by a meal and drink at the Port Admiral.
Wake up and SUP – a morning stand-up paddle (SUP) boarding experience targeted at 20-40-year-old women looking for fun and fitness.
“Unfortunately, recent changes to the senior school curriculums will see a large chunk of our business disappear,” said Phil.
“That said, we plan to develop new products that showcase the Port River and Barker Inlet and create an immersive cross curriculum experience.”