The best way to enjoy the tranquil wetlands wonderland of Woody Lake and surrounds is to paddle the waymarked trail through winding channels and paperbark trees, passing graceful egrets, pelicans, swans, ducks, sea eagles and ospreys. It’s also a top spot for picnics, bush walking, fishing and water skiing.
Access to the canoeing/kayaking trail is via the Windabout Lake boat ramp, off Windabout Way, a 13 minute drive from Esperance on the southern coast of Western Australia. You can reach Esperance by road or air from Perth, taking an eight-hour drive or a one-and-a-half-hour flight.
The trail from Lake Wheatfield to Woody Lake is two and a half kilometres one way, and Woody Lake to Windabout Lake is three kilometres one way. Paddling conditions are at their best between August and November, when water levels are at their highest.
As you pass by the beaches, sandbars, samphire flats and lush sedgelands in the summer months, look out for the lake’s annual visitors, including sanderlings and green-shanks.