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Our story page

Our Story


With a dream of creating world class kayaking tours within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Dave Tofler and Atalanta Willy gave up the jet set lifestyle of international expedition guiding to establish Coral Sea Kayaking in 1998. Twenty years on and Dave and Attie have turned Hinchinbrook and its surrounding islands into one of the worlds premier sea kayaking destinations. Years of experience and knowledge has helped to produce a style of trip that combines all the essential elements to the perfect sea kayaking expedition.

Recently after many years of dedicated service Dave and Attie decided that the time had come to hang up their paddles and string up the hammock, choosing to retire from the sea kayaking game and pass the baton onto one of their senior guides James Thorp. So with fresh ideas to build on an already well established and stylised sea kayaking product James and his team of accomplished sea kayak guides will ensure that you not only enjoy one of the worlds best sea kayaking journeys but you experience an unforgettable and rewarding active holiday.



At Coral Sea Kayaking we believe that the cornerstone to an exceptional trip is having exceptional guides. We pride ourselves on employing the best guides in the business to lead our trips. All our guides are highly qualified with years of sea miles behind them. They are not only skilled kayakers and gracious hosts but also gourmet chefs who can whip up gastronomic delights on camp stoves. Our guides are nature lovers, these islands are their back yard and they feel a strong connection to them. They take great pride in not only sharing the wonder of this environment but also acting as stewards for its preservation. Ultimately and most importantly our guides are genuine humans, friendly, kind souls who pride themselves on making authentic connections with all who journey with them.

James Thorp (Thorpie) 

Meet The Gang

James was forced into a kayak when he was a child and pushed into a rapid!! It went surprisingly well, and thus his life has been a wet experience ever since. More than 20 years of paddling the world's rivers and oceans has left a lot of scars, a passport full of stamps, some epic stories and a worried mother. The nomadic life of an expedition guide coupled with his compulsion to explore has led James to work and travel in some far flung regions of the world. From rafting in the Himalayas to leading sea kayaking trips in Antarctica and the high Arctic only to return and defrost in the tropics of Fiji and Papua New Guinea and of course his beloved Hinchinbrook Island which keeps drawing him back again and again. Over the years James has worked as an operations manager for several tourism businesses including one of the worlds best boutique resorts and also for a large whitewater rafting company in Canada. With skills sharpened by these positions James recently and happily took on the role as owner/operator of Coral Sea Kayaking. When James is not running a small business he teaches Wilderness First Responder courses or goes on his own adventures usually by kayak or yacht.

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