Stand Up Paddle Boarding (or SUP, for the really cool kids) is one of those activities you do religiously while on holidays: you vow to buy a SUP board, return to Brisbane and then never do it again, because where can you even SUP in Brisbane, right?
Wrong! There is a plethora of beautiful spots to get your SUP on close to Brisbane that AREN'T the Brisbane River, and even places to rent gear and learn the ropes. Conveniently, we’ve collated them all in this nifty little article for you. And if you get hooked, we've even got a recommendation for your where to get your own board—just check out Red Paddle Co's super compact inflatable SUP boards.
Why anyone would want to attempt SUP in the Brisbane River when you could be doing it on perfectly flat, crystal clear seas at Tangalooma Island Resort is honestly beyond us. Not only will you not mind falling off your board (because you inevitably will) into the water, but once you’ve worked your core to the max and maybe even spotted a few schools of fish, you can just drop onto the white sandy beach and recoup with a few hours of sunbaking and maybe some takeaway fish and chips from the Beach Cafe. Bonus, you can hire a SUP board right there on the beach.
Pumice Stone Passage
This piece of magical waterway heaven is a SUPer’s utopia and is right here on our doorstep. Stretching for 35kms from Caloundra’s tail end to Deception Bay, this ecological estuary features an array of lush marine life such as dugongs, dolphins, and turtles, and is a bird-watchers wonderland. And with views of the Glass House Mountains, you won’t ever want to go home! Unless you’re tired of course. Take off from Golden Beach, and depending on how much energy you have to burn, start heading where the adventure takes you.
If you prefer fresh water to salt, and you don't want to travel more than 20 mins from Brisbane, then the Enoggera Reservoir is for you. With SUP board hire on site, you can be out on the flat waters of the reservoir in no time, taking a leisurely paddle as you try to spot an elusive platypus.
The Caboolture River is a much calmer (no City Cats here, thank the lord!) option than the Brisbane River for SUPers. Think winding, calm creeks and picturesque scenery. Launch your SUP at either Rafting Ground Road or Saint Smith Road, but just watch out for the tidal currents around Deception Bay.
A gem-like inlet that breaks the endless stretches of golden beaches, gorgeous Tallebudgera Creek is undoubtedly one of the best places to SUP on the Gold Coast. Running alongside the southern end of Burleigh’s National Park headland, giving it an added wild and remote feeling, here you’ll find several operators renting all manner of equipment that’ll get you waterborne. And it’s not uncommon to see pooches hitching a SUP ride on Talle Creek, so don’t forget to pack your four-legged friend.
Currumbin Creek Estuary
This sparkling blue-water estuary divides Palm Beach and Currumbin, both sides lined with white-sand beaches close to where the creek meets the sea. If you’re brave with a core of steel, head out among the waves of popular Currumbin Alley or, if calm water for days and serenity is more your groove, follow the creek up to 6km inland (just remember you’ll need to turn around and paddle back!). There's a couple of hire spots in the area too, so you won't have to cart a board far.
For the chance to paddle through eucalyptus forests, saltmarshes and mangrove forests appeals, then head for the north-western corner of Moreton Bay and launch your borad from the end of Haysmouth Parade, Clontarf, or Brighton Park in Sandgate. There's a few different directions to head in as you explore, and you may catch a glimpse of crabs, sea eagles, flying foxes and more.
Hidden in a private valley, this hinterland beauty is part of a subtropical rainforest on the volcanically formed Blackall Range, and is part of South-East Queensland’s drinking water supply. With a rainforest walk through Obi Obi Gorge, a kids’ play area, and picnic areas to boot, this is the perfect day out for the family, couples or those just seeking some inner-peace. Ahhhhh…
You only have to head down to the turquoise waters of this tourist hot spot to see why Cotton Tree ranks as one of the best SUP spots on the Sunshine Coast. Park at the pool and head out to the front of the caravan park to find the ultimate flat-water, board-gliding haven. There’s plenty of blue waters to cruise and people watching to amuse. The more advanced can catch a few waves at the river mouth, but if you’re still a bit wobbly on the board Ocean Addicts provides lessons for beginners to the more advanced, as well as board hire.
Prefer not to get wet? Check out the best hikes to do around Brisane here.
Image credit: Ishan