Some of you may not know, the very earth you stand on was once mangroves, lagoons and pretty much one huge swamp.
Hence our endless waterways and canals that are an absolute blessing and refuge during our humid and hot days. From the beach to the creek, we’ve rounded up the best water activities to ensure you get an endless summer and to milk the fact we rarely get anything resembling a season change here on the Gold Coast.
Say Yes To surfing
Okay, captain obvious…We are the surfing mecca of Australia with over 70 kilometres of pristine coastline and epic waves, so if you haven’t given surfing a go, check out our round up the Gold Coast’s best spots to learn. Although we haven’t seen the swell of the season yet, here’s hoping it arrives in time for the Quiky Pro and for all those surfers that are missing the saltwater in their veins.
Float Down Talle Creek
If all you can afford is a $25 blow-up swan from Kmart, then you will still have a blast floating down Tallebudgera Creek. Imagine: Paddock acai bowl in hand, perched on your swan, lapping up the sun and letting the current do all the work. Be sure to dodge the kids jumping off the bridge as you meander down the rampant rapids (just jokes). It’s a tame stretch of water, just be prepared to get out and walk all the way back.
Learn To SCUBA Dive
Let’s be honest, it would be cool if we could breathe underwater so we could spend more time ogling at the other world under the sea. SCUBA diving is the next best thing and it’s within reach. Gold Coast Divers offers a four-day beginner course where you’ll be trained to a depth of 18 metres and come out the other side with a globally recognised certificate. For those who want to advance their training, other courses include navigation, deep diving, night diving, wreck diving and more. Trust us, this is one for the bucket list!
Snorkel With Green Turtles
It is only a 15-minute boat ride from Kingscliff to get out to Cook Island, home to a large population of Green turtles, coral, tropical fish and clownfish. Finding Nemo eat your heart out! Waterspouts Guru offer a daily trip and don’t worry if you’ve never snorkelled before, because they have qualified instructors on board to teach you the basics. This is one of the best water activities on the Gold coast and a day trip well worth the $99!
Hire A BBQ Boat
This will quite literally take your BBQ to the next level. Forget the backyard, hire a 12-person boat that comes with a BBQ, large ice box, electric flush toilet, sink, sound system and is completely self drive. No random captain here! Just you and 11 of your mates, cooking up a storm as you sink a few bevvies, listening to your favourite beats, and watching the sun set over our little slice of paradise.
Feel The Wind In Your Sails
Doesn’t knowing how to sail sound so sophisticated? Southport Yacht Club offer a 'Discover Sailing Day' where you can try sailing on an array of different boats including dinghies, catamarans, trailer sailors, yachts and blazers. The next date is still TBC, but it’s free and it might just become your new hobby. There are endless other options; if you have dabbled before then you can be part of a crew in their weekly social races, complete a sailing certificate, or even volunteer on race days to get a feel for the sport.
Fulfil The Need For Speed On A Jet Ski Safari
Don’t have a couple of jet skis parked in your garage? It’s okay, not many of us do. You can either make friends with someone who has one, or go on a Jet Ski Safari. If you think it’s only for tourists or for the faint hearted, don’t be mistaken because you can opt for the 'full throttle' experience and a taste for what 130 horse power under your seat feels like! The best part? No license and no experience is necessary; but the staff will train you up so you are flying past your friends at full speed in no time.
Peace Out On A Canal Cruise
Fancy something with a little less effort? Then go on a cruise through the best of the Gold Coast’s waterways. With a well-stocked bar on most tours and a complimentary lunch, it’s a no brainer if you are showing friends or family the magic of where you live. You can opt for a morning, lunch, afternoon, sunset or even a private party cruise. Starting at only $20 per person, that leaves plenty of pocket money to sip cocktails from the bar. Try Surfers Paradise River Cruises or Wyndham Cruises.
Catch A Crab
If you adore seafood and ain’t afraid to get your hands dirty, then head to Tweed’s Birds Bay Oyster Farm and embark on a Catch a Crab cruise. You’ll get a tour of the farm, learn how to catch mud crabs, pump for yabbies, feed the fish and the friendly pelicans, and then you get to eat the freshest oysters and crab until your heart is content. Sign us up!
Paddle A SUP
Since we’ve had a pretty mediocre summer of swell, it’s the perfect time to start SUPing. Not only will you still be out on the water, you will be practicing your balancing skills while your core gets an incredible workout and you get an enviable tan. That’s more than a double whammy, if you ask us. If you are a bit wobbly for the open sea, then Currumbin Estuary, Talle Creek or Budd’s Beach are your best bets for balance. We’ve scouted the best locations for SUP schools to learn the basics, or just places to hire equipment so you can go forth and get your SUP on.
Try A Jetpack On For Size
While more of an air activity, than a water one, the super power of the jetpack is definitely worth including in our round up of best water activities on the Gold Coast. A device launched in Australia in 2012, this water-propelled backpack allows for all your James Bond dreams to come true. Safety first though folks, you’ll be strapped in by a five-way safety harness, similar to the ones in race cars. It’s all controlled by you, with easy steering left and right and up and down. To infinity and beyond! Harder than it sounds? Probably.
Admire Our Coastline & Waterways In A Kayak
Kayaking is a fun and mellow way to enjoy the water if you don’t like to actually get in it. Kayak the Gold Coast offers a half day package where you get to take in the heart of the Coast, Burleigh Heads. If you would rather a romantic paddle, opt for the Broadbeach sunset tour which includes a cute picnic on a hidden beach. Otherwise, you can just hire the kayak and explore solo; they will drop them off and pick them up for you. Another vendor worth hunting down is West Burleigh’s Smoothwaters Kayak Hire, for a peaceful self-guided paddle down the southwestern end of Tallebudgera Creek. Winning!
Nailed all the Gold Coast’s best water activities? You’ll deserve a beer to celebrate your efforts, at the best craft beer breweries here and nearby.
Image Credit: Brooke Darling for The Urban List