Kayaking used to be one of the few ways to spend leisurely outings sliding across your favourite stretch of h2o. And due to its many advantages over other forms of watercraft—for example, no risk of falling, being able to pack snacks—it has thankfully stood the test of time.
To help you get out and about on the water, we’ve compiled 10 places to kayak on and around the Gold Coast. Whether you live northern, central or southern Gold Coast, there’s a spot not too far from you.
These are the best kayaking spots on the Gold Coast and nearby.
See Burleigh Headland from the water by paddling along the creek towards the river mouth and take the opportunity for a quick dip while you’re there. Or paddle upstream among the mangroves towards Schuster Park where there are plenty of facilities for the family, including picnic shelters, barbeques and playgrounds. Check out Smoothwaters Kayak to hire some gear.
Elanora Wetlands Reserve
Glide through the 20-hectare reserve which borders the upper reaches of Tallebudgera Creek, and forms part of the Burleigh to Springbrook wildlife corridor. This waterway plays a vital role in supporting the native flora and fauna in the area, including over 60 species of birds, sugar gliders and common tree snakes, making it one of the best Gold Coast kayaking spots.
Make sure to strap in tight while you cruise the Broadwater as you’ll be sharing it with every other Gold Coast water lovers. Your best options are to take a look at Wavebreak Island or explore the nooks and crannies of South Stradbroke Island. Seaway Kayaking Tours provides kayak hire and expeditions.
Head downstream along Currumbin Creek to Tarrabora Reserve and Currumbin Parklands, or upstream to Coastal Meadows Park, Currumbin Valley. One of the Gold Coast’s more popular water sport locations, you won’t be far from fellow paddlers. Currumbin Boatshed has you covered for kayaks and other equipment.
Colman Road Reserve
The Colman Road Reserve is a natural conservation area and an easy spot to launch your vessel. Keep an eye out for koalas foraging in the eucalypts as you explore Pimpana River, McCoy’s Creek, Southern Moreton Bay Islands and Jumpinpin Point. Why not make a day of it and head over to Couran Cove Island Resort or Tipplers Licensed Cafe for lunch and an afternoon drink.
One way to see the tranquil waters of Cudgen Creek is with the Watersports Guru. Take your pick from a number of kayaking tours, including self-guided, 90-minute and half-day options. The creek is known for its birdlife, river rays and, if you’re lucky, the occasional dolphin may slide underneath.
Another scenic option for those northern Gold Coasters, Coombabah Creek—which extends into Coombabah Lake—is a well-known hangout for Eastern Curlews, Brahminy Kites and Osprey birds. Another route is to paddle along Saltwater Creek to join the Coomera River, then slide south towards Paradise Point for a swim, rest and maybe something to eat.
Head under the South Beach Road bridge (watch out for the jumpers!) followed by the foot bridge and paddle south towards Byron Bay. After about 5km the water turns dark brown, which is from the surrounding Tea Tree (Melaleuca) forests that line the banks. Eastern water dragons are common, and occasionally large monitors can be seen moving along the shore.
Jacobs Well Conservation Area
Paddle south into the Woogoompah Everglades, a system of winding, mangrove-lined channels that join the Pimpama River, The Broadwater and South Stradbroke Island. Keep an eye out for White-bellied Sea Eagles and Pelicans that patrol the area.
Start your trip in town and move south along the crystal blue waters of Mooball Creek, which runs parallel to the surf. Head towards Wooyung Nature Reserve, where things are a little wilder and your chances of spotting the natural wildlife, both under and above you, increase.
Worked up a sweat at the finest Gold Coast kayaking spots? You deserve a drink! Check out these top Gold Coast rooftop bars.