So Jesus may have been able to walk on water, but we know how to glide.
There’s the clear water beneath you, ocean life swimming below, fresh ocean spray, and a feeling of pure freedom. Welcome to the world of stand-up paddle boarding—otherwise known as SUPing for those in the know (*finger to nose*).
While beginners stick to the flat waters where tranquillity beckons, the adventure hungry prefer to catch a wave or two. Yep, you can pretty much SUP anywhere so long as there’s water! And we all know there’s plenty of that on the Coast. Just FYI, it’s best to head out when there is little to no wind (remember, you’re on a watercraft now!) so check the weather so as not to disappoint.
So water babies, here are the best SUP spots on the Sunshine Coast:
This piece of magical waterway heaven is a SUPer’s utopia and is right here on our southern doorstep. Stretching for 35kms (yeah, the goodness just keeps going and going!) 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. There’s plenty of sandbars to stop at so make sure you take ample supplies for refuelling!
Where: Esplanade, Golden Beach
Need to hire? Try Golden Beach Hire
If you’re tired of being overtaken by those pesky jet skis, there are plenty of lakes on the Coast which offer quieter recreation, where only electric powered boats and paddle craft are permitted. 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…
Where: Baroon Pocket Road, Maleny
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.
Where: Cotton Tree Caravan Park, Cotton Tree Esplanade
Need to hire? Check out Ocean Addicts
On a perfect clear day, when the tide is high, this lake—which meets the ocean—is a magnet for beach-lovin’ families, sun-seeking kayakers and you guessed it—super-cool SUP lords. With cafes, hire shops, and a vast amount of water to share with your surf-crazed BFFs, you can spend the entire day here cruising the salty seas, reminiscing on sadder times (when you didn’t have a SUP in your life) and retiring the day on fish and chips, and maybe a sneaky beer.
Where: Westaway Parade, Currimundi
Need to hire? Check out Sunshine Coast Kayak & SUP Hire
The spectacular blue waters of this pristine aquatic corridor extend from the river mouth through to Lake Cooroibah and further into the waters of Lake Cootharaba, before continuing north to the Noosa Everglades, which is part of the Great Sandy National Park. If the swell is gentle enough, Noosa Main Beach is also a top spot and provides endless clear waters and deep-breathing opportunities. Om… But if nature dreaming isn’t your thing, why not try SUPing on your head? Yep, SUP yoga is a thing and Noosa Stand Up Paddle runs private classes for those wanting to see the world from a different perspective.
Where: Get out your trusty map as this is a big area with plenty of spots to toss in the SUP.
Need to hire? Try Noosa Stand Up Paddle
A popular off-leash dog beach, why not throw the pooch on board with you and check out the glorious blues of Maroochy River? Or if Bella is a good sport tell her to “stayyyy” while you take a quick paddle around. Hey, I’m sure she won’t mind a little sun-bathing while she waits! But seriously, set off from Twin Waters riverside and paddle over to Chambers Island or park up at a sandbar at low tide for a picnic (don’t forget your backpack!) in your own piece of paddling paradise.
Where: North Shore Road, Twin Waters
Image Credit: Ben Thouard