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  • The 20 Best Places to Stand Up Paddle Board near Brisbane

    February 28, 2024 14 min read

    The 20 Best Places to Stand Up Paddle Board near Brisbane

    The 20 Best Places to Stand Up Paddle Board near Brisbane

    Written for Auski by Pink Lemonade Social

    Brisbane, a city that attracts stand up paddle boarding enthusiasts, has a wealth of options nearby for SUP’ers to hit the water. With its beautiful waterways, calm rivers, and sun-kissed beaches, the city is a great place for both novices and experts to visit. Standup paddleboarding, or SUP, is a fantastic blend of surfing and kayaking, providing a diverse array of activities that cater to both fitness enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful escape. Standup paddleboarding is a fantastic activity that can be enjoyed all year round, with plenty of stunning locations to explore. And you don't have to limit yourself to just the Brisbane River! Additionally, you can find places where you can rent equipment and receive guidance.

    A few places close to Brisbane that are ideal for novices include Cylinder Beach and Hornibrook Bridge, but the city and wider region offers a wide range of paddle boarding options, perfect for both beginners and experienced enthusiasts.

    For all the adventure seekers out there, we've put together a comprehensive guide to the best stand up paddle boarding destinations in Brisbane. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, we've got you covered with a list of the most sought-after spots, perfect for beginners and experts alike. If you're passionate about SUP, we highly recommend exploring the wide range of compact inflatable boards that are currently on the market. These boards offer incredible convenience and portability, making them perfect for travel and adventure.

    In no particular order, here are the best locations for stand up paddle boarding near Brisbane.


    1. Brisbane River, Brisbane

    Located just a stone's throw from the bustling Brisbane CBD, the picturesque Brisbane River continues to captivate visitors from near and far. With its tranquil stretches and manageable currents, this location is perfect for paddlers of all skill levels. Experience the breathtaking beauty of gliding beneath the iconic Story Bridge or alongside the vibrant Botanical Gardens. When it comes to finding the perfect paddle boarding spots, one destination that should definitely be on your radar is the Brisbane River. If you're looking for a more peaceful experience, this might not be the ideal option as it tends to get quite crowded. However, it remains a timeless favourite regardless.

    You can begin your journey at different locations along the river, such as Kangaroo Point and West End. The water is usually calm with occasional boat traffic. For the best experience, it's recommended to begin your journey early in order to avoid crowded boat traffic and fully appreciate the stunning cityscape views.

    Brisbane River Stand Up Paddle Boarding

    Pumicestone Passage Stand Up Paddle Board, Bribie Island

    Image: Instagram/lindaatthebeach

    2. Pumicestone Passage, Donnybrook

    The Pumicestone Passage is often regarded as a breathtaking haven for avid stand up paddleboarding enthusiasts. From Deception Bay to the tip of Bribie Island on the Sunshine Coast, this vast waterway spans 35 kilometres! There are so many great launching spots to choose from, you'll have a hard time deciding. If you're looking to start your paddling journey or have a fun day out with the kids, Golden Beach in Caloundra is the perfect spot. The waters in that area will be significantly calmer due to the protection provided by the long arm of Bribie Island, shielding it from strong tidal forces. With its shallow waters, the Pumicestone Passage is a fantastic destination for stand up paddleboarding enthusiasts of all ages. A waterproof camera is a must-have, as you'll want to capture the breathtaking scenery of the golden sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and distant, and majestic Glasshouse Mountains in the distance. Immerse yourself in the beauty of this ecological estuary, where you'll encounter a diverse range of marine life including dugongs, dolphins, and turtles. It's a paradise for bird-watchers, with countless species to observe and admire.


    3. South Bank Parklands, Brisbane

    Situated a mere 10-minute walk from Brisbane's bustling CBD, South Bank Parklands provides a serene escape where the calm waters are perfect for both seasoned and novice stand up paddle boarders in Brisbane. After an exhilarating paddle session, you can explore the numerous attractions within the parkland. Explore the beautifully manicured gardens that display a stunning array of native plants, indulge in the vibrant local markets brimming with one-of-a-kind crafts and treasures, or experience the breathtaking Brisbane Wheel, where you can soak in the panoramic vistas of the cityscape and the meandering river. It's not just a place to go paddling; it's a unique experience that seamlessly blends the beauty of nature with the excitement of city life. The best starting points to hit the water are Streets Beach or Boat pool where the waters are serene.

    South Band Parklands, Brisbane

    Crockatt Park, Woody Point, Brisbane

    4. Crockatt Park, Woody Point

    Indulge in a day of sailing, kayaking, or paddleboarding at Crockatt Park, a beloved destination for water enthusiasts in Brisbane. The tranquil waters offer an ideal setting for novice paddleboarders to hone their skills. Admire the stunning vistas of Clontarf Beach in the distance, a variety of birds and marine life close to Shorncliffe Pier, and watch people casting nets and lowering lines from the jetty. Don't forget to paddle past the HMQS Gayundah, an intriguing old gunboat that met its fate as a shipwreck in 1958 and has since become a beloved attraction. Crockatt Park, which is tucked away close to Woody Point's tip, offers a wealth of amenities to help you make the most of your day. Discover the local fish and chip shops and cafés where you can indulge in delicious meals. Enjoy the convenience of sheltered picnic areas for barbeques and explore numerous fantastic fishing spots.


    5. Tangalooma Resort, Moreton Island

    One of the most breathtaking spots to stand up paddle board near Brisbane is undoubtably the pristine waters at Tangalooma Island Resort. Just imagine the thrill of embracing the occasional plunge into the water while balancing on your board. And after giving your core an intense workout and catching a glimpse of some fascinating marine life, you can simply relax on the pristine sandy beach. Treat yourself to a few hours of sunbathing and perhaps indulge in some delicious takeaway fish and chips from the Beach Cafe. Additionally, you have the option to rent a SUP board directly from the beach.

    Tangalooma Resort, Moreton Island

    Coochiemudlo Island, Moreton Bay

    Image: Instagram/timothy_liam

    6. Coochiemudlo Island, Moreton Bay

    Coochiemudlo Island, a hidden gem located an hour from Brisbane that requires a ferry voyage from Victoria Point, is easily accessible and worth the trip to hit the water. The serene waters are ideal for families and beginners in the world of paddle boarding. However, Coochiemudlo has a lot more to offer beyond water activities. Immerse yourself in the island's breathtaking beauty as you wander along its picturesque walking trails. Discover the captivating variety of landscapes, from lush green bushlands to pristine sandy shorelines. Moreover, the sandy beaches often buzz with spontaneous beach volleyball matches, providing an opportunity for tourists and locals to socialise, compete, and enjoy the lively community atmosphere of the island. If you're looking for a place that offers both relaxation and recreation, Coochiemudlo is the perfect destination.


    7. Wellington Point

    Located just a short distance from the CBD, Wellington Point offers a tranquil haven for those who love to stand up paddle. Immersed in the beauty of its turquoise waters and lush mangroves, this destination offers a serene atmosphere that is perfect for those new to the experience. With its captivating waters, Wellington Point is a haven for nature enthusiasts seeking thrilling outdoor experiences. Exploring the intricate waterways through kayaking or stand up paddle boarding offers a closer look at the fascinating marine life and mangrove ecosystems of the area. The best launching point is Wellington Point Reserve, where the shallow waters resemble a bay.

    Wellington Point, Best Places to Stand Up Paddle Board near Brisbane

    Image: Instagram/koh_steven


    Redcliffe Peninsula, Queensland, Best Places to Stand Up Paddle Board

    Image: Instagram/jbeea310

    8. Redcliffe Peninsula

    Located an hour north of Brisbane, the Redcliffe Peninsula is a paradise for those who love the water. With serene bays perfect for a leisurely paddle and thrilling open waters for the adventurous souls, the distant silhouette of Moreton Island on the horizon only adds to its irresistible charm. Redcliffe, known for its incredible paddle boarding opportunities, offers much more than just water activities. The sandy beaches are ideal for beachside picnics, attracting families and groups looking for a relaxing day by the shore. The best starting points are Redcliffe Jetty or Scarborough Beach.

    The waters are diverse in the Redcliffe Peninsula, ranging from calm bays to expansive open ocean. Remember to always check the weather conditions before embarking on your aquatic adventures.


    9. Enoggera Reservoir, The Gap

    The Enoggera Reservoir, just a short drive from Brisbane's CBD, is a beloved destination for stand-up paddleboarding enthusiasts. Its serene waters are nestled amidst lush greenery, providing a tranquil and picturesque experience. With its convenient location and proximity to the CBD, this destination is perfect for those who are up for short day trips. Experience the tranquilly of the reservoir's calm, flat waters that provide an ideal setting for a serene and leisurely paddle, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the surrounding beauty. You also might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a platypus gracefully swimming among the lily pads.

    With its paddle-friendly waters and abundance of hiking trails, the reservoir is a perfect spot for both water sports enthusiasts and nature lovers. You'll have the chance to explore the beautiful trails and encounter local wildlife, creating a unique and memorable experience.

    Enoggera Reservoir, The Gap, Brisbane

    Image: Instagram/brisbanecitycouncil


    North Stradbroke Island

    10. North Stradbroke Island

    Just a two-hour journey from Brisbane lies North Stradbroke, a destination that will test even the most experienced boarders with its powerful waves. For those who love adventure, North Stradbroke Island offers some of the most thrilling paddle boarding spots. With its breathtaking waters and stunning ocean vistas, the island is a paradise for adventurers of all levels. Picture yourself among the beauty of the untouched beaches, where you can spend hours leisurely exploring the shoreline and discovering the hidden gems that the ocean has left behind.

    There are numerous beach entry points to launch your board from. If you are looking for a challenge, the coastal waters are known for their impressive waves. For those with a taste for adventure, the surf breaks on the eastern side are a must-try for experienced paddlers.


    11. Currimundi Lake (Kathleen McArthur) Conservation Park

    Discover a tranquil location perfect for a leisurely paddle at Currimundi Lake. Weekends can be quite busy with families, but paddleboarding offers a delightful chance to slow down and observe the world around you. Currimundi Lake is a beginner-friendly paddle location perfect for families or those new to the sport. The calm and protected waters of Currimundi Lake offer a perfect setting for canoeing, kayaking, or paddleboarding. Navigating these waters is a breeze, making it a great choice for a leisurely adventure. If you're looking for a shorter paddle, you can head downstream to the Lake entrance at Currimundi Lake. The lake offers a full 6km canoe/paddle circuit for those who want a longer adventure. The serene lake is typically shielded from the wind, providing a secure and pristine paddle experience.

    Currimundi Lake, Queensland, Best Places to Stand Up Paddle Board

    Image: Instagram/thejacobshannon


    Raby Bay, Moreton Bay

    Image: Instagram/corin_bradfield

    12. Raby Bay, Moreton Bay

    Raby Bay is an excellent choice for indulging in recreational activities during your weekends such as stand up paddle boarding. Situated a stone's throw away from the CBD, this bay is the perfect destination for paddleboarding enthusiasts. The bay is incredibly beautiful and peaceful with its crystal-clear waters. It's the perfect spot for both beginners and experienced paddle boarders to enjoy. Take a leisurely stroll through the neighbouring parklands and indulge in the diverse culinary delights offered by the nearby eateries, ensuring a delightful conclusion to a day filled with aquatic adventures. Raby Bay offers a range of options for paddle boarders, with tranquil inlets for beginners and more demanding stretches for experienced paddlers. However, the bay's charm goes beyond exciting paddle boarding experiences. This place is teeming with life, where snorkelers can marvel at the stunning coral reefs and lively fish. With its crystal-clear waters, the bay offers incredible chances to catch a glimpse of playful dolphins and sea turtles, transforming it into more than just a place to paddle - it becomes a complete marine adventure. The best starting point is Raby Bay Foreshore Park with its sheltered bay with minimal currents. Exercise a little more caution when navigating the canals, as it can be tricky to navigate.


    13. Caboolture River, Caboolture

    Located just 45 minutes north of Brisbane, Caboolture River is a tranquil destination that will captivate paddle enthusiasts. It provides a serene and peaceful atmosphere, with a spacious water surface and gentle currents, perfect for those who are new to honing their skills. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the river, with its winding creeks and stunning scenery, ideal for those new to SUP boarding. When launching your SUP at Rafting Ground Road or Saint Smith Road, it's important to be mindful of the tidal currents in the area surrounding Deception Bay. The river originates at Deception Bay and meanders through Caboolture before branching out into smaller streams in Campbells Pocket. If you're looking for a different kind of adventure, consider starting your journey from Lower King St. For those who enjoy exploring against the current, the mouth of the Caboolture River offers an excellent opportunity to go upstream.

    Caboolture River

    Hays Inlet, Moreton Island, Best Places to Stand Up Paddle Board Queensland

    Image: Instagram/mouldynstale

    14. Hays Inlet, Moreton Bay

    The tranquil, serene waters of Hays Inlet, which is in Moreton Bay's northwest corner, is a primary attraction for stand-up paddleboarders. The inlet starts near Lachlan Street Park and stretches inland towards Hays Inlet Conservation Park. If you're searching for a serene and calm paddleboarding spot to enhance your skills while unwinding your thoughts, then Hays Inlet is the perfect destination for you! Experience the serene beauty of the intertidal flats, where you can peacefully paddle past soaring sea eagles and observe the lively movement of crabs along the banks. Allow yourself to be immersed in the tranquil ambiance as you leisurely navigate through enchanting eucalyptus and mangrove forests. There are also several exciting routes to paddle out and discover, such as venturing up Freshwater Creek or, for those with paddleboarding expertise, navigating the western run of North Pine River. Whichever spot you decide to start your journey from, prepare to be completely captivated by the diverse and breathtaking natural habitats.

    If you're drawn to the idea of exploring eucalyptus forests, saltmarshes, and mangrove forests, then make your way to the north-western corner of Moreton Bay. You can start your adventure by launching your board from the end of Haysmouth Parade in Clontarf or Brighton Park in Sandgate.


    15. Lake Baroon / Baroon Pocket Dam, Maleny

    Nestled in a secluded valley, this stunning gem is situated within a lush rainforest on the Blackall Range, which was shaped by volcanic activity. Located in the heart of the main range, between Maleny and Montville, you'll find the serene Baroon Pocket Dam. It also happens to be a vital source of drinking water for South-East Queensland. Experience the beauty of Obi Obi Gorge with a tranquil rainforest walk, a dedicated kids' play area, and picturesque picnic spots. It's an ideal destination for families, couples, or anyone in search of serenity. It is a great place for a stunning and serene paddle on one of the hidden lakes nestled in the valley. Perfect for kayakers and boarders of all skill levels, although it's worth noting that the lake can become choppy on windy days. Imagine the serene beauty of this protected place, with no powercraft allowed on the dam and surrounded by lush green hills. It's the perfect spot for a peaceful paddle.

    Discovering the hidden gems of the lake involves exploring its numerous small tributaries that are perfect for paddling. The scenery surrounding the water's edge offers a diverse range, from expansive grasslands to lush bush. With a distance of 1.4 km across the dam, you can enjoy some fantastic 3-4 hour paddles on this beautiful lake. Please take note of the gate closure times, which vary depending on the season. Make sure to check with seqwater.com before heading out to confirm if the dam is open.

    Lake Baroon, Baroon Pocket Dam, Maleny

    Image: Instagram/drraza.87


    Tallebudgera Creek, Tallebudgera beach, Burleigh Heads, Best Places to Stand Up Paddle Board Queensland

    Image: Instagram/molintilda

    16. Tallebudgera Creek, Burleigh Heads

    Located just an hour to the south of Brisbane, Tallebudgera Creek is a stunning destination for paddle boarding. With its crystal-clear waters and pristine sandy beaches, it's a true paradise. Perfect for those new to paddling, the creek offers a tranquil and captivating experience on the water. With its stunning beauty and tranquil waters, Tallebudgera Creek stands out as a must-visit destination for paddleboarding enthusiasts on the Gold Coast. Located along the southern end of Burleigh's National Park headland, this area exudes a sense of untamed beauty. Numerous operators offer a wide range of equipment for rent, allowing you to embark on exciting water adventures. Just remember to bring your furry companion along, as it's quite common to spot dogs enjoying a paddleboarding adventure on Tallebudgera Creek. Picture yourself soaking in the refreshing waters, taking leisurely swims, and enjoying the peaceful ambiance of the serene banks. It's the perfect spot to relax, unwind, and indulge in some quality me-time.


    Currumbin Creek, Palm Beach

    Image: Instagram/katysears_

    17. Currumbin Creek, Palm Beach

    An hour and a half’s drive from Brisbane's CBD, you'll find yourself at the serene Currumbin Creek, a perfect spot for beginners looking to try out paddle boarding. Immersed in the tranquil atmosphere and surrounded by breathtaking views, paddling in this location is truly a delightful experience. Imagine the breathtaking beauty of this sparkling blue-water estuary that gracefully separates Palm Beach and Currumbin. On both sides, you'll find pristine white-sand beaches that are just a stone's throw away from where the creek meets the sea. If you have an adventurous spirit and a fearless attitude, venture into the waves of popular Currumbin Alley. Alternatively, if you prefer tranquilly and calm waters, you can explore the creek that stretches up to 6km inland (just keep in mind that you'll have to paddle back!). There are also a few convenient rental spots in the area, so you won't have to carry a board for long. However, there's more to water adventures than just paddle boarding. The serene tranquilly of the creek also makes it a perfect location for kayaking. After indulging in water activities, you have the perfect opportunity to relax and savour a delightful picnic on the picturesque banks. The best starting point is Currumbin Creek Road. The water type is a serene and transparent creek adorned with beautiful mangroves.


    18. Cotton Tree, Maroochydore

    For paddle board fans in Brisbane, Cotton Tree is a hidden gem, located 90 minutes north of Maroochydore. Experience the tranquilly of the calm waters, perfect for paddle boarding enthusiasts of all levels. Cotton Tree is usually always bustling with tourists and locals. This location is perfect for an exciting paddle boarding experience. Arriving early to secure a parking spot is highly recommended, given its popularity. Just take a trip to the stunning turquoise waters of this popular destination and you'll quickly understand why Cotton Tree is considered one of the top SUP spots on the Sunshine Coast.. There are numerous opportunities to explore beautiful bodies of water and enjoy observing people. If you're looking to ride some waves, you can try your luck at the river mouth. For those who love to explore and capture the beauty of new places, the area's pristine beaches offer a serene setting for a leisurely picnic. It's the ideal way to unwind and complete a day filled with thrilling water activities. The best starting point is Cotton Tree Esplanade where the waters are serene along the Maroochydore River.

    Cotton Tree, Maroochydore

    Image: Instagram/walkorwine


    Noosa River, Noosa, Best Places to Stand Up Paddle Board Queensland

    Image: Instagram/photobohemian

    19. Noosa River, Noosa

    Just a short two-hour drive north of Brisbane you'll find yourself at the vibrant Noosa River. The sparkling blue waters are a popular destination for paddling enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of this untouched aquatic paradise, stretching from the river mouth to Lake Cooroibah and beyond into the depths of Lake Cootharaba. Journey further north to explore the enchanting Noosa Everglades, nestled within the magnificent Great Sandy National Park. When the swell is gentle, Noosa Main Beach becomes a top destination with its endless clear waters and tranquil atmosphere, perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation. After your water activities you can immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the esplanade, where charming cafes invite you to savour a latte while enjoying the waterfront view. Starting point options include Gympie Terrace or Tewantin. For a truly one-of-a-kind experience, consider paddling to the Noosa Everglades. It's an adventure that will leave you in awe.


    20. Lake Kurwongbah

    A hidden gem that is now mostly overlooked, Lake Kurwongbah provides a stunning setting for the paddling, teeming with a diverse range of fish, bird, and native animals. Visitors can enjoy the lake on a daily basis with paddle craft, such as stand up paddle boards, canoes and kayaks. Lake Kurwongbah was built during the 1960s and 1970s as one of two dams in the Pine Rivers area, providing water to the region. Now it offers a stunning setting for both locals and tourists to savour BBQs and picnics. It's a hotspot for canoeing, kayaking, and paddling in specific areas. However, please note that stand up paddle boarding is only permitted from Wednesday to Sunday. On other days, this serene lake transforms into a hub of water sports activities, with water skiers and rowers taking over.  Each activity has been assigned dedicated zones to ensure everyone's satisfaction. Fortunately, the area designated for paddlers is conveniently located along the perimeter, which offers the best vantage point.

    Lake Kurwongbah

    Image: Instagram/ollie_underwaterx



    Brisbane is an excellent destination for both experienced and novice stand up paddleboarders. If you're new to stand up paddle boarding, the first step is finding the perfect paddle board for your needs, this can be done by renting a few and testing out what works for you. Stand up paddleboarding is an incredibly versatile watersport that caters to a wide range of interests and preferences. It provides opportunities for competition, relaxation, and fitness, making it a great choice for anyone looking to have a good time on the water. Now that you have discovered the top stand up paddle boarding spots near Brisbane, it’s time to jump in the car and head out!

     

    Know another great escape from Brissie? Leave a comment below!

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