If you’re an avid stand-up paddle boarder or looking to dip your toes into this exhilarating water sport, you’re in for a treat. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the best spots for stand-up paddleboarding on the Gold Coast. So grab your board, paddle, and sense of adventure – it’s time to ride the waves and explore the hidden gems of the Gold Coast from a whole new perspective.
Currumbin Creek in the southern Gold Coast is nothing short of paradise for paddleboarding aficionados. Its smooth and sheltered waters create a lagoon-like haven, particularly near the Pirate Park Playground on the northern side, making it an ideal starting point for your paddle.
With grassy areas, playgrounds, restrooms, and the dog-friendly Dune Cafe offering bites throughout the day, it’s easy to spend an entire day here. You can commence your SUP adventure from The Alley along Duringan Street, meandering along the creek’s tranquil waters.
Afterwards, unwind and recharge with lunch and a refreshing cold beer at the nearby Currumbin RSL. You can also indulge in woodfired pizza at the popular Gold Coast eatery, Little Tommy’s.
To rent a SUP, head a bit further downstream to the Throwers Drive bridge and visit the Currumbin Boatshed. The friendly team there will equip you with the essentials and provide a briefing on the golden rules of paddleboarding along the creek’s edge.
Tallebudgera Creek is an immaculate destination for stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) enthusiasts. If you time your visit to coincide with high tide on a sunny day, you’ll be treated to exceptionally clear water. It will allow you to witness the intricate patterns of rippled sand beneath the creek bed.
It’s not uncommon to spot dolphins gracefully navigating these magnificent waters. It is patrolled at the beach area next to the Gold Coast Recreation Precinct. It ensures a safe environment for novice paddlers to gain confidence. And if you happen to work up an appetite, you’re in luck – Custard Canteen is just a short stroll away. They offer coffee and freshly baked cookies.
Additionally, you can launch your SUP on the Koala Park side, opposite Burleigh Headland (Jellurgal) and the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre. On the southern side of Tallebudgera Creek, SUP enthusiasts can set out from Murlong Park or the area in front of Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park. Given its popularity on weekends and during holidays, it’s advisable to arrive early to secure your spot.
Budds Beach offers a tranquil and wave-free alternative in Surfers Paradise. You can easily rent stand-up paddleboards and more right on the Gold Coast beachfront. Moreover, the vicinity is replete with shady trees, restrooms, and the popular Bumbles Café, known for its delectable house-baked cakes – all within walking distance.
Launch your paddleboard from the sandy shores of Budds Beach, sticking close to the shore. As you cruise the relatively calm waters of the Nerang River, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the juxtaposition of mangroves and mansions in the Surfers Paradise and Chevron Island area. Keep in mind that Budds Beach tends to get busy on weekends, so early birds secure the coveted parking spots.
For those looking for guided experiences, Go Vertical offers private tours led by qualified instructors departing from Budds Beach, providing opportunities for exploration during the day and twilight. In addition to paddleboard rentals, you’ll receive photos along the way and enjoy some good-natured laughter. SUP in Paradise offers private group lessons/tours for up to four participants and even offers a quick 15-minute introductory lesson for those in need of a refresher.
The Gold Coast’s extensive cultural parkland, known as Broadwater Parklands, stretches along the Southport Broadwater and offers a vast expanse of lush green space. Here, you’ll find the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, family-friendly rock pools, playgrounds, barbecues, and picnic spots scattered across The Great Lawn.
Nearby, you can savour a meal at cafe’s and seafood restaurants. The calm waters of the Broadwater make it an ideal destination for avid stand-up paddleboarders. Parking is available on both sides of the aquatic centre and further down on the Southern Lawn. A brief walk will take you to the water’s edge with your paddleboard.
Staying close and paddling north, you’ll encounter several sandy inlets perfect for brief rest stops. While navigating, you’ll only need to steer clear of the pier – an easy task. The Broadwater extends through Labrador, Runaway Bay, and Paradise Point, offering endless opportunities for SUP along the entire foreshore.
Spanning the Nerang River, Hinze Dam serves as the primary drinking water supply for the Gold Coast. While the dam’s sheer size is awe-inspiring, as it holds an impressive 310,730 megalitres of water at full supply, the breathtaking hinterland surroundings truly make it a spectacular recreational playground.
Hinze Dam makes it possible for paddleboarders on the Gold Coast to enjoy electric-powered watercraft, sailing, canoeing, and other watersports. Whether you commence your paddle from the Eastern or Western Boat Ramps, there’s ample exploration to be done, coupled with truly magical scenery. Most importantly, remember that SUP rentals are unavailable here, so you’ll need to bring your own board.
Doug Jennings Park, The Spit
To find yourself at The Spit, where the Broadwater meets the ocean, simply follow Seaworld Drive to its terminus. This location, directly across from the southern end of South Stradbroke Island, boasts a road that wraps around the waterfront of Doug Jennings Park like a horseshoe. While the northern side may be a bit rocky, the road soon opens up into a sandy, tree-lined inlet with abundant parking spaces. It is a much better spot for launching your SUP. The saltwater glistens and navigation within this stunning haven is straightforward.
However, exercise caution regarding boats and jet skis, as this area is a hub for various water sports. Remember to make a pit stop at the Seaway Kiosk near the dog beach to savour their renowned crab sandwich!
Situated perfectly between Surfers Paradise and Main Beach, Macintosh Island is a beautifully tree-lined haven that remains one of the Gold Coast’s well-kept secrets. The island is surrounded by serene canals, offering numerous sandy beaches where you can easily launch your stand-up paddleboard (SUP).
Moreover, the calm waters make it suitable for paddlers of all skill levels. It is why it is an excellent destination for the entire family to enjoy. Moreover, Macintosh Island Park provides ample amenities such as barbecues, shaded areas with lush trees, and restroom facilities. Also, it has plenty of parking spaces.
In addition, it is home to resident peacocks, curlews, and a variety of birdlife. These adds to the enchanting atmosphere of this secluded enclave. After your stand-up paddleboarding adventure on the Gold Coast, you’ll have no shortage of dining options nearby.
Discover Gold Coast’s Paddleboarding Bliss Today!
In conclusion, the Gold Coast’s paddleboarding scene stands out as the ultimate aquatic experience for both enthusiasts and newcomers alike. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a novice looking to try something new, the Gold Coast’s paddleboarding options are truly second to none. This makes it the premier destination for an unforgettable aquatic journey.