Over the last decade, stand up paddle (SUP) boarding has exploded in popularity in Australia. Whilst in reality the origins of stand up paddle boarding date back thousands of years to the ancient Hawaiian and African native cultures, it was only around 2005 that stand up paddle boarding as we know it today became a mainstream sport and leisure activity.
Anywhere you go you can now find SUPs for hire, and some predict it won’t be too long before it will be featured as a Olympic event in some capacity.
The popularity of SUPing can be credited to its versatility, as SUPing can be enjoyed by people of all ages and is easy to start learning. Some of the most common uses of SUPs are…
-Leisure: Lazily paddling or floating around calm lakes and rivers on a SUP is now one of the most popular leisure activities in Australia. Every weekend you’ll find thousands of SUPers hitting the water to relax and take in their natural surrounds. Don’t be surprised to see a few dogs joining their owners as they glide through the calm waters either.
-Exercise: Now I know we said that SUPing is easy to get started in, but it can also be a real workout as well. SUPing for long durations (and often even short paddles) requires a good level of upper body and core strength and so is a great option to get into shape whilst having fun amongst nature.
-Surfing: For those that have mastered SUPing on calm waters, heading out into the surf is often the next step. Surfing waves on your SUP is an exhilarating experience and you can now find SUPs amongst most surfing lineups around Australia.
Now we’ve had a look at the different ways to enjoy SUPing and some of the history, we will look at some of the most amazing stand up paddle (SUP) boarding locations in Queensland. We’ve listed some popular (and also a few secret) spots where you can hit the warm waters of the sunshine state surrounded by the best nature has to offer.
Tallebudgera Creek, Gold Coast
Tallebudgera Creek is a pristine swimming and SUPing location that is very popular with locals and tourist alike. Running alongside the beautiful Burleigh Heads National Park, Tallebudgera Creek offers an ideal SUPing destination.
The creek leads out to the ocean but is protected by sand bars that make the waters nice and calm for your SUPing adventure.
Action Outdoor Hire offer a full range of SUP boards for hire starting from $30 for 2hrs.
One word of warning though, Tallebudgera Creek can be very busy during the school holidays and parking can be an issue. So try to avoid it during these popular times.
Image Credit: destinationgoldcoast.com
Mossman River, Tropical Far North Queensland (90 minutes north of Cairns)
A guided SUP session on the Mossman River is a great way to spend a sunny Queensland day. Located in the oldest rainforest in the world (the Daintree Rainforest), these guided tours will lead you through the tranquil and untouched surrounds of this amazing destination.
Ideal for couples, groups of friends, solo adventurers or families with children, this guided tour also includes the juiciest of local fruits for snacking during your upstream paddle and finishes with a unique natural body scrub, with ochre from the river banks.
This guided tour is run by WindSwell, a local kite-surfing company from Port Douglas.
Image Credit: windswell.com.au
Fitzroy Island (near Cairns)
Fitzroy Island has to be one of the best places for watersports in all of Far North Queensland. Located just a short 45-minute boat ride from Cairns, the warm, blue waters off Fitzroy Island provide an idyllic setting for learner and advanced SUPers alike.
Whether you want to purchase a package that offers the boat trip to the island with all your watersports hire included, or you’d prefer to just hire a board once you’re there, Fitzroy Island has the perfect solution for everyone.
You can also choose to stay on the island for a night, week or longer with many accommodation options for all budgets available.
The package deals mentioned can include SUP lessons before heading out on a 3-hour tour of the island, where you’ll paddle beside amazing tropical reef fish and sea turtles that are commonly found close to shore.
Whilst on the island you can also mix up your activities with snorkelling, ocean trampolining and the beautiful resort pool available to enjoy for all island guests.
For more information on Fitzroy Island SUP hire, click here.
Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island (near Brisbane)
Tangalooma Island Resort is a perfect family holiday destination and is a great location to enjoy a day of stand up paddle boarding. Located just a 75-min catamaran cruise from Brisbane, the island has perfect, calm waters and plenty of space to explore.
Moreton Island is famous for its friendly dolphins, so don’t be surprised if these curious creatures come and join you whilst you explore the island’s shores.
Image Credit: australia.com