Australia is known around the world for its beautiful beaches, rivers and water-loving lifestyle. One of the largest countries on Earth by land mass, Australia offers a multitude of diverse SUP experiences just waiting for you to discover.
We’ve compiled this list of great locations to Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Australia. We couldn’t possibly list all the SUP watersport opportunities Australia holds, but here are a few favourites to get you thinking.
Going on a road trip? What better place to take a high-quality inflatable stand up paddle board and spend a few hours floating around! If you’re new to the sport, our SUP buyers guide will point you in the right direction and of course, we’re always happy to help you select the right SUP for you.
The Brisbane river flows throughout South East Queensland, through the City of Brisbane, before emptying into Moreton Bay. While tackling it’s 344 km length on a SUP might be a bit of a challenge, there are many beautiful spots to drop in.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Brisbane – the third largest city in Australia – will give you a unique viewpoint that distances you from the urban sprawl of skyscrapers allowing you to take in the full spectacle of the city skyline.
Keep an eye out for the Kangaroo Point cliffs and the occasional rock climber as you paddle your way along the shoreline.
Up on the Sunshine Coast, Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Noosa is sure to delight. Enjoy a flatwater paddle through the canals, or head out to the Main Beach and catch a few waves.
Nature enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the stunning Lake Cootharaba to the north, where you can SUP though to the breathtaking Noosa River and Everglades.
New South Wales
A sheltered bay off one of Sydney’s most exclusive suburbs gives New South Wales residents the perfect location for stand up paddle boarding. SUPers can paddle in the smooth waters of the bay along some of Sydney’s most spectacular beaches and take in the breathtaking Sydney skyline as well as the Sydney Harbour National Park. The more adventurous SUP rider can paddle out from the bay along the peninsula out into the Tasman Sea.
Every January the ‘Every Man and His Dog’ competition combines SUP riders and their four-legged friends for a lighthearted day of competition and fun.
What SUP guide to Australia would be complete without New South Wales Byron Bay? Home to hippies, artists and holidaying celebrities – and an onslaught of tourists every summer – Byron Bay is the perfect place to stand up paddle board by day and relax with at the iconic Beach Hotel by night.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Byron Bay is also a great opportunity to spot incredible marine wildlife while afloat including fish, dolphins, sea turtles and the occasional whale!
A picturesque ferry ride from Darling Harbour, Manly Beach is the perfect place to SUP. With world famous beaches and stunning water, Manly is a great place to eat, shop, lay on the beach and paddle on the pristine water. Try signing up for a local SUP Yoga class and feel your chakras align and the sun on your back as you float atop the sea!
Port Phillip Bay
Over 200km of protected coastline along the shore of Victoria provides Stand Up Paddle Boarders with ample opportunity to explore the beautiful flatwater and surrounds. Known for its dolphin spotting – the lucky SUP rider can spend the afternoon playing with them.
Being circular in nature, the bay allows SUP riders to plan rides from an easy 5km to long distance endurance paddles.
From Torquay to Lorne, there are many spots to unload your SUP and ride some of the best waves Australia has to offer. In fact, every Easter the Rip Curl Pro is held at Bells Beach near Torquay, attracting the world’s best surfers. Stop off at Aireys Inlet for a quick paddle between Torquay and Lorne, but don’t forget your wetsuit!
However, perhaps the best part of Surfcoast SUPing is the drive along the world famous Great Ocean Road. The location for many car commercials, the Great Ocean Road is a wonderful stretch of asphalt alongside stunning scenery revered amongst motoring enthusiasts.
Onkaparinga River trails 95km down from the mountains to the Port Noarlunga estuary. The river banks offer a wide range of forest scenery while you enjoy floating on the calm waters from your SUP. Head toward the estuary to SUP amongst the cliffs and wildlife as the river flows into the ocean.
A protected wildlife reserve 18 km off the western coast of Australia, Rottnest Island is one of WA’s most popular tourist destinations. Home to the Quokka – a charming little furry animal (think a cute cross between a mini kangaroo and a rat!), Rottnest Island – or Rotto as the locals call it – it a wonderful place to SUP along the shore.
Popular with SUPers – it’s home to ‘The Doctor’ – a tough 27km downwind ocean SUP race held every November from Rottnest Island to Sorrento Beach. Definitely a must visit location for SUP enthusiasts on the Western coast of Australia.
Spend a few hours in Perth floating on your stand up paddleboards on the protected waters of the Swan River. Launch anywhere along Matilda Bay or Pelican Point, south of Kings Park and between Perth and Fremantle. Or head towards Peppermint Grove and take in the mansions of some of the most exclusive real estate in Australia while you float along the river, enjoying Western Australia’s enviable weather.
Known for its extraordinary seafood and dairy products, Tasmania also offers some of the most serene SUP experiences on offer in Australia. Any SUP enthusiast visiting Tasmania should consider packing an inflatable board and exploring the towns surrounding Hobart and the crystal clear waters of the Derwent River.
Also while in Hobart, don’t miss the extraordinary MONA – Museum of Old and New Art. Unline any museum you’ve visited before, this privately owned feast for culture lovers is not to be missed. They also run the very popular MONA FOMA and Dark Mofo festivals at the site.
Surrounded by majestic mountains and abundant green surrounds, Dove Lake is a picturesque place for flat water paddling on the calm waters.
With the beautiful Cradle Mountain providing a stunning backdrop, Dove Lake is just two hours drive from Launceston.
A note on the Australian sun
While Australia is known around the world for its stunning coastline and enviable beach lifestyle, remember that the Australian sun can be dangerous!
Many tourists have been caught out – it can only take an hour or two to end up sunburnt, and Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.
Always use sunscreen protection and cover up with a hat or rashie when possible! SUP Smart!
Know a SUP spot we should mention?
One of the best things about SUPing is the community spirit amongst stand up paddle boarders. Let us know your favourite spot to stand up paddle board in Australia, and we’ll add it to the list!
Heading on holiday and want to know the best places in that area? Get in touch and we’d be happy to recommend a SUP location near your travels, sure to delight!