Don’t be fooled by the glitziness of the Gold Coast, this was originally a Surfer’s Paradise and it’s still a great place to surf and to SUP! Sure the nightlife might be a bigger attraction these days but the Gold Coast is a great place to SUP for locals and travelers alike. You’ve got plenty of different options for SUPers of all levels, from those just starting out to the more well-seasoned amongst us. There’s no shortage of great spots in and around the city, as well as going south towards Coolangatta and beyond. The water is warm and cleans the whole way along the coast, so really the only thing to worry about is the wind and the crowds. You can check the wind conditions, but we’ve named the more crowded spots along the Gold Coast in our list below. But also just because a beach can get crowded isn’t a reason to avoid it – just be strategic about when you go!
We’ve made a list of our favorite spots for SUP below:
Budds Beach, Surfers Paradise
Sure it’s Surfers Paradise but we could hardly start this list off with anything other than a classic. Budds Beach is the place to go, south of the main beach and well protected from the wind. It’s located at the mouth of the Nerang River. You won’t have the place to yourself, but don’t discount the nearby schools if you need a hand learning about SUP, as there are a number located around here.
Tallebudgera Creek, Burleigh Headland + Palm Beach North
Head to the Tallebudgera Creek, located south of the main drag, and discover one of the most beautiful spots to SUP on the list.
Crystal clear waters, wilderness, and rugged scenery, we’ve only got good things to say about Tallebudgera Creek and honestly if you’re staying on the Gold Coast you’ve got to make the short trip down. Being just a bit further away means it tends to get less traffic than some of the other places meaning you might just have the place to yourself. Or at least you’ll feel like you do.
If you’re itching to SUP but it’s a windy day, head here and you’ll almost certainly be able to find a protected area where you can paddle to your heart's content. It has a pirate ship, where you’ll want to park the car, but the best conditions are behind the sand dunes. Those sand dunes are going to protect you from the wind, even if it’s blowing a gale. If you’ve got a furry four-legged friend, Currumbin Creek is dog-friendly so Fido can hop aboard, no worries.
Cudgen Creek, Kingscliff
So we may not technically still be on the Gold Coast, but who’s keep track? I mean we definitely slipped across the border to NSW, but we’re fine with it and we’re sure you are as well, especially when the payoff is this good.
Cudgen Creek is one of Tweed Heads very well known secrets, so we don’t feel bad sharing it with you here. For the SUP enthusiast you can paddle around the head of the creek enjoying the calm and beautiful waters and if you decide that you want slightly more adventure, start paddling up that Creek and see what you discover! You’ll be surrounded by sub-tropical rainforest so keep your eyes peeled!
We just keep straying further south, but honestly, if you go early in the morning, the traffic’s non-existent and these spots a bit further away from Broadbeach and the like are often quieter meaning you won’t have to share the beach with the masses. Kirra Beach can get a bit windy, so make sure you choose a calm day, preferably early morning to head out. But when conditions are right, it’s a great spot, and as a plus, there’s plenty of parking. Launch right off the beach. Don’t forget to look down and enjoy the marine life – if you’re lucky you might catch a sighting of a turtle!
We finish our list by returning fully to the warm embrace of the Gold Coast.
Paddleboard rentals in Gold Coast:
1. Go Vertical Stand Up Paddle Board & Kayak
Address: Shop 4/19 River Dr, Surfers Paradise QLD 4215, Australia
2. Action Outdoor Hire
Address: Tallebudgera Dr, Palm Beach QLD 4221, Australia
3. Surfers Paradise Stand Up Paddle
Address: Surfers Paradise QLD 4217, Australia
If you head out to the Parklands you’ll soon discover a real SUP paradise. It can get busy, but honestly who can blame the hordes? The Parklands are a great place to SUP as the whole area is calm and protected. It’s a world-class place for water sports, and it’s in Southport so it can get busy, especially on school holidays. But don’t let that dissuade you – especially if you’re still learning the ropes this is the perfect place to practice – but just be aware so you don’t get frustrated.
Standup paddleboarding in Australia is an enjoyment. You can easily find a place that gives you the best experience. If you have ever tried paddle boarding in Europe, or America, or other famous SUP spots, go to Australia, it won't disappoint you. And Gold Coast is one of the SUP spots you shouldn't miss. For rookies, get a suitable inflatable stand up paddle board from a trusted brand like Goosehill and be ready for the tons of fun that it's going to bring you.