North of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast is a great place to spend a week (or two) relaxing, enjoying the warm water of the north part of Australia and paddleboarding in the early mornings when the water is calm. The Sunshine Coast stretches from around Caloundra to Noosa so there are plenty of spots along the coast for you to have fun with your stand up paddle board.
The Sunshine Coast is beautiful so it obviously can get pretty busy over the summer holidays. It’s great all year round, but during peak times go early and try to avoid the real tourist traps. We generally recommend the earlier the better anyway as the wind and water tend to be calmer earlier in the day.
The Sunshine Coast is the more relaxed cousin of some of the places further south, and that makes it an even better place to paddle for newbies. There are some real gems here, and if you stay clear of the busiest places there’s a good chance you’ll have them all to yourself.
One of the drawcards here is the subtropical rainforest in the area, so make sure you’re taking in the unique wildlife and scenery that surrounds this part of Australia’s coastland. As well as the beaches, you’ve got the backdrop of Glasstop Mountain, so every way you look there’s some stunning scenery.
We’ve put together a shortlist of some great SUP spots along the Sunshine Coast, so what are you waiting for? Grab your board, a bit of sunscreen, and a hat, and get out there!
Paddle Boarding Sunshine Coast
1. Cotton Tree
Cotton Tree is a favorite spot for SUPers and for good reason. It’s super flat, and with crystal clear water there’s a reason it’s a favorite with locals and tourists alike. The best place to launch is right from the beach right in front of the caravan park.
Cotton Tree is great for people watching! There’s plenty of nature on the list but don’t pretend you don’t like the people-watching aspect of SUP. Paddle around the bay, taking in the sights. This one can get crowded (it’s right out the front of a caravan park, so obviously it’s pretty popular), but it’s easy to get to and great for newer SUPers still learning the ropes.
2. Currimundi Lake
Currimundi Lake meets the Ocean, and all ocean lovers rejoiced.
Currimundi Lake is the place to be for SUPers, for families, for kayakers, and essentially everyone and their dog, cool enough to know about it. And we’ll just put it out there – it’s no secret.
But, what it lacks in secrecy it makes up for in being a thoroughly great spot to SUP. The water is calm, you get the choice of lake or ocean, and can we ignore the plethora of cafes and fish and chip shops? Nah, we can’t!
Get on the board, paddle around until you get tired and then retire with a wake-me-up latte, or maybe a cheeky brew if you’ve gone out later in the day. You’ve earned it!
3. Lake Baroon
Sure, the coast is the main pull of the Sunshine Coast, but don’t discount the nearby lakes. They are calm, quieter than the busy beaches on the main front and you can see some beautiful scenery.
Lake Baroon’s about a half-hour drive from the city center. Especially if you go in off-peak times (let’s say early morning, during the week) there’s a good chance you’ll have the place to yourself! As nice as some of the other spots are, none of them can boast that!
Paddle around the perimeter enjoying the uniqueness of this area. If you want to make a day of it, there’s a barbeque area and a play area so the kids can be entertained whilst you paddle in peace.
4. North Shore
But isn’t this an off-leash dog beach, we hear you ask? Firstly, nothing wrong with joining the pooches and secondly, yes it is and it also happens to be a perfect place to get out there and SUP.
Once you’ve launched off the beach and dodged the happy dogs, you should head up to the mouth of the Maroochy River. You can happily paddle along for hours. Stop along the way and just feel the serenity, before turning back to the beach.
5. Noosa River
Well, we could hardly talk about the Sunshine Coast without mentioning Noosa, could we? The Noosa River isn’t the flattest spot for SUP but the wonderful views, the wildlife, views of the Glass House Mountains and 35 (!) km to enjoy, you can’t really go wrong.
Launch off Golden Beach and paddle for as long as you like, enjoying watching the life under the river as well as the scenery surrounding it. Noosa River is a great place to really appreciate why paddle boarding is so special. Bring your paddle board, bring a backpack with some supplies, pick a sandbank on the way and make a whole morning of it! Or even a day! Trust us - we left it last on the list only because we don’t want everyone to rush over.