Central Regions

Want to know the best places to go kayaking, canoeing, and stand up paddleboarding in the Capricornia, Central Coast, Central Highlands and Coalfields, Central West, and Channel Country regions of Queensland? These guides are free for Global Paddler members, and yearly memberships are available now from the Global Paddler online store. To download a detailed trip description for a great paddling destination with photos, paddle map, GPS coordinates, and recommended places to eat, drink, and sleep, simply click on its name in the table below.

Trip Locator Map for Central Regions
1. Lake Proserpine It is easy to see that Lake Proserpine is a brilliant opportunity for some open water paddling. Less obvious, but maybe more enticing, is the natural history museum on the western side of the lake featuring thousands of woody skeletons.
2. Eungella Claim a waterfront site in the spacious Eungella Dam campground and leave the pressure of everyday life behind. The pace is nice and easy out here. It won’t take long for you to relax into your new role as poster child for the Slow Movement.
3. Mirani Mirani is on the Pioneer River in the heart of sugar country west of Mackay. This portion of the Pioneer is popular with platypus. If you proceed perspicaciously and keep your peepers peeled, you’ll probably paddle past a few today.
4. Teemburra Dam Ask any sweet tooth what they love about sugary snacks and desserts and the look of love in their eyes will tell you more than any words can. This champion of the water supply scheme that irrigates the sugar capital of Australia is their unsung hero.
5. Muttaburra Muttaburra isn’t a designated stop on Australia’s Dinosaur Trail but it should be. This is where fossilised remains of a Muttaburrasaurus were first discovered. Dress up as your favourite Flintstones character and come for a paddle through prehistory.
6. Lake Dunn Lake Dunn is a wonderful paddling opportunity hidden away in desert country 68 kilometres northeast of Aramac. This amazing oasis is fringed by river red gum and coolibah trees and frequented by countless native birds and animals.
7. Longreach The largest town in central Queensland might have more saddle stories than paddle stories and be better known for launching planes than boats, but its position on a “long reach” of the Thomson River makes it a great place to go outback kayaking.
8. Isisford Isisford sits peacefully on the southern bank of the Barcoo River in Queensland’s Central West. This remote town started its life on the wild frontier and nothing much has changed. The sense of isolation that Banjo Patterson captured beautifully in ‘A Bush Christening’ is still here today.
9. Lake Theresa Once upon a time there was a little girl named Goldilocks. Goldilocks loved to paddle. One day she came upon a beautiful lake near Clermont in the Central Highlands of Queensland that was not too big and not too small. It was just right.
10. Lake Maraboon Maraboon is said to be the fourth most expansive lake in Queensland, but two of the bigger ones are ephemeral and the other is a known haunt of estuarine crocodiles, so this is in fact the largest body of reliably paddle-able croc-free water in the state.
11. Lake Nuga Nuga If you squint like Clint through the haze of the hot Australian sun, the angled frames of tree trunks standing in Nuga Nuga evoke Wild West images of cacti on a plain. It’s the perfect venue for a battle between the Rolleston Cowboys and Injune Indians.
12. Lake Awoonga If Lake Awoonga were an opera it would be Aida. If it were a movie it would be Ben Hur. The big, bold, dramatic opening scene casts a spell that keeps you wide-eyed, open-mouthed, and captivated to the very end.
13. Callide Reservoir As well as being a proud symbol of the industries that sustain the Banana Shire, the power station that watches over this trip is the reason the water storage was created. The wildlife is thankful and you will be too.
14. Lake Cania Sparkling Lake Cania reclines elegantly in a lovely callistemon fringed dress of native grass and eucalypt woodland accessorised with a gorgeous shawl of dry rainforest and topped with a crown of stunning 70 metre high sandstone cliffs.
15. Theodore Theodore’s tropical garden themed town plan blends beautifully with its Dawson River environment. To see the waterway that undoubtedly influenced the town’s design, simply follow the flow of movement and style down the main street.
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