Northern Regions

Want to know the best places to go kayaking, canoeing, and stand up paddleboarding in the Herbert and Lower Burdekin, North Tropical Coast and Tablelands, Northern Goldfields and Upper Flinders, Northwest, Gulf Country, and Peninsula 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 Northern Regions

1. Innot Hot Springs Why should you paddle the Herbert River at Innot Hot Springs? A day on the water is great, but a day on the water followed by a long soak in the wonderfully relaxing mineral waters of a hot spring is undeniably better.
2. Lake Julius Lake Julius is a rare outback oasis in a vast expanse of brown spinifex sprinkled with low growing eucalypts and red rock formations. Lush green paperbarks and occasional palm trees mingle at the water’s edge, and colourful lilies bring glassy inlets to life.
3. Lake Koombooloomba The big water of the Tully River that crashes through rainforest near Ravenshoe is a white water thrill seeker’s dream come true, but they aren’t the only ones to benefit. A dam built to harness this mighty river’s power also created a flat water paddling surprise.
4. Lake Mary Kathleen Access to Lake Mary Kathleen is via a non-signposted dirt track that disappears behind a chained gate. It isn’t easy to find but perseverance is rewarded handsomely with quiet seclusion and a delightful assortment of outback wildlife.
5. Lake Moondarra New arrivals in Mount Isa are greeted by a billboard that says “Welcome to The Isa. Now you are a true Australian.” Given that fact, it undoubtedly follows that you have to paddle here before you can be given the honour of being a true Australian paddler.
6. Lake Paluma What’s both tropical and refreshing? No, it’s not a Pine Lime Splice. It’s Lake Paluma, high in the landscape between Townsville and Ingham. At nine hundred metres above sea level, it’s a cool alternative to the coast.
7. Lake Tinaroo Lake Tinaroo is heaven for the Cairns water sports enthusiast. It’s free of saltwater crocodiles and marine stingers, it’s three-quarters the size of Sydney Harbour, and it’s only one and a half hour’s drive from the centre of town.
8. Lakes Barrine and Eacham Barrine and Eacham aren’t the biggest lakes in the world but what they lack in size they make up for in character. These rain filled volcanic craters are twin treats of the tropical tablelands and an absolute must for any visiting paddler.