Southeast Coast

Want to know the best places to go kayaking, canoeing, and stand up paddling in the Southeast Coast region 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 Southeast Coast

1. Upper Noosa River To experience the breathtaking loveliness of a stunning natural environment reflected in the dark eyes of a gorgeous slow-dancing beauty is to have truly discovered Nirvana. This heaven on earth is manna for Mother Nature’s faithful and a compelling reason for doubters to believe.
2. Lake Cooroibah The Noosa River between Noosaville and Lake Cooroibah is custom made for spontaneous paddlers with a healthy sense of adventure. Secluded islands, narrow creeks, and expansive lakes ignite your curiosity and draw you in.
3. Lake MacDonald More like a collection of rivers than a lake, MacDonald’s winding ways are a kaleidoscope of fascinating places, delightful scenery, and charismatic characters. The ever changing views mean you can check your attention span at the door and let “Mac” entertain you.
4. Lake Weyba To the uninitiated this is a lovely paddle on a shallow saltwater lake just south of the Noosa River. For those in the know it is so much more. The creeks that flow into Lake Weyba are blessed with some of the most dazzling scenes you’ll ever see.
5. North Maroochy River The Maroochy River was created in the Dreaming from the tears of a beautiful young Aboriginal woman. Nearby Mount Ninderry and Mount Coolum were created at the same time in a legend that rivals any Shakespearean tragedy.
6. Islands of Bli Bli An island is like a gift wrapped birthday present. You can see it but you don’t know what’s inside. The imagination runs wild conjuring up all manner of possibilities. Give in to temptation and unwrap the Islands of Bli Bli.
7. Petrie Creek Some people find that counting the beads on a mala helps them to experience inner calm. Others find it more helpful to count paddle strokes on wandering waterways. If the latter works better for you, then pleasurably peaceful Petrie Creek is unquestionably your kind of place.
8. Mooloolah River Before laying claim to having paddled everywhere, you first have to explore the attractive river that snakes inland from Mooloolaba. After all, Mooloolaba isn’t just mentioned in the classic Aussie song “I’ve been everywhere”. It’s in the first verse.
9. Lake Baroon The restful ripples of this lovely little lake can be found in a lush pocket of subtropical rainforest on the volcanically formed Blackall Range near Maleny in Queensland’s fabulous Sunshine Coast hinterland.
10. Ewen Maddock Dam Ewen Maddock Dam is a fantastic place for a family gathering in the great outdoors. In addition to being a brilliant place to paddle, it has a lovely sandy swimming area, a collection of mountain bike trails, a children’s playground, and BBQ facilities. You’d be mad not to make a day of it.
11. Pumicestone Passage North The perfectly natural environment of the northern Pumicestone Passage is tailor made for day trips. Highlights include two lovely Bribie Island picnic areas, a site of historical significance, and post paddle pampering in Caloundra, the southern holiday centre of the Sunshine Coast.
12. Bells Creek Many people know and love the holiday hotspot of Caloundra but far fewer are aware that it is home to a gorgeous sheltered paddler’s delight. Next time you visit Caloundra, make sure to bring a kayak, canoe, or SUP so you can be the next to discover the secret wonders of Bells Creek.
13. Coochin Creek Enchanting Coochin Creek links up with the Pumicestone Passage between Donnybrook and Caloundra. Its name is well known because of a popular campsite on its eastern bank but its true magic is only revealed to those who grab a paddle and go exploring.
14. Pumicestone Passage South Pumicestone Passage is the channel that separates Bribie Island from the mainland, 65 kilometres north of Brisbane. Its southern end is famous for fishing, wildlife encounters, and fantastic views of the Glasshouse Mountains. It is also one of the best places in Queensland to go paddle camping.
15. Beachmere Beachmere is the quintessential storybook setting for the seaside holidays of our wistful memories and hopeful dreams. It’s a laid back town where you can wear swimmers and thongs all day long, and simply delight in the smell of the ocean air and the feeling of salt on your skin.
16. Lake Somerset Somerset is a shimmering treasure of the Valley of the Lakes. Wrapped with an undulating patchwork quilt of pretty pastures and wild woodland, it’s a tantalising taste of the tree change just one hour’s drive from the bright lights of Brisbane.
17. Lake Wivenhoe Lake Wivenhoe is renowned for its stunning expansive vistas but to get a true appreciation of the wonders of this place, you need to immerse yourself in the finer details. Inquisitive explorers encounter kipping koalas, regal raptors, gargantuan grasstrees and a multitude of other delights.
18. Wivenhoe Pocket There are times in life when you simply need to relax and go with the flow. The Brisbane River at Wivenhoe Pocket is perfect for doing just that. It is therefore no surprise that it is a favourite paddling destination for anyone who has been fortunate enough to experience it.
19. Lake Manchester Coming in 2019.
20. Lake Kurwongbah Lake Kurwongbah is loved by rowers, water skiers, wakeboarders, and paddlers alike. In order to keep everybody happy, dedicated zones have been allocated to each activity. Thankfully, the zone allocated to paddlers is right around the perimeter. That is the best place to be.
21. Lake Samsonvale From August 1976 until November 2018, Lake Samsonvale was in the “look but don’t touch” category for the paddling public. Not anymore. The dream of floating on its waters has become a reality and a large section of this enticing body of water is now a paddler’s playground.
22. North Pine River The North Pine is the first river up the coast from Brisbane. The hoop pines from which it gets its name are all but gone, but a series of waterfront reserves and parks mean it has a great natural feel that will leave you pining for more.
23. Tinchi Tamba Wetlands The exotic sounding and rhythmically delightful name Tinchi Tamba is surprisingly a simple combination of the indigenous words for mangrove and ibis. It’s surprising because Tinchi Tamba, the name and the place, offers so much more.
24. Four Mile Creek Four Mile Creek is an interactive gallery with a tribute to the world of mangroves on permanent display. This beautifully arranged presentation of sculptural works can be found near the junction of the Pine Rivers in Brisbane’s north.
25. Nundah Creek Nundah Creek flows deep into the heart of the Boondall Wetlands. One could go on about the array of international agreements that exist to protect this biologically diverse place but all you need to know is… it’s all natural and all good.
26. Bulimba Creek “Go out and play” my mum used to say. It seemed a simple request and I was glad to oblige, but there was a deeper wisdom in her words. Playfulness is an essential ingredient of a happy existence. Life should be lived in playgrounds, and there’s a fun filled one at Bulimba Creek.
27. Norman Creek Norman Creek is remarkably alive with swirls of mullet and garfish and pleasantly surprising for its variety of bird life. Throw in a flying fox colony, an ibis roost, an idyllic avenue of mangroves in the upper reaches, and this inner city paddle is well worth the effort.
28. Oxley Creek In 2016, Brisbane City Council identified Oxley Creek as an important recreational asset for the city and kicked off a $100 million project to turn it into a world-class lifestyle and leisure destination. This is already a special spot to paddle and things are only going to get better.
29. Tingalpa Creek The best way to find good places to go paddling is to ask a paddler. The best way to find awesome places to go paddling is to ask a whole canoe club. Ask the Wynnum Redlands Canoe Club and they’ll tell you Tingalpa Creek.
30. Karalee Bend Karalee Bend is a flamboyant flourish of Mother Nature’s creativity. A dramatic sweeping turn in a steeply walled valley textured with towering gums and pretty callistemon. It’s an impressive work of ‘land art’ that is on display now at the tidal limit of the Brisbane River. Entry is free.
31. Blakesleys Anchorage Coming in 2019.
32. Macleay Island Coming in 2019.
33. Logan River West Coming in 2019.
34. Logan River East Coming in 2019.
35. Albert River You know that great feeling right after watching an absolute cracker of a movie that you knew nothing about beforehand? That’s exactly how you feel after your first exploration of the delightfully surprising Albert River.
36. South Stradbroke Island Coming in 2019.
37. Pimpama River Coming in 2019.
38. Coomera Island It only takes one lap of beautiful mangrove fringed Coomera Island to understand why this special place deserves to be under the guardianship of both the Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park and the Moreton Bay Marine Park.
39. Coomera River The affluent urban areas that surround the Coomera River estuary are testament to its magnetic appeal. Thankfully, no matter how much the marauding real estate developers want to own the river, they cannot have it. The Coomera belongs to Mother Nature and therefore to all of us.
40. Coombabah Lake There’s more than one place on the Gold Coast to get wet and wild. The theme park is great for an adrenaline rush, but if you prefer gliding and dreaming to sliding and screaming head to Coombabah Lake.
41. Nerang River This is a great chance to express your opinion about what’s hot and what’s not in architectural design and landscaping. Scores of backyards are on display beside the Nerang River and you can critique them all as you glide by.
42. Advancetown Lake One of the lesser known but more aesthetically pleasing tourist attractions of the Gold Coast is a giant fish pond in the hinterland, just a short drive from Nerang and Robina.
43. Tallebudgera Creek The Gold Coast is famous for its glamour and non-stop partying but everyone needs to have a break sometime. When you can’t take the monkey suits, push-up bras, and uncomfortable shoes anymore and you simply want to relax and be yourself, Tallebudgera Creek is the place for you.
44. Currumbin Creek Paddling is, on the whole, a solitary sport, so chance meetings with kindred spirits inspire warm greetings and lively banter. Currumbin Creek is peppered with paddlers, so meetings are common and there is a genuine sense of community.
45. Wyaralong Dam This is the first completely new paddling venue in south east Queensland in 20 years. Our experience of a place is usually coloured by the cumulative stories of the many who have been there before, but that isn’t possible here. Wyaralong Dam is your chance to be a pioneer.
46. Lake Moogerah The quiet rural countryside and forested hills of Queensland’s Scenic Rim belie the turbulent nature of their creation. Moogerah is a derivative of an Aboriginal word meaning place of thunder, and the perfect name for a landscape born in a volcano and shaped by raging storms.
47. Lake Maroon Lake Maroon was created in 1974 when Burnett Creek was dammed to store water for the purposes of drinking and irrigation. A happy bonus of its utilitarian origins was the birth of a brilliant water sports venue with outstanding views of the stunning McPherson Range.
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