8 great paddle trails
Finding a great place to go kayaking, canoeing, or stand up paddleboarding in the Northern Regions of Queensland is easy when you are a Global Paddler member. All you need to do is pick a number on our trip locator map and click or tap on the trail name with the same number in the list below. Global Paddler memberships are available from our online store.
Each Global Paddler guide includes a map, colour photographs, logistical details, a route description, local points of interest, quirky facts, and recommended places to eat, drink, and stay the night so that every day you spend on the water is fantastic.
- Lake Tinaroo
Lake Tinaroo is heaven for the Cairns water sports enthusiast. There are no estuarine crocodiles, there are no marine stingers, it is three quarters the size of Sydney Harbour, and it is only one and a half hour’s drive from the centre of town. There’s plenty of camping space too, so you can stay the whole weekend.
- Lake Barrine and Lake 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 extraordinary rain-filled volcanic craters are twin treats of the tropical tablelands and an absolute must for anybody who loves seeing the world from the water.
- Innot Hot Springs
Why should you paddle the Herbert River at Innot Hot Springs? A day on the water in a secluded location that nobody else knows about is always amazing, and when you follow it with a long soak in the wonderfully relaxing mineral waters of a hot spring, it is even better.
- Lake Koombooloomba
The big water of the Tully River that crashes through the 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 the river’s power also created this flatwater paddling surprise.
- Lake Paluma
Lake Paluma is a lovely pool in the world heritage listed Wet Tropics of Queensland rainforest that blankets the mountains between Townsville and Ingham. At 900 metres above sea level, it is a refreshing alternative to the coast.
- 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 palm trees mingle at the water’s edge, and colourful lilies bring glassy inlets to life.
- 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.
- 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.