Ultimate Guide to Kayaking Gold Coast

In the Kayaks2Fish ultimate guide to kayaking on the Gold Coast, you'll find there are plenty of hidden gems in the region. There are natural wonders and a few artificial areas to dip your paddle and enjoy everything suited for all Gold Coast water lovers!

The best kayaking spots on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast can be classified as a kayaker's paradise. There are so many kayaking opportunities; you are almost spoiled for choice. If you're staying in the heart of the city, you can head down the Nerang River for a leisurely afternoon checking all the city's sights, and then watch on as these disappear for the native scenery.

South Stradbroke Island is a top-rated destination for kayaking, surfing, hiking, fishing, and almost everything else! The Gold Coast is almost designed to be the perfect tourist destination, so you are sure to find plenty to do. When you're looking for the best gold coast kayaking spots, you'll find many kayaking tours are operating, and these can give you a guided hand before you head out on your own.

South Stradbroke Island

South Stradbroke Island is the most prominent place to kayak when you're on the Gold Coast. While it is not as large as those further north, it does offer 21 kilometres of excellent kayaking. You can launch from the Constance Esplanade Boat Ramp or off the beach at Paradise Point and make your way over to the island.

Camping is available on the island if you want to take a few days to explore the region. South Stradbroke is the perfect destination for families, and the campsites are often booked out, so it may be best to get that sorted out before you head out.

Kayaking South Straddie (as the locals say), you can use Couran Cove Island Resort as a marker and then turn around for the return trip. The front of South Stradbroke Island is well known for being the best surf break in Queensland, and it can be heaps of fun if you're on a surfboard. There is so much to do on South Stradbroke that you can keep coming back for years.

Nerang River

The Nerang River is the largest you'll find on the Gold Coast. The river mouth opens into the Coral Sea, and if you paddle from the river, you can go north past Sea World Resort and towards South Stradbroke Island.

If you paddle upstream, the Nerang River will guide you through the central Gold Coast. You'll soon leave all the tall buildings and suburban-style behind as you head into some amazing natural bushlands. Eventually, the river ends at Hinze Dam and Advancetown Lake.

There are many places to stop on the river and explore. You'll find several islands that are worth a stop and look about, such as Girung Island and Macintosh Island Park. The Nerang River is perfect for exploring by yourself or in a group.

Kayaking in the Southern Gold Coast Region

On the Gold Coast, you'll find an excellent assortment of natural creeks and other freshwater areas. If you want to get away from the saltwater and into some sheltered areas, then these can make for a perfect afternoon.

Tallebudgera Creek

Swimming, fishing and kayaking are all popular events in this delightful creek. Starting at Burleigh Head National Park, the creek runs to the Springbrook Wildlife Corridor. Tallebudgera Creek is peaceful and winding as you travel past several conservation parks. As you paddle your kayak along, keep an eye out for common tree snakes, white-bellied sea eagles, and water dragons.

At Burleigh Head, you'll find some excellent places to swim, and the creek is excellent for fishing or simply enjoying the scenery. If you have your family in tow, you can stop at Schuster Park for lunch at the barbeques provided. You can launch your kayak from the shore at Tchoobey Reserve or Tally Boat Ramp.

Currumbin Creek

Heading up Currumbin Creek is one of the best ways to encounter pristine rainforest. You can launch your kayak from Currumbin Alley and head out to the ocean and explore the beaches, or head west into the creek and up to Coastal Meadows Park. If you're after a launching spot in the creek, using the Thrower Drive Boat Ramp is an excellent option.

The beach at Currumbin Creek is perfect for swimming and is incredibly popular for water sports, including paddle boarding and kayaking. If you're interested in dropping a line and catching a few fish, then you'll find the rock wall is ideal for targeting Flathead and Bream. If you head out into the beach, you can try to catch local Taylor among the surf gutters or during the rising tides.

Kayaking around the Gold Coast Islands

There are many islands to explore in the Gold Coast region, and while South Stradbroke Island is the largest in the area, there are several others worthy of exploration. You'll find that these islands can be fun to paddle around, or you can pull up on the beach for a relaxing afternoon picnic. Some islands are popular, and for others, you may have the entire place to yourself!

Wave Break Island

Wave Break Island was created in 1985 as a way to protect the foreshore from any incoming waves. You can get to the island from Labrador Boat Ramp or Quota Park, and you can spend the day exploring the island or head on to the lower part of South Stradbroke Island.

If it is a windy day, you'll find protection in the cove on the northern part of Wave Break Island. From here, you can pull up on one of the beaches and explore the region on foot. Camping is possible on the island, but there are no facilities available, so make sure you're willing to take everything away with you if you're staying for a night. Snorkelling is available at the rock walls on either end of the islands, and the fish are used by people thanks to the feeding tours that occur.

Southern Moreton Bay Islands

When you're kayaking around the Gold Coast and Brisbane, the focus is generally on the North and South Stradbroke Islands because these are quite prominent. However, there are several places to visit in the Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park that are worthy of your time. The area is protected because of its importance to the local environment, and they provide a home for all types of fish, birds, shellfish, turtles, and dugongs.

While you're kayaking in the area, please be mindful that Willes and Cobby Cobby islands are part of the Marine National Park Green Zone, which means that you cannot take anything from the area. You can visit the islands and walk around, but there are no facilities (rubbish bins, toilets, etc.) so you'll need to take everything home with you when you leave.

You can launch a kayak from Cabbage Tree Point or Jacobs Well Boat Ramp to easily access the islands.

Jabiru Island & Paradise Point

At only a half-hour drive from Centre Gold Coast, this region is highly accessible and offers incredible kayaking experiences. You can launch your kayak from various ramps, and our suggestions include Turana Street Ramp or Jabiru Island Boat Ramp.

Jabiru Island is an excellent starting point to explore this region, and you have the option of heading into Saltwater Creek, Coombabah Creek, or Coomera River. If you're looking for an extended trip, you can circumnavigate Coomera Island or head up to Couran Cove Resort on South Stradbroke Island.

If you're making a day of visiting the area, there are playground facilities and even barbeques on Jabiru Island, and there are many fishing options for the entire region.

FAQ about kayaking Gold Coast

Fishing while kayaking Gold Coast

One of the best things about owning a kayak is the fishing opportunities. Here we'll answer some common questions we get about fishing in the region. Remember, if the fish aren't biting, you can move to a more suitable location. In a kayak, you're never tied down to one particular spot.

Can you fish in Tallebudgera Creek?

Yes, you can fish in Tallebudgera Creek, and it is one of the best fishing spots you'll find on the Gold Coast. You can fish from a kayak, boat or find a great place to fish from the shore. If you're' staying near the mouth of the river, you'll' likely hit a few Dusky Flatheads. There are some huge fish that regularly come in and out of the creek system. If you stick to fishing around structures and bridges, you're likely to strike gold.

Where is the fish biting on the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast is filled with brilliant places to go fishing. You can find a space to drop a line either from land or in your kayak. By visiting some of these spots in your kayak, you're' at least in with a good chance of coming home with dinner:

  • Jabiru Island & Paradise Point - you can find an incredible number of places to fish in this region. The species you can target include Dusky Flathead and Yellowfin Whiting.
  • Tallebudgera Creek – is ideal for grabbing a few Dusky Flatheads or Surf Bream; you'll find you're spoiled for choice in the creek. Fishing from your kayak means you can move whenever nothing is happening.
  • Hinze Dam – is located about 5km out of Nerang and is limited to electric powered and paddle craft. With plenty of facilities and the dam being stocked regularly with Australian Bass, it can be the perfect place to take the rods.  On Hinze Dam, fishing is restricted to catch and release, and permits are required


Where can I fish on the Gold Coast?

There are many places open for kayak fishing on the Gold Coast. While some bridges and overpasses may stop you from land-based fishing, once you're' on the water, you have free range to drop a line wherever you see fit.

Not only is kayak fishing ideal or getting you to the fish - instead of waiting until they come to you - but you'll get plenty of exercise as you paddle about. If you're not keen on working a paddle, then picking up a pedal kayak or installing an electric outboard is going to make your day easier.

Rules about kayaking on the Gold Coast

With most boating and kayaking, there are some rules that you'll' need to follow. While there are usually fewer rules for kayaking, checking what is required can keep you from having any issues while you're on the water.

Can you kayak at any beach?

If you're not that confident in your kayak, then finding a sheltered beach is going to be best for you. Avoid any beaches that have large breaks, especially if you do not have a sea kayak.

Can you kayak in Tallebudgera Creek?

Tallebudgera Creek is open to most boats and kayakers. The creek is known for offering some of the best kayaking experiences on the Gold Coast. If you don't have your gear, then you hire a kayak and explore the creek system for a few hours.

Can you put a kayak in the water anywhere?

Unless you see a specific sign stating that you cannot launch from a particular spot, then you can go ahead and launch your kayak. On the Gold Coast, you can find many specific areas set up for launching your kayak, and these are designed to provide you with an easier time.

Where can you legally kayak?

If you're not familiar with navigation markings of busy waterways, then it may be best to stick to the creeks and rivers of the Gold Coast. However, you can quickly become familiar with what the different signs mean and what you'll need to do with some reading. You can study the guide for navigation markings as released by Maritime Safety Queensland or join a kayak tour group, and they'll show you where to go and what to avoid.

Where can I buy a kayak on the Gold Coast?

At Kayaks2Fish, we have an excellent selection of kayaks suitable for beginners and experienced kayakers. You can use our kayaks in saltwater and freshwater situations, and they'll provide a stable base if you plan on fishing. You can buy kayaks directly through our online store, and then we'll ship them to you, or you can collect them from our Gold Coast (or Brisbane) location.

All our kayaks can be fitted with a kayak trolley to make launching from sandy areas or long jetties easier. To transport your kayak, we recommend installing a set of roof racks on your vehicle. At Kayaks2Fish, we aim to see everyone on the water and have fun kayaking!