Whether you're living in or visiting the northern, central or southern Gold Coast in Australia, there's more to this area than the beach. There are also numerous places for a kayak adventure close to you.
We've compiled a list of the top spots to paddle in the Gold Coast - both popular and the hidden gems. Many of these are also suitable for your sup board as well as your kayak. So, hop on board, or join one of the many kayaking tours, and get to know one of the most beautiful Australian destinations through a water-based adventure.
Located approximately 40 minutes south of the Gold Coast, Aboriginal people called this Gold Coast suburb "good fish" and the locals still think this is an apt name for this kayaking location. The area is best known for the creek, with Burleigh Heads National Park on one side, and Palm Beach on the other.
Visitors are drawn to the open creek for swimming and fishing, as well as being a popular kayaking spot. If you paddle along the creek towards the river mouth, you can see Burleigh Headland from the water and enjoy a quick dip. Or you can paddle upstream towards Schuster Park for family facilities such as picnic shelters and barbecues. This route will also take you among the mangroves.
Elanora Wetlands Reserve
While you're in Tallebudgera Creek, why not also tour the Elanora Wetlands Reserve, a 20-hectare reserve bordering the upper part of the creek? The reserve forms part of the Burleigh to Springbrook wildlife corridor, and kayaking here enables you to see the Gold Coast local flora and fauna.
The area is home to over 60 species of birds, along with common tree snakes, making it a very popular destination for kayaks. When you're finished kayaking, you can experience the butterfly-friendly garden which forms part of the wetlands.
In Southport, approximately 20 minutes north of the centre of the Gold Coast, you will find Broadwater Parklands. Stretching three kilometres, the park is home to a variety of activities, including playgrounds and Rockpools. You'll be sharing the water with other water sports if you kayak in the park, so be sure to keep an eye out for other boats and sup boarders.
The best destinations to check out while kayaking are Wavebreak Island or the secret spots of South Stradbroke Island.
You can also take a kayak tour with Seaway Kayaking, or use their hire service.
Wave Break Island
If you're looking to combine your kayaking with other activities, such as a snorkel, then Wave Break Island is a great option. Located approximately 30 minutes to the north of the central Gold Coast, the best kayaking is to be found by launching from Biggera Waters to the northern point of Wave Break Island - keep an eye out for any dolphins on the way.
Make sure that you take your snorkel to explore the Gold Coast's underwater life around the island. For less confident paddlers, you can join a tour from Seaway Kayaking Tours - they will provide the kayaks and snorkel.
In Palm Beach, you will find Currumbin Creek, a popular Gold Coast kayaking location. The Currumbin Creek catchment is directly adjacent to the New South Wales border, extending from Mount Cougal National Park for 20 kilometres to the Pacific Ocean.
The catchment includes a freshwater system and an estuarine system, which have distinct ecology. It is in the lower estuary where you will meet other water sport enthusiasts, engaging in activities such as swimming, fishing, surfing, and people taking to their sup board.
Colman Road Reserve
Colman Road Reserve is a natural conservation area located in east Coomera - only a quick 30 minute drive from the Gold Coast. It's the best location to launch a kayak and explore the Pimpama River, the Southern Moreton Bay Islands or South Stradbroke Island.
The reserve is also a top spot for seeing koalas in the wild on your tour and is home to a wide range of native birds.
Keep a keen eye out for koalas in Colman Road Reserve
You can also make it a day trip by heading to Couran Cove Island Resort for activities such as lunch and an afternoon drink.
Cudgen Creek is to be found just under an hour south of the Gold Coast, and is actually in New South Wales. However, we didn't want to miss the opportunity to tell you about another Australian day trip kayaking location, as you have a chance of spotting a dolphin or a pod in this area.
This beautiful spot is also known for its bird life and river rays. There are a number of kayaking tours available - pick from a self-guided, 1.5 hours, or half-day tours, and enjoy the trip length that works for you.
Jabiru Island is approximately half an hour to the North from the central Gold Coast, and provides a boat ramp to launch kayaks to access Coombarah Creek, Commera River or Coomera Island.
One of the best kayaking routes is to paddle along Saltwater Creek to join the Coomera River, then go towards Paradise Point for a swim and a rest.
Jacobs Well Conservation Area
40 minutes to the North of the Gold Coast, you will find the Pimpama River Conservation Area. A diverse location for your kayak activities, you can enjoy the natural Woogoompah Everlades, the winding mangrove-lined channels that join the Pimpama River.
You can also access The Broadwater and South Stradbroke Island in your kayak from here.
Cecil Zipf Park
Cecil Zipf Park is located less than an hour north of the Gold Coast in Woongoolba. There are great activities for the kids, including playgrounds, and spots to exercise your dog off leash.
However, it's also a great spot for a kayaking experience.
You can explore Logan River, Cabbage Tree Point and South Moreton Bay Islands.
If you're happy to head further out, you can also reach the waters of Broadwater and South Stradbroke Island.
If you're looking for somewhere more central for your kayaking experience, then you will find Emerald Lakes Parklands a short walk from the French Quarter in the Gold Coast.
This is a spot for a more gentle paddle, enjoying being on the water and seeing the city sights.
You might wish to combine your Gold Coast kayaking experience with the Emerald Lakes Gourmet Food and Crafts Market, on every Thursday from 3pm to 7pm.
Looking for other kayaking activities in Australia?
There's more to Australian paddling activities than the Gold Coast: