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5 x Great Locations To Go Stand Up Paddle Boarding Around Sydney
Sydneysiders love being active in the great outdoors, feeling the warmth of the sun and the cool breeze from the ocean, so it's easy to see why paddleboarding in Sydney has become so popular. As one of the finest exports from Hawaii, stand up paddleboarding (also known as SUP to regulars) caters to a wide variety of people, whether they want to keep in shape, compete in competitions or simply enjoy a relaxing day gliding along the water.
If you're new to paddleboarding and want to dip your toes into the waters of this amazing sport, the location is essential to getting the most out of your experience. From tranquil, calm waters to popular destinations, here is where you will find Sydney's best locations for stand up paddleboarding.
Frenchman Bay, La Perouse
If you're after a relaxing and meditative paddleboarding experience, then Frenchman Bay in La Perouse is absolutely perfect. Featuring a sun-kissed sandy beach and magnificent views of the surrounding Botany Bay, this tranquil spot is home to some of the calmest waters in Sydney - and is ideal for beginners.
What makes Frenchman Bay perfect for stand up paddleboarding is because it's sheltered from the encompassing land, meaning you won't have any waves to struggle against. If you want to brush up on your skills or learn some new techniques, there are also nearby SUP schools that can teach you everything you need to know.
This is a great paddleboarding spot to practice or unwind while gently gliding along the water. There's also spectacular views of the lush greenery of the nearby Kamay Botany Bay National Park, massive container ships coming in and out of the bustling Port Botany, and the deep blue ocean blending into the distant horizon.
Narrabeen Lagoon, Pipeclay Point
Follow either South, Middle or Deep Creek, and you will eventually arrive at Narrabeen Lagoon: one of Sydney's most popular water destinations. Unless it's a really windy day, you'll have no issues with waves here.
Pipeclay Point is the best option for grabbing your paddleboard and venturing out on the lagoon. There's also a nearby SUP school that offers helpful lessons, fun group paddling sessions, and even SUP yoga for the ultimate core strength workout. If the area is a little crowded, you can follow the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail to find the best spot for you, which stretches 8.4kms around the entire lagoon.
Narrabeen Lagoon is also great for fishing, kayaking, swimming, canoeing and snorkelling, so there's always something fun to do with family and friends. If you want to stay dry instead, then hire or bring along a bike and ride along the Narrabeen Trail. You'll enjoy the incredible views of crystal-clear waters, surrounding bushland, and even some of the wildlife such as possums, frogs, owls, wallabies and more.
Bellamy Beach, Point Piper
Situated in the picturesque Point Piper, Bellamy Beach is Sydney's best-kept secret for paddle boarding enthusiasts. Nestled in between the Rose Bay Boathouse and Point Piper Marina, this spot is protected from the incoming winds, ensuring optimal paddle boarding conditions throughout the year.
Stretching from Point Piper to the western end of Rose Bay, Bellamy Beach offers calm, blue waters and no crowds - perfect for beginners who don't particularly like being watched. You can also encounter lots of sea life while out on your paddleboard such as starfish, crabs and even seals!
When lunchtime rolls around, you can head over to the nearby wharf and grab a drink or a bite to eat. You can also book a couple of lessons at the nearby paddle boarding centre if you need a few tips. Did we also mention Bellamy Beach is dog-friendly?
Nepean River, Penrith
With a long section of flat, non-tidal water that stretches over 5kms from Nepean Gorge to Penrith, you can't talk about stand up paddleboarding without name-dropping the Nepean River. This is a perfect all-around spot for experienced paddleboarders, beginners, and those wanting to kick back and relax.
As it's one of Sydney's most popular water-sport destinations, Nepean River is bustling with jet skiers, kayakers, paddleboarders and wakeboarders. There are nearby options for paddleboard hire and lessons, and plenty of cafés to satisfy a well-deserved appetite.
The views available at Nepean River are truly breathtaking, from the lush bushland winding around the river to the towering cliffs of the Blue Mountains and native wildlife. If you feel like stretching your legs, then definitely check out the Nepean River walking track. Connecting from Penrith to Emu Plains, you can explore exciting sites such as ancient Aboriginal rock art, picnic spots and jaw-dropping scenic lookouts.
Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, Manly
Located on Sydney's northern beaches, Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve is Sydney's answer to Italy's Vernazza. This gorgeous, picturesque bay stretches from the northern point of Shelly Beach all the way to the southern end of Manly Beach and is a perfect spot for the more adventurous paddleboarders.
The reserve features 20 hectares of vibrant blue waters to explore that is brimming with seagrass beds, rocky enclaves and more than 150 species of sea life - so it's no surprise that it's also extremely popular with scuba divers and snorkellers. Remember to keep an eye out while paddleboarding as you might spot a green turtle or a giant cuttlefish!
It's also worth bringing your camera or GoPro to capture the many amazing views, such as the clear transparent water of the shallows turning into a dark blue glow in the deeper areas. As the reserve isn't as protected from the wind as some of the other paddleboarding spots we've mentioned, it does tend to get a bit wavy, so it's a good idea to stick to the more shallow areas such as Shelley Beach for beginners.
Whether you're looking for a fun way to get more active, a new water sport to sink your teeth into or a relaxing way to spend your free time, paddle boarding ticks all the boxes. Now that you know where to find the best spots for paddleboarding in Sydney, grab yourself a paddleboard that best suits your needs and head out to some of these amazing spots. If you need any further tips, check out our guide to stand up paddleboarding.