Scout Hinchliffe’s roundup of kayak adventures on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland won’t leave you short of ideas for where to dip your paddle. Let her guide you along rivers, around lakes and out to the ocean where there’s inspiration a-plenty to get you off your sofa and relocated to a potentially less comfortable but undoubtedly more fulfilling (and floaty) seat with a view.  

Is it the motion of the ocean? Or is it feeling like a king as you glide through the rich vegetation that forms a guard of honour? Whatever it may be (as long as you are not up shit creek without a paddle) kayaking feeds the soul with adventure and is the ultimate way to explore and connect with the amazing coastlines, lakes and rivers that make up more than half of the world.

Here’s your Sunshine Coast kayak bucket list. Please note that the experience levels are a guide only and your personal fitness levels should be considered first. Happy paddling!

Maroochydore River Trail – George Best Park to Coulson Wharf Park

The Paddle – The first kayak of our kayak adventures on the Sunshine Coast is a 3.5km (one way) section of the Maroochy River Trail, which is the perfect paddle for wildlife lovers. Water dragons line the banks while ducks frolic madly and the occasional bright blue dragonfly will hitch a ride.7 Killer Kayak Adventures On The Sunshine Coast (QLD), Scout Hinchliffe, water, glassy, reflection, sunburst, trees, MAROOCHY RIVER TRAIL

Launch Point – George Best Park, Ninderry Road, Yandina

Experience Level – Beginner

Lake Cootharaba

The Paddle – Being approximately 25km in diameter, Lake Cootharaba is the largest saltwater lake in the region and therefore can provide endless hours of paddling fun.

Hot Tip: the lake is best suited for days with no/light winds!

7 Killer Kayak Adventures On The Sunshine Coast (QLD), Scout Hinchliffe, jetty, trees, woman, LAKE COOTHARABA

Launch Point – Boreen Point, Noosa North Shore

Experience Level – Beginner/Intermediate

Old Woman Island

The Paddle – Load the kayak with snorkelling gear for one of the more epic ocean kayak adventures on the Sunshine Coast. The 1km paddle over to Old Woman Island can often be treacherous so pick a day with light winds and gentle swell.

7 Killer Kayak Adventures On The Sunshine Coast (QLD), Scout Hinchliffe, snorkel, flippers, wheel, beach, underwater, OLD WOMAN ISLAND

Launch Point – Mudjimba Main Beach, Mudjimba

Experience Level – Intermediate

Ewen Maddock Dam

The Paddle – With sneaky views of the Glass House Mountains and the Maleny ranges creating a backdrop to the west, plus being surrounded by state forest, Ewen Maddock Dam sure is a picturesque paddle, especially on sunset! If you want a whole day of wonders, you can precede a sunset paddle at Ewen Maddock Dam with a short hike up nearby Mt Ngungun to see the sunrise.

7 Killer Kayak Adventures On The Sunshine Coast (QLD), Scout Hinchliffe, EWEN MADDOCK DAM, woman, sunset, water

Launch Point – Maddock Park, Connection Road, Mooloolah Valley

Experience Level – Beginner

Currimundi Lake

The Paddle – The beautiful waters of Currimundi Lake provide a haven for bream, whiting and flathead so make sure you throw in a fishing line for this paddle!

7 Killer Kayak Adventures On The Sunshine Coast (QLD), Scout Hinchliffe, fish, fishing rod, reel, CURRIMUNDI LAKE

Launch Point – Currimundi Beach, Westaway Parade or Hargreaves Street, Currimundi

Experience Level – Beginner

Mary River

The Paddle – Straight after decent rainfall is the best time to explore the Mary River by kayak. The river starts high in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland then passes through Kenilworth, Gympie and Maryborough before flowing out into the Great Sandy Strait. There are sections with fun little rapids so make sure you take an adventure buddy who can pull the kayak back upstream!

7 Killer Kayak Adventures On The Sunshine Coast (QLD), Scout Hinchliffe, water, paddle, woman, glassy, mirror, reflection, hero, blue sky, MARY RIVER

Launch Point – Being one of the largest river systems in SEQ, there are a lot of launch points to choose from. We would recommend making a weekend of it by staying at the Kenilworth Bluff campground where the river access is only metres from the tent!

Experience Level – Beginner

Pumicestone Passage

The Paddle – Winding for 35km from Caloundra through to Deception Bay, this is a ‘choose your own adventure’ type of paddle. Glide across Pumicestone Passage to discover secluded beaches on Bribie Island, power upstream for superb views of the Glass House Mountains or just relax and enjoy the wildlife and natural beauty.

Hot Tip: timing your kayaking adventure with the tides will make paddling easier.

7 Killer Kayak Adventures On The Sunshine Coast (QLD), Scout Hinchliffe, drone, water, sandbanks, ripples, kayak, lone paddler, PUMICESTONE PASSAGE

Launch Point – Golden Beach Esplanade, Caloundra

Experience Level – Beginner/Intermediate

Now you’re all set. Go while away your weekends with your own kayak adventures on the Sunshine Coast and beyond…


Get your paddle on…

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