Guides

The 7 Best Places In Sydney For Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Get out there this summer.

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) isn’t as hard as it looks – promise! – and this summer is the perfect time to finally get out there and give it a crack.

Even better, there are plenty of awesome places you can do it (or learn to do it) around Sydney.

#1 Clareville Beach, Avalon

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A serene little pocket on Sydney’s northern beaches, Clareville is a western-facing beach on Australia’s east coast, meaning it’s mostly protected from wind and boasts exceptionally calm conditions. It’s also the kind of place that you don’t know is there until you do, so it has a lovely local feel.

If you’re new to SUP, book a lesson with local Tony Henry. He’ll take you through the basics and show you how to put it all together, before pointing you towards idyllic Paradise Beach. Even better, he’ll treat you to a cup of tea when you’ve paddled your way back to Clareville.

Lessons start at $40 per person.


#2 Watson’s Bay Beach, Watson’s Bay


A 15- to 20-minute ferry ride from the Sydney CBD, Watson’s Bay is hugged by Laings Point and Village Point in the city’s eastern suburbs. It’s surrounded by a number of great walking trails, which you can easily polish off before you head down to the water.

WatsSup was one of the first places to offer SUP in Sydney and is run by Bondi Rescue lifeguard Terry McDermott and Joanna Kyriazakos, so you know you’re in good hands. Lessons start at $70 per person.

When you’re done, pop into the Watson’s Bay Hotel for some fish and chips. You earned it.


#3 Nepean River

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Who said you needed a beach to SUP? Surrounded by lush bushland, the Nepean River weaves through Glenmore Park and Cobbity, all the way down through Camden in Sydney’s west.

Located in nearby Penrith, Horizon Line hire SUP boards, paddles and safety vests for one- and two-hour stints, half and full days starting at $20.


#4 Cronulla

 

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If you’re one for togetherness, Cronulla’s Monster SUP is for you. Once you’ve mastered the basics, the folks at Cronulla SUP Shop and School will plonk you on a 5.5m board, which has space for up to eight of your nearest and dearest.

Alternatively, you can learn how to manoeuvre your own board through the waves at Wanda Beach in a SUP in Waves lesson. They start at $60 per person.

If you’d prefer to dial it back a bit, try one of the flat-water classes at Gunnamatta Bay (90-minute lessons start at $60 per person). It’s just across the way from Cronulla Beach, on the Port Hacking Side of Cronulla. How’s the serenity?

#5 Rose Bay

 

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Boasting spectacular views over the water to the city, Rose Bay is easily accessible by ferry from the city and beyond. Better yet, the bay boasts exceptionally flat conditions so you can focus on taking it all in.

The folks at Rose Bay Aquatic Hire offer board and equipment hire for $25 per hour, or you can tack on a 20-minute lesson for an additional $25. When you’re down, pop up the hill and while away the afternoon at Double Bay’s Red Leaf Beach.


#6 Bonnie Vale Beach, Bundeena

Nestled in Sydney’s sprawling Royal National Park, Bundeena is a haven for lovers of the outdoors. Boasting space for everything from camping and fishing to hiking, swimming and kayaking, it’s a well worth making the day trip.

Surrounded by bays and beaches, it’s also perfect for setting out on your paddleboard. Bundeena Kayaks offer tours from the Bonnie Vale beachfront, including a 90-minute lesson and equipment hire starting at $65 per person. You’ll also get some snaps of your experience to take home on the day.


#7 Little Manly Beach, Manly

Away from the hubbub of Manly’s main beach, Little Manly Beach boasts considerably calmer conditions than its big brother, making it perfect for a paddle. Once you’re feeling confident on the board, you can paddle around the point to Colins Flat Beach and back again.

Located the nearby Manly Pier, Manly Kayak Centre offers SUP lessons from $55, which includes an additional one-hour board hire, or you can hire a board on an hourly basis, starting at $25.

(Lead image: Ishan – @seefromthesky)