Australia offers a diverse range of stand paddling locations.

Most SUP is conducted at coastal locations, with both flat waters and surf.

There is an abundance of inland lakes, lagoons and estuaries right near the coast on the eastern side of Australia, offering sheltered inland paddling conditions.

Inland Australia offers some stand up paddling opportunities but with only a few lakes and rivers. Also a few old quarry mines filled with water and old water reservoirs, now used for recreation.

Summer conditions are in place from about December to April. Queensland is warm all year round. In winter, the conditions are cooler, down to 12 C however, in the south, Tasmania and Victoria may be a lot cooler.

Water temperatures vary. But on average are around 18 C to 23 C . Northern Queensland can be 30 C. Whilst Tasmania in the far south can be between 13 and 15C throughout the year.

Paddling all year round is possible in Australia.


SUP Standards Committee Australia

Rebecca Dunning (Chair)
Based in NSW. An experienced personal fitness trainer, paddler, SUP instructor and school owner. She has won numerous business awards for her SUP School and contribution to the community through SUP activities, including SUP fitness programs. Rebecca also works with people with special needs through SUP, with great success.


Buoyancy Aids

No regulations.
Most paddlers do not wear buoyancy aids.


Night Paddling

Most locations in Australia prohibit night paddling. Activities can be conducted from dawn to dusk only.

It is not safe to paddle at night in coastal locations due to the unpredictable nature of Australia’s oceans. Inland waterways are frequented by boats, especially recreational fishing boats. The lights on SUP boards attract fish which can also attract sharks.

Some SUP Schools offer night paddling, if approved by the local government authority, and in very controlled and safe conditions.


Hazards

Coastal locations
Can be unpredictable, with freak waves and changing conditions. However, there are a lot of sheltered bays and locations that experienced paddlers would know where to find. Offshore winds can cause paddlers to be blown out to sea. Knowledge of wind conditions is essential.

Marine Creatures

Australia has a range of deadly marine creatures. There may be sharks in the ocean and rivers. Stingers, jellyfish and blue bottle bottles may be present at certain times of the year. It is recommended prior to paddling, to contact locals, local lifeguard or authorities to identify if there is any dangerous marine creatures nearby.

Tides
Are usually minimal. Far North Queensland is subjected to tidal ranges.

Swimming designated areas
Many beaches in Australia have a lifeguard presence. SUP is not allowed in swimming areas and no closer than 100 metres from the swimming area boundaries.

Floods and debris
Australia is prone to flooding at certain times of the year, due to high rainfalls andtropical storms. These are generally not places that people will be paddling. However the water flows out the rivers and low lying areas to the estuaries and oceans so paddlers need to be aware of the fast moving water, debris and pollution.

Conservation

Some legislation and regulations that apply to protecting our marine environments and wildlife that we encounter as stand up paddlers.

Each state in Australia also has it owns regulations.
Be mindful of the environment at all times. Stay away from native animals and do not cause damage to the local environment.

Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment
Lists protected species. Website..

Interactions with protected species occur as a result of an unavoidable accident or incident. Under the EPBC Act you are legally required to report such interactions to the Department within seven days of the incident occurring, or you could face a fine.

Whales and Dolphins
The caution zone extends out 300 metres from a whale, and 150 metres for a dolphin for SUP boards or a person: entering the water within 100 metres or a dolphin within 50 metres
Fines apply : a $689 on the spot fine, to court imposed penalties of up to $16,500, depending on the jurisdiction. More info…

Australian Sea Lions
The Australian sea lion is one of seven sea lion species. They are the only carnivorous aquatic mammal endemic to Australian waters and are extremely rare. They are protected by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The penalty for disturbing sea lions is up to $10,000. More info…

Marine Parks
There are 58 Marine Parks in Australia. They are a balance between protecting our marine environment and providing opportunities for the public to use these special places. More info..

Illegal to collect rocks, shells in marine parks. Other restrictions may apply including anchoring boats, bring dogs into the area. More info…

NSW Protection of Native Creatures.
All native birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals (except the dingo) are protected in New South Wales. More info..

Sand Dunes
There are sand dune preservation areas to restrict public access. Failure to comply could result in fines.
Driving on most beaches is also not allowed.

Riverways Licensing

Not applicable.

References

Weather Forecasts

Bureau of Meteorology. BOM. Website
Australia’s national weather service. Forecasts, temperatures, winds speed, direction, sunrise, sunset, warnings, and more

Flood Alerts

Bureau of Meteorology. BOM Flood alerts website

Tides

High and low predictions, sunrise/sunset, moonrise/moonset times, plus moon phase details.

BOM Tides website Info..

Tides 4 Fishing. Website.

Surf Reports and Forecasts

Wave swell, height, webcams, and more

Swellnet. Website

Surfline. Website

Environment

Environment Agency Australia Website..
Improving stewardship and sustainable management of Australia’s environment.

Workplace Health and Safety

Safe Work Australia
Duty of Care: Website

Safe Work (States)
Each state has its own Safety Standards in relation Duty of Care