Australia is home to plenty of great SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) spots and Melbourne is no exception. If you’re willing to drive a little bit and brave the occasionally cold water (especially during the winter months), there are plenty of great places to go paddle boarding in Melbourne. Here are a few spots we think in Melbourne that you can have a great time in with your SUP board.
St. Kilda Beach
Packed with people, dirty and underwhelming. Yeah, yeah, yeah these insults have all been lobbed at St. Kilda beach in it’s time and yet it’s still a classic! It’s true that you are not going to have this one all to yourself, but in recent years there’s been a campaign to clean it up and it’s much cleaner with better facilities than it used to be. It’s not the St. Kilda beach of yesteryear!
On a nice and calm day you can frolic around watching people on the beach and looking out at the magnificent Port Philip Bay. It gets busy (it is St. Kilda after all), so plan accordingly and stop for a hipster coffee and brunch after your paddle boarding session.
We don’t want to just name every stretch of land around the bay, but if you go at a good time to a nice and calm beach, there’s no denying that Melbourne abounds in options. Anywhere from Rosebud to Safety Beach to Mount Martha can work on a good day! The classic pick would be Mount Martha with its shallow and clear water, but have a drive down and see what looks good on the day.
We may have drifted slightly off-course and towards Geelong, but especially if you live on the west side of Melbourne, Geelong’s going to be just as close as making a trip the whole way around the bay. Although we’re here to make a case that if you are on the East side of the bay you occasionally skip out on Mornington and come to the other side.
Barwon River at Barwon Heads is a great spot for SUP, especially those last few kilometres before reaching the beach. The water is calm and you can watch the banks of the river as you slowly mosey down. Highly recommend making the trip once in a while.
Another Geelong beach, but another great SUP spot. Located right in the middle of Geelong, pack a picnic and make a whole day of what Geelong has to offer. Eastern Beach should be your first spot though on a sunny calm day. The sandy beach is a great place to go for a paddle and get a totally different view of Geelong.
It is right in the middle of Geelong, and although there is generally sufficient parking, if you’re heading out in the middle of summer try to get there early to avoid some of the crowds!
We’ve returned to smack bang in the middle of Melbourne and for all its bad publicity over the years (you definitely shouldn’t drink the water but it also isn’t going to dissolve any limbs!) the Yarra River is a great place to SUP if you know where to go. We would recommend launching from either opposite Fed Square or from the Fairfield boathouse.
Less you think that we’ve forgotten about some of the more suburban areas of Melbourne here’s a great pick out in the South Eastern corridor. Sure, it may not be quite as picturesque as the Mornington Peninsula but on a quiet and still day you’ll be surprised at how nice it can be! You may even forget you’re still in suburban Melbourne. Arrive early and enjoy paddle around the perimeter.
Trying to make sure we get ALL areas of Melbourne and surrounds catered for, and if you’re in the Outer East and only have an hour or two to SUP, a trip to the Lilydale Lake may be just what you need! It’s got a perimeter of around 2 km and it’s easy to launch, making it a very convenient option when you don’t have time to get to the Bay.
Finally the North/West makes an appearance! Whilst not as famous, and we’ll be honest, not as pretty as the Yarra, the Maribyrnong River is a good choice for SUP if you’re in a rush and want to get in a good paddle. Launch from Flemington and take in the sights of Melbourne as you lazily paddle down the river.
We think that’s a pretty good list to start with. For lovers of paddle boarding Melbourne is worth a visit. Of course don’t be afraid to have a look around if you find a spot that you think looks good – there sure to be some hidden gems! Melbourne is literally surrounded by great places to SUP! If you are in the mood for a relaxed day, don’t hesitate to grab your stand up paddle board and head out for a nice day on the water in Melbourne.