The second largest state in Australia, Queensland occupies the whole north-eastern section of the country. From Brisbane in the south-east corner of the state up to Cairns in the north-west part, the state’s coastline is pristine, windy and perfect for windsurfing. Which is why a Queensland windsurfing road trip is such a great holiday idea.
Starting in the state capital at Brisbane and heading north, there are countless great windsurfing spots along the way. Here we’ve tried to highlight just a few of them. But remember that if the conditions are right, it’s safe and you’re in the mood, you can get in the water wherever you want. That’s the beauty of being on the road with your own gear. But to help you out, here are a few good places to start.
Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast
Brisbane and just to the south, the Gold Coast, have established windsurfing scenes. Shearwater and Train are the two main flatwater spots near the Gold Coast but they’re also some of the busiest. The Moreton Bay islands act as a real wave buffer around Brisbane so it leans towards slalom and freeriding here. The city’s beaches at Redcliffe and Margate are the pick of the northern beaches. Woolloongabba is another key windurfing area of the city where you’ll find a healthy scene.
Further north, before you reach Caloundra, you’ll find the small village of Beachmere, which is home to some nice bumpers and jumpers, so it’s worth a stop. However, Caloundra itself is the real windsurfing capital. Happy Valley/Bulcock Beach are some of the best the Sunshine Coast has to offer.
Further north you’ll find Noosa rivermouth, which has a semi-legendary status among the local riders. Things might not be quite as they used to be thanks to the planting of some trees, but it’s still very popular.
The Central Queensland Coast
Just north of the Great Sandy National Park you’ll find Hervey Bay and Bundaberg. You might also find a few places to windsurf up the coast towards Gladstone but there are few established spots. North of here at Yeppoon the riding is good but it’s a drive up to Mackay, where you’ll find the next half a dozen or so great beaches.
At the top end of the central coastline you’ll find Magnetic Island and Townsville. Townsville one of the biggest towns between Brisbane and Cairns. Located just off the coast is Magnetic Island, it is mostly national park and nature reserve, and is very beautiful. Located inland from the central part of the Great Barrier Reef it is a great spot to head out scuba diving, however it’s the large bay in front of Townsville that’s of most interest to windsurfers. It is worth staying in the area for few days, check out this article about Magnetic Island and Townsville to find out more.
Cairns and the northern coast
Around Cairns there are a number of big windsurfing spots. Just south of Innisfall, to the south of the city, there’s a popular spot. Just to the north, you’ll find Smithfield and Port Douglas, which are worth checking out – even if you’ve been on the road for a while already.
Safety on a Queensland windsurfing road trip
Of course, the freedom a Queensland windsurfing road trip gives you is an incredible feeling but remember that this is a big and dangerous country. Don’t hit the water anywhere you’re not sure about or can’t see other riders. Or at the very least ask at the local stores or bars for the insider info.
Stingers (jellyfish) can be real threat in the water so you need to take precautions during their season. You’ll find them more commonly on the beaches in the summer months but they can appear all year round. So again, it’s probably best to ask if you’re not sure and investing in a stinger suit is well worth it.
Be careful, sensible and take precautions and there is no reason your Queensland windsurfing road trip won’t be the riding experience of a lifetime.