Paddling guide to SUP and Kayaking on the Central Coast

Bombora Ettalong Beach SUP James Vodicka
Bombora Ettalong Beach SUP James Vodicka
A paddler's paradise
Unwind on a kayak or bring the 'cool factor' on an SUP

The Central Coast’s spectacular waterways are a paddlers paradise to explore, from Lake Macquarie and Tuggerah Lakes in the north to Brisbane Waters and the Hawkesbury River in the south, and the abundance of estuaries, wetlands, and lagoons in between. These stunning waterways rich biodiversity provide habitat for a wide range of wildlife and water-loving plant and tree natives, including many listed threatened species and ecological communities. 

See this amazing part of the world from the water with this ultimate guide to stand up paddle boarding (SUP) and kayaking on the Central Coast. You can join a paddling social club, hire and buy SUPs and kayaks at these dedicated, locally-run eco-friendly and certified businesses, offering ecotourism experiences for locals and guests alike. 

Unwind on a kayak as you experience remote beaches, go fishing or camp in a secluded hideaway overnight, or bring the ‘cool factor’ to your next day out on the water on an SUP taking in the calm waters and serenity of these perfect spots for a paddle on the Central Coast.

Bombora Ettalong Beach SUP James Vodicka
Bombora Ettalong Beach SUP

SUP’s are a stylish way to cruise protected coastal waters, lakes and rivers providing riders with a great vantage point for sightseeing, while getting a full body work out. Take in the beauty of the world around you, including below the surface.

Bombora Ettalong Beach SUP specialise in stand-up paddle board lessons, hire, fitness classes, yoga classes, and SUPball located at Ettalong Beach. White sandy beaches, calm waterways and magnificent national parks hug Ettalong Beach, creating plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beauty of nature. Overlooking the Brisbane Water estuary, Ettalong Beach is mostly calm and shallow, perfect for beginners and range of SUP experiences that Bombora has on offer. 

Mana SUP Umina Beach
Mana SUP

Harness your water skills a little further South at Mana SUP in Umina Beach, patrolled from school holidays in September through to April. This is one of the best beaches to learn to surf on the Central Coast because the swell never gets overwhelmingly large. It’s also the ideal location for SUP surfing paddlers. To start mastering the board, book some casual lessons with accredited instructors at Mana SUP who offer lessons at Kiddies Corner, where you can paddle on the calm water while enjoying the surrounding Broken Bay scenery. Open every weekend for hires be sure to book ahead and enjoy some of the best eats and drinks listed in Umina Beach itinerary while you're there.

Aquafun Avoca Lake arial shot
Image courtesy: Instagram @aquafunavoca
Aquafun Avoca Lake

Aquafun Avoca Lake is home to a large selection of modern human-powered pedal boats, kayaks, and stand-up paddle board. Avoca Beach’s coastal lagoon has an island, and many bays and inlets to explore making this location another perfect paddling spot for SUP and kayaking on the Central Coast. Enjoy takeaway from nearby village shops, or a picnic under the shady fig trees with a large sandy swimming area for the kids. The Avoca Beach Markets are on the 4th Sunday of every month where you can meet local makers and creators after a paddle. Take a look at what else you can get up to in and around this neighbourhood in the Avoca guide.

Canton Beach Paddleshack
Canton Beach Paddleshack
Canton Beach Paddleshack

Canton Beach Paddleshack is adjacent to the foreshore of Tuggerah Lakes, an interconnecting system of three lakes covering 80 square kilometres with one outlet to the ocean. Tuggerah Lakes are renown for spectacular fishing and recreational water sports. Canton Beach is perfect for families with a shallow beach for the littlies but enough space to keep everyone happy. There are also two playgrounds, gazebos and BBQ's on the beach for picnics and gatherings.

Canton's cute little lakeside rental shack has SUPs, and single, double and kids kayaks for rental and purchase if you're wanting more out of your love for paddling on the Central Coast. With Canton Beach being dog-friendly, they also allow your fur baby to join your SUP or kayaking adventure. 

Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventires - Eco Kayak Tours
Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventires - Eco Kayak Tours
Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventires - Eco Kayak Tours
Glenworth Valley Adventures

Explore unspoiled wilderness from the water with Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures operate exhilarating kayak tours from their 3000-acre home base at Glenworth Valley. Half day tours are available as well as kayak hire. Or why not try their popular full day kayak and seafood picnic experience leaving from Woy Woy?

Trips departing Glenworth Valley offer paddlers the opportunity to explore the unspoilt wilderness of Popran Creek kayaking adventure as it meanders its way through Glenworth Valley. As you glide down Popran Creek you can choose to either explore the peaceful upper reaches of Mangrove Creek or head down stream onto the magnificent Hawkesbury River system. Relax to the sounds of bellbirds and gentle splashes as you paddle downstream. Learn about historical artefacts, unique Australian culture and native wildlife with the help of your guide. Feel a million miles away from the busy world as you explore breathtaking, tranquil riverways. 
Glenworth Valley specialise in everything from relaxing eco certified experiences with family and friends through to group outings for social organisations and corporate team building activities.

Terrigal paddle boats
Image courtesy: Terrigal Paddle Boats
Terrigal Paddle Boats

The Central Coast is spoilt for choice when it comes to coastal lagoons at popular beaches and Terrigal Paddle Boats located at Terrigal Beach is the perfect spot to meander with a paddle with the option to hire SUP, kayaks, or opt for a romantic paddle boat to enjoy on calm waters looking over the beach. 

Kayaking on the Central Coast
Kayak Central Coast

Choose your own starting location for a self-guided paddle tour on the Central Coast, or go on a social paddle with Kayak Central Coast. As avid champions of discovering all the Coast has to offer paddlers, these paddle pros will deliver and pick up your kayak and SUP rentals from any location of your choosing on the Central Coast. You can hire boats on multiple days to go on any one of several recommended overnight camping self-guided paddling tours,, or just enjoy a min one day hire at one your own perfect paddling location discoveries. Just don't forget to share it with us @lovecentralcoast!

Killcare Jetty
Boat Bike Paddle Hire

If you’re on the other side of Brisbane Water around Killcare way located in the Bouddi National Park Peninsula then explore Hardy’s Bay on a kayak or SUP through Boat Bike Paddle Hire. If you’re not staying in the area but would like to explore, you can get a ferry from Ettalong Beach, Woy Woy or Palm Beach with Fantasea Ferries.

For more ways to flow on the Central Coast take a look at our slow travel guide.

Share the love

Do you have a fresh suggestion we’ve missed, or want to see your local business featured? We'd love to hear it – simply get in touch here with a few lines about your idea, or jump on our radar by creating a free Central Coast business or event listing here.


Don't forget – when sharing your love for local on the Central Coast, tag #LoveCentralCoast and mention us on Instagram and Facebook.