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Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is one of the hottest new tourism trends; you can paddle through destinations like the Maldives, board down iconic European canals, and can enjoy the unique waterways and coastlines via SUP in most countries.

Most people who try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) are hooked straight away, leading them to buy SUPs for themselves. But even though you can’t pack your board in your luggage, the good news is that you can join classes or pay for a rental all around the world.

One country where travelers can experience SUP is Australia, and from it’s 16,000 miles of coastline, to iconic rivers that flow through the Outback, this offers the unique opportunity to see one of the most beautiful places in the world from a new vantage point.

Visiting Australia? Here are 3 reasons you should jump on a stand up paddle board!

3 Reasons to Try Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Australia

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Physical Fitness

We often over indulge on vacation, and especially in a country like Australia, which is bursting at the seams with incredible produce, activities that incorporate exercise can be a great way to balance out all that wine!

While it may be tempting to laze on the beach all day, SUP is a great way to still get your beach day in, but also take advantage of the health and fitness benefits that come with a sport like SUP.

SUP helps strengthen your core muscles, back muscles, legs, as well as the shoulders. It improves over-all strength and endurance, and even if you’re not normally keen on exertion, Australia is a country that makes exercise fun. 

Paddle-boarding on Bondi Beach? Iconic. SUP in Canberra alongside the Prime Minister? Now that’s a story! Boarding in the ocean while Humpback whales are making their annual migration? You’ll be so captivated by the scene that you won’t even realize you’re exercising!

You can always make things a bit more interesting and incorporate other exercises while on your board, which can make things even more exciting. From yoga and Pilates to workouts that incorporate balance and agility, you can be as adventurous as you like.

A Way to Appreciate Nature

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SUP is a great way to immerse yourself in nature, and see parts of Australia you may not have been able to see if it weren’t for your board.

SUP trips often allow you to reach parts of a coastline that are otherwise inaccessible to tourists, explore watery caves, or sit and relax out on the water as schools of fish and marine mammals come right up to you.

Why take a whale watching / dolphin tour and have to peer over the rails of a tourist boat, when you can be at eye level with them on the water? SUP doesn’t put you close to nature, it puts you in nature, and this is a great way to appreciate a country defined by its outdoors.

Any beach, lake or river that offers SUP rentals will be perfectly safe for you to be out on the water, but if you’re traveling the country with your own board, make sure you pay careful attention to any warning signs about potentially dangerous wildlife in the waters.

For instance, in parts of Tropical North Queensland, many beaches are off limits for swimming due to a presence of crocodiles. Take the no swimming signs seriously – this also applied to paddle boarding, and is advice you should not ignore.

You’ll Always Have a Paddle Buddy

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SUP is huge in Australia, so the nice thing is that you’ll always have a paddle buddy. Sure, you can take in the beauty of nature, but you can appreciate it all the more if you have a paddle buddy out there to experience it with too.

Joining SUP classes or group tours mean you’ll have company, but it also offers a sense of security, someone to share a floating meal with, share a workout with and even have races with on the water!

What’s more, you are more likely to stick to longer paddles, which will greatly benefit your fitness. If you’re looking to interact with local Aussies, SUP is a great way to do so.

Australia Specific SUP Tips For Beginners

If you’re just starting out it might not be wise to try SUP for the first time on the ocean. Australia’s beaches are known for their large waves, so it’s better for beginners to start out on calm waterways.

It’s a good idea to start with lessons if it’s your first time out on a board; you can join paddle boarding classes all over Australia, and they’re always run by really friendly staff.

Before you travel check out a beginner’s guide to SUP so you know the theory behind the techniques, and the basics of safety, strokes, etc. This will make it a lot easier for when you do finally jump on the board.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. Looks like fun Meg. I recall seeing a dude SUP in Phuket during high season. Water like a pond during periods. He spent hours paddling while his 3 dogs watched him from the shore. Cool way to enjoy nature!

    • So much fun Ryan! It’s definitely a workout if you’ve never tried it before, but definitely a fun way to relax in nature :)

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