Make A Splash! Water Sports Without The Waves

Make A Splash! Water Sports Without The Waves

04 May 2021

The Gold Coast might be world-famous for its surf, but there are plenty of activities to try where you can have a wonderful time on the water without a wave in sight. When we say these are immersive experiences, we mean it! Pack your towel and discover the aquatic adventures waiting on Gold Coast’s waterways.

The Gold Coast Broadwater begins just behind Surfers Paradise and stretches all the way north past Labrador and Runaway Bay to Paradise Point – it’s a huge, calm-water estuary and offers visitors an enormous range of  wonderful water-based experiences. The numerous creeks, canals and lakes spread across the city provide plenty of opportunity to make a splash too.

Think of any activity you can do on water and chances are you can to do it here. From taking a romantic gondola ride, to high-speed jet-ski tours and sunset cruises amongst pods of wild dolphins – whatever floats your boat!  In fact, there are so many awesome water sports to try, it might even entice a surfer to take a break from the waves and try something new.


If you want more than just a boat tour, take a boat that’s also a bus! (Or is it a bus that’s actually a boat?) Whatever it is, AquaDuck is a completely different experience. Check out the coolest sites of Surfers Paradise, then hit the water as your amphibious vehicle floats along the canals of Main Beach and Surfers Paradise.


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You’ll actually fly above the Broadwater when you try the coolest new water sport in town with Gold Coast Hydrofoil Tours. It’s basically an aquatic hover board and anyone can learn to ride one. Stand on a hydrofoil board with its own electric engine that you control with a remote. It’s much easier than you’d think – before you know it, you’ll be gliding above the waters of the Broadwater like snowboarders riding fresh powder. Who needs waves anyway?


There’s every kind of boat tour on the Broadwater – from private cruises on luxury boats, to hiring your own boat and skippering yourself (you don’t need a license). You can take morning, afternoon, evening, or day tours – or stay overnight. For bigger groups like families, take a sightseeing cruise with Surfers Paradise River Cruises – and keep your eyes out for the resident dolphins.

Surfers Paradise River Cruises
Sea World Cruises
Duffy Down Under Boat Hire, Cruises & Tours
Coasting Around Round Boat Hire


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You’ve ‘done’ the beach, but what about the waterways on the other side of Surfers Paradise? Explore the canals and enjoy a different view he city as you cruise the waterways on a stand-up paddleboard. Hire one (there’s lessons if you need), or take a guided tour with Go Vertical SUP.

If you’re looking for some aquatic fun on the Southern Gold Coast, hire a SUP, kayak  at Currumbin Boat Shed and paddle your way around the serene creek and estuary at a leisurely pace.

Go Vertical SUP & Kayak
All Coast Paddle Board Hire


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One of the best ways to see all the Broadwater offers is on a jet ski. You’ll see how many uninhabited islands there are as you traverse the 21km length of South Stradbroke Island to World-Heritage-listed Moreton Bay (some tours also include breakfast on South Stradbroke Island, lunch and snorkelling). Or take shorter laps of the Broadwater on one, two or three hour tours.

Jet Ski Safaris
Too Easy Tours Jet Ski Adventures


The “Humpback Highway” sees the waters of the Gold Coast teeming whales from July to November – you can get as close as possible to them with a whale-watching tour, which begins with a cruise through the Gold Coast Broadwater. Tours takes small groups for an intimate experience with guaranteed sightings. On the rare chance no whales are around during your cruise, you’ll get a voucher to take another tour for free. But with 100% daily sightings recorded, chances are, you won’t miss out.

Spirit of Gold Coast Whale Watching
Whales in Paradise


Take a gondola ride through the canals imagining you’re in downtown Venice with your own private gondolier – on a cruise, or with dinner or lunch included – with Gold Coast Gondolas. You’ll see all the water front mansions of Surfers Paradise and Main Beach as you float merrily down stream. For extra romance points, book an Ultimate Romantic Indulgence Cruise which includes a helicopter ride, a meal, sparkling wine and chocolates.


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Hop on and off HOPO Gold Coast Ferry for as little as $3. It traverses the canals around Surfers Paradise and Main Beach and into the Broadwater. Commute in style to destinations like Home of the Arts (HOTA) to visit the new HOTA Gallery  or watch Australia’s best musicians perform on the outdoor stage, or to Marina Mirage for boutique fashion shopping and fine dining while gazing out across the fancy boats of the marina.


Explore the wilderness beyond the beaches while soothing your mind and body on a stand-up paddleboard yoga experience with Pure Aloha. Starting near the beach, you’ll paddle down Tallebudgera Creek till you find your own private patch of paradise. Then inhale, exhale and challenge your balance as you bend and stretch, enjoying views to the mountains of the hinterland.

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Craig Tansley
Craig Tansley

Craig Tansley is one of Australia’s most travelled travel writers, spending at least a quarter of his year on the road. Raised near the Gold Coast, he’s lived around the world but has returned home, now residing at Currumbin. He writes for some of Australia’s best known newspapers and magazines, and has written for international titles such as The Sunday Times of London.


Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. 
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.