SUP, Paddle, boarding, cairns, beaches, QLD

Paddle boarding the northern beaches

Stand up paddle boarding at Cairns’ Northern Beaches is an incredible way to see the area. It’s also a great way to get a feel for the sport.


Stand, up , paddle, boarding, cairns, SUP, Beaches

Stand up paddle boarding Cairns’ Northern Beaches


Palm Cove

Palm cove a great place to stand up paddle board. You have a range of different conditions from nice glassy days to waist height waves.


The best time to paddle board flat days at Palm Cove is either on a northerly wind or a calm day. Southeasterlies are not ideal for flat-water at palm cove, as it seem to create a wave with less than 12 knots of wind. However, those southeasterly days a great to find a nice wave if that’s what you’re after


Being the most popular beach in the Cairns area. parking can be tricky at Pal Cove, especially on the weekend. Your best bet is to either hunt around for a park or drive a street in and find a park.

Level of paddle boarding

Palm Cove is suitable for all levels of riding. The southeasterlies can be a little tricky for beginners, especially in the afternoon when the wind picks up (mornings are always better on a southeasterly) But in saying that, it’s a good safe spot to get your bearings. Calm and northerly days are perfect for beginners.

Double island

Double Island is an amazing place to Stand up paddle board. It’s just incredible cruising above the coral reefs and exploring the mangroves. There’s also a range of different marine life you will see out there like: turtles, stingray, tropical fish, dolphins and even the occasional Manta Ray. The island is how ever privately owned, so you’re not aloud past the high tide line.

How to get there

The best way to get to Double Island by Stand up paddle board is to find a park at Palm Cove and paddle across from there. It take around 20 minutes to get to the surrounding reef of Double Island from Palm Cove beach


You really need a nice flat day to Stand up paddle board to Double island. During the winter, early mornings are your best bet, as the wind tends to pick up throughout the day. When we have a northerly or a clam couple of days you can paddle out there any time. You can head over on any tide, however, some places will be exposed on a tide under 1.3m.

Level of paddle boarder.

I have taken a lot of complete beginners to Double Island on a Stand up paddle board. It all really depends on your level of fitness. Your best bet is to take plenty of water and really take your time. If you are little unsure, maybe just stay on the south side of the island and not venture around to the north

Kewarra Beach

Kewarra is a great wave spot after a few sold days of wind from the southeast. You get really nice little waves breaking quite far offshore, allowing for long rides. Great place to learn the basics of wave riding.

How to get there

Kewarra is located about 20km’s north of Cairns city. Simply take the Captain Cook Highway and turn off when you see the sign.


There’s plenty of parking right next to the spot. You can’t miss it, it’s right next to the life savers.


The good thing about kewarra is that it’s protected from the southeasterly winds. Even during those windy winter days, Kewarra is ofter still great for paddle boarding, being protected by the headland. You often have nice little waves rolling in, but nice and flat in between.

Clifton Beach

Clifton can be a great place to Paddle board on these really calm days. Probably not the best place to Stand up paddle board in the area though.

Level of paddle boarder

Clifton is suitable for all levels. However, when the wind picks up it can have quite a heavy shore break. if you do go out on a rough day, try to time it between the waves, so you can get out with out getting pushed back into shore by the shore break

How to get there.

Simply follow the Captain Cook Highway heading north from Cairns. The turn off is clearly sign posted, you can’t miss it


Plenty of parking all alone the esplanade.


Even on a light southeasterly, Clifton Beach will have a heavy shore break. It is not the ideal wave to surf either, as it breaks right on the shore. On the nice calm days it is a great play to paddle though. If you happen to turn up on the wrong day and there’s a large shore break, simply head back to Kewarra beach. Its usually well protected there.


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