Perth has to be the perfect city in the world for stand up paddle boarding, right? Whether you’re a beginner or boff (or somewhere in between), Perth has the ideal SUP spot for you.
From protected bays and calm, flat water for carefree cruising to open seas and swells for a more challenging paddle, the city is a paddler’s dream. What’s more, most places are within easy striking distance, so there’s no reason not to add some variety to your SUP life!
Here are some of our faves:
Freshwater Bay, Peppermint Grove
‘Freshies’ is a great place for newbies to start their SUP adventure. A picture-perfect backdrop of rolling green lawns, giant fig trees, manicured mansions, moored yachts and the occasional dolphin gliding gently through the mirror-like waters make it a safe, calm and very beautiful environment for peaceful SUPing. Plus there’s a great cafe nearby for a well-earned drink or casual meal afterwards!
Matilda Bay, Crawley
Matilda Bay is another great option for a peaceful paddle. The sweeping tree-lined bay is usually fairly protected from the wind and there are plenty of easy launch spots. Head left to paddle past UWA towards scenic Mounts Bay Road whilst a right turn will take you towards Pelican Point and the Nedlands foreshore past the Royal Perth Yacht Club.
With its crystal clear waters, grassy banks and soaring Norfolk pines flanking the iconic Indiana Teahouse, Cottesloe Beach is instantly recognisable around the world as one of Perth’s finest beaches. It’s also recognised as a hub of SUP surfing in Perth, with a number of different breaks which cater for paddlers of all skill levels including beginners. The groyne and reef provide protection and the relatively small waves are usually consistent and predictable.
South Perth Foreshore
If spectacular views float your boat, then you need to get your SUP down to the South Perth foreshore ASAP! Light winds and flat waters invite paddlers to explore the scenic surrounds that stretch from the Narrows Bridge in the west to Ellam Street in the east. Four kilometres of river frontage includes parks, reserves, man-made beaches and of course, sensational cityscapes across the Swan making the South Perth foreshore one of our top picks for a leisurely SUP outing.
The calm waterways around East Perth offer paddlers a unique perspective on the city’s scenic contrasts. Your adventure will take you past the impressive Optus Stadium and the soaring Matagarup Bridge, through the European ambience of Claisebrook Cove with its riverside apartments and restaurants and around the natural beauty of Heirisson Island with its small lagoon and secluded picnic spots and past peaceful riverside parks and reserves.
Bicton Baths and Point Walter, Bicton
Weather and water conditions can be a little challenging at this location – especially when the Freo doctor comes in – but in the early mornings and on calm days, the secluded bay is perfect for a leisurely paddle. Launch your paddle at Bicton Baths and head north east for a spectacular view of the cliffs at Blackwall Reach en route to the sandbar at Point Walter. If the South Wester gets a little challenging, head around the corner to the area around the jetty at Point Walter where there’s more protection from the wind.
This tranquil location on the Canning River between Watersby Crescent and Beatrice Avenue is one of Perth’s best kept secrets. Beginners will love the calm, flat waters in the bay north east of the jetty while the return trip to Canning Bridge offers intermediate and advanced paddlers with an enjoyable challenge. Remember to keep an eye out for dolphins as this is one of their favourite spots too! There’s also a toilet block, playground and a gazebo (for a post paddle picnic) nearby.
The calm, protected waters of Palm Beach make it an ideal SUP spot, plus there are plenty of cafes and restaurants on the foreshore for some post paddle treats. If you’re after a more challenging paddle, head for Point Peron where you’ll be rewarded with small waves breaking over the reef plus awesome views of the cliffs and the abundant birdlife. You might also be lucky enough to share the waves with a pod of friendly dolphins.
And the best news is that you don’t need to have your own SUP board to enjoy these fabulous spots. Simply get in touch with Stand Up Surf Shop, conveniently situated in North Fremantle and hire a board that’s perfect for your age and ability (or you can book in a lesson with one of their experts). They are Australia’s biggest speciality SUP store and have absolutely EVERYTHING to get you going on the adventure of a lifetime. Get in touch via their website www.standupsurfshop.com.au or give their friendly team a call on 08 9335 5636.