Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Cobbold Gorge offers a very unique and personal way to experience the twists and turns of Queensland’s youngest gorge, which in places is only a few metres wide. Gliding over and through the still waters, the colours and textures of the rock walls that surround you change with each stroke. Glancing down you might see some archer fish darting around and sometimes on the banks, at the right time of year and day, you might spot some of the resident freshwater crocodiles. This must be booked on a guided tour, with small groups ensuring you have the space to set your own pace.
What a wonderful way to start your day, stand up paddle boarding in Cobbold Gorge.
Cobbold Gorge is in the heart of Outback Queensland’s Gulf Savannah. This is an ancient landscape shaped by volcanic forces, weathered by time. A place lightly touched by the hands of man and explored by adventurous travelers. This story began 1,700 million years ago but was only ‘discovered’ 30 years ago. We love it out here and have explored the gorge before, on the 3 hour tour which includes a boat ride, guided walk up and over the escarpment and the amazing glass bridge. We’ve also flown over it on a scenic helicopter ride (we highly recommend all of these), but we’d never paddle boarded through it and the chance to do so, was amazing and added yet another dimension to our experience and interaction with Cobbold Gorge.
“Cobbold Gorge is just one of those ‘special places’, where you can feel and see the history and natural forces that have shaped the Australian landscape. The tours make it accessible to people of all ages and the stand up paddle boarding is no exception, on our tour we had 12 year olds (with some experience), 70 year olds (with no experience) and everyone else in between. No one fell in and everyone had a great time, so if you’ve not done this before, add it to the list and make some more memories.” – Julie Johnston
There is no requirement for you to have any prior SUP experience to participate in this tour and in fact, Cobbold Gorge may well be one of the best places to try this activity for the first time. Why? There’s a few reasons: firstly, you are in a gorge, so there’s no wind and no waves and secondly, the boards they provide for the tour – SIC TAO FIT – were designed to provide maximum stability, featuring a keeled nose and comfortable EVA foam traction pads for grip and foot comfort. Finally, the team at Cobbold Gorge has found the solution to one of the biggest hurdles faced by those trying SUP for the first time, which is getting on to the board in the water. On this tour, your guide places the board in the water on a sandy bank and you step on to it from there; once you’re stable, they gently push the board into the water, away from the bank, and your SUP adventure begins.
Our Cobbold Gorge stand up paddle boarding tour started at 8am, meeting at the Reception for the bus ride to the gorge. On the way, we saw kangaroos and a huge flock of red-tailed black cockatoos. It was a short walk to the water’s edge where the SUP boards were waiting and ready to go. The guide helped everyone get a safety vest and helmet and then on to the boards and into the water. From there, you were free to paddle up the gorge and enjoy the serenity and ‘stillness’ that stand up paddle boarding provides, this is a very peaceful way to explore and connect with your surroundings.
Yes you can stand up paddle board at Cobbold Gorge, but you must do this on a booked tour. You can not take your own board. All equipment is provided and included in the tour price. The SUP tours are 1 hour and usually start at 8am. In peak seasons / busy times, there is sometimes a second tour at 4pm.
No, you can not kayak at Cobbold Gorge. From the seated position in a kayak, you are too low in the water to see what is coming. Therefore, as you navigate the natural twists and turns of the gorge, you might accidentally hit the walls which might cause damage. The standing position of paddle boarding negates this.
No, no prior SUP experience is required – just a sense of adventure. Everything is included in the tour price.
To Cobbold Gorge of course. All of the Cobbold Gorge tours – with the exception of the scenic helicopter flights – take place in and at Cobbold Gorge. The SUP tours are held at separate times to the 3 hour gorge tours, so it’s just you and a small group in the waters during the tour.
Yes, we found the SUP tour completely different to the gorge tour. It was great to have the ability to pause and look at interesting wall features, as we paddled up and down Cobbold Gorge.
We own our own inflatable SUP boards, the TAO boards provided at Cobbold Gorge have a more stable base and were easy to use.
Stand up paddle boarding at Cobbold Gorge offers a unique way to experience and explore this stunning gorge. The 1-hour tours must be pre-booked and you can only SUP at the gorge, on tour. The minimum age to participate is 12 years old, with no maximum age or experience requirements. Everything you need is provided and included. Cobbold Gorge is in outback Queensland and is a ‘must visit’ destination. The gorge itself is stunning and Cobbold Village provides everything you need for a comfortable stay including a swimming pool, bar and bistro. You can camp – tent, campervan or caravan – (check out our camping at Cobbold Gorge review) or stay in a range of their accommodation.
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