Stand-up paddleboarding is now a thing in outback Australia.
By Jess Wilkinson
Not only is ‘sup’ a term that the cool kids use because they’re too lazy to say, “What's up?”, it’s also a stand-up paddleboard. While we’d LOVE to wax lyrical about the joys of lingo, we’re actually here to talk about the fact that stand-up paddle boarding is now a thing in the driest parts of Australia. Weird, we know. So, without further ado, let us thrill you with the top places in northwest Queensland for you and your SUP.
Lake Moondarra is situated 16 kilometres from the mining town of Mount Isa and was created as the town's main water supply – which also makes it perfect for fishing and water sports, obvs.
Base yourself at the BIG4 Discovery Park in Mount Isa, because everyone loves accommodation that isn’t gross and doesn’t cost a million bucks.
The lake is delightfully peaceful, mainly because you’re pretty remote and also because it’s Australia and most things are delightful. As far as wildlife goes, keep an eye out for birds including hawks and rave turkeys (peacocks) as well as the occasional freshwater crocodile. The locals assure us they won’t eat you. So that’s a win.
Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park
Next on the list is Boodjamulla National Park, located about a 4 hour drive north-west of Mount Isa. FYI, the park has some pretty epic walking trails where you can catch sight of the views of Lawn Hill Gorge and Indarri Falls, but that’s another story. Today, we’re all about the SUP.
Take your SUP and get into the waters of Lawn Hill Creek which winds through a tall cliff face leading to Indarri Falls. The falls are located in the middle gorge, and it’s a short, minor trek over some rocks to the upper gorge (you need to carry your SUP between gorges). Now here is where things get epic - the upper-gorge is where you’ll get to see heaps of lilies on the water, schools of fish and turtles.
If you want to camp you can pitch a tent at Adels Grove, just a short drive from the Boodjamulla National Park. Adels Grove is just chilling on the banks of Lawn Hill Creek which means there’s more time for you and your SUP to spend some time together.
If you don’t have a tent, Adels Grove has your back. They have a variety of accommodation with permanent tents and air-conditioned rooms and it’s only 30 clams per person, to enjoy a two-course meal at the restaurant. Word to the wise - the burgers are amazing.
The final place is Lake Julius – as the title of this paragraph sneakily suggests. Fun fact: Lake Julius can hold as much water as Sydney Harbour when full and is the largest freshwater lake in Queensland. Not bad for the outback.
The lake is well known for fishing and boating, but also ideal for SUPing. You kiiiind of need a 4WD because the three hour trip is over a mostly unsealed road. The scenery, however, is epic so stop complaining and get out there.