Yeppoon is not famous for its surf spots, but completely smashes it with paddle boarding and kayaking highlights, the Southern Great Barrier Reef’s Capricorn Coast is a paddling dream spot. Beautiful estuaries protected from the elements, gorgeous freshwater creeks, along with the wide-open waters of our beautiful beaches are everything you could dream of whilst paddle boarding Yeppoon’s hot spots. You can paddle out to islands, watch turtles bob around the rocks feeding on seaweed, paddle alongside dolphin pods cruising around headlands, view distant whales at certain times of the year or take a casual paddle up fresh Water Park Creek, or paddle the winding Hedlow. Can’t name them all in the intro so … do them all and hashtag #thisisyeppoon and tell us what you think.
Paddle Boarding Yeppoon Beaches, Creeks and Estuaries
A little bit of rain didn’t stop these guys in the video having a blast at the Causeway Lake. The Causeway is a great big open water estuary, banked up in the 1950s at the inlet to create a lake. Water pours in on the high tide and is trapped there to create the large lake area. It’s quite shallow in most areas of the open lake but splits off into two creeks heading inland with ample area to explore. If you’re keen enough to take a crab pot, fishing line and a bucket you’d definitely catch yourself a feed. But if you’re just after a pleasant, long paddle and a poke around, the Causeway is a great space.
Getting there: Causeway Lake is midway between Yeppoon and Emu Park. Take the esplanade scenic route and you’ll come to a very large bridge. Parking is on the Yeppoon side of the bridge. Oceanside parking has a walkway down to the creek, a very popular fishing spot for locals, also, a great place to paddle at high tide. It’s very shallow along the beach and you might spot stingrays having a feed of yabbies. If you pull in the lakeside there is plenty of parking, cool playground if you have kids or are a big kid, toilets and showers, gas BBQ’s areas with picnic tables.
Ross Creek Bat Viewing & Cooee Bay Dolphin Sightings
I’ve lumped these two together because you can park in Fig Tree Creek park or across the creek at the lights you hang a full 180 left and follow the access road along the creek to a car park that goes to the beach or the creek. Here you can head up the creek and see heaps of screeching bats hanging around complaining about you waking them up. Or take the beachside paddle around Cooee Bay beaches and if you’re super lucky you might spot dolphins that regularly come into Fisherman’s beach and around the headland to Cooee Bay beach. If you park in the car park on the Fig Tree Creek town side of the bridge the little boat ramp into the creek is the best launch spot. Paddle out into the mouth of the creek to head left out into the ocean or turn right to go under the bridge up the creek to find the bats.
Getting there: Fig Tree Creek/Ross Creek Bridge is five minutes drive south from the Yeppoon CDB. Follow the esplanade south around the bend through the roundabout, through the lights and left at the next roundabout, you can turn into the car park just before the bridge or go over the bridge and swing left at the first set of lights and hard left straight away to get onto the access road.
Kemp Beach – Turtle Watch
When you think paddle boarding Yeppoon area’s couldn’t get better at the southern end of Kemp Beach is the Capricorn National Park. Glorious hill walks up to Turtle Lookout is an absolute must do when staying on the Capricorn Coast. Head all the way up to the lookout to see 360 views of the coast. But this blog isn’t about walking it’s about paddling! Plenty of parking at the parkland along with BBQs, picnic tables, toilets, showers and revamped walkways down to the beach provides one of my favourite vantage points to head out for a paddle around the headland and enjoy a really casual paddle and sometimes even a sit-down and wait for turtles to pop up. They feast on the jellies and sea matter that is plentiful around the rocks and on glass water days it’s so easy to spot them. They get used to you being there and aren’t bothered by someone watching them have their breakfast. When paddling around the turtles
Getting there: Head south from the CDB towards the marina. Go past the marina turn off and follow the beach until you spot a blue toilet block covered in turtles. Follow the dirt track to the car park and hit the beach!
Water Park Creek, Byfield
When the rains have fallen this can be a challenging paddle upstream but you end up doing next to nothing on the way back. But if it’s been a while between downpours it’s an easy paddle both ways. Park at the picnic area across the culvert and launch off the cement barrage you just crossed to park the car, there are a number of ducking points to get under before you break into the open creek and take off upstream. Lots of birds perch off fallen trees and you’ll hear plenty of freshwater turtles and water dragons dropping into the water as you paddle along the flat tannin coloured waters. This is a beautiful paddle if you just want to chat with your friends as you glide along flat water or go it alone and take in the calming peaceful rainforest atmosphere that is Byfield National Park.
Getting there: Head north from Yeppoon CBD, along Farnborough road all the way to the large roundabout. Head straight through and continue on that road till you meet the T intersection. Turn right and follow the road for 20 minutes and you’ll come to a crossroads littered with signage for all the local businesses and hang a right. This road will take you to the small barrage culvert and the picnic grounds.
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Hedlow Creek day area is halfway between Rockhampton and Yeppoon via a dirt track through coastal cattle farms. The day area is easily accessible in a two-wheel drive but the road can often be corrugated and in need of grading. You can paddle for miles down this creek and be met with cows having a drink, ducks hanging about, turtles watching you cruise by, all under the majestic volcanic plugs that are spread out across the Lake Mary Wetlands and Hedlow Creek area.
Getting there: From the CBD drive west down James street to the last roundabout, turn right, next roundabout turn left onto Adelaide Park Road. Follow the road all the way out to the t junction, take a right then left onto Old Byfield Road. Keep going, to the right hand side you’ll see Lake Mary Road. Follow the dirt until you see the creek.
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For the more adventurous paddler here are a few extra spots I’ve not tried yet but would love to hear your experience. When paddleboarding Yeppoon #thisisyeeppon on Instagram, tag us on Facebook or comment below.
Fishing Creek is a long winding creek surrounded by thick mangroves and you can launch from Sandy Point. Be mindful of conditions and be safe. This was filmed by local drone hobbyist George Vartabedian. See if you’re up for the challenge.