Stand-up paddle boarding

In the last few years stand-up paddle boarding has grown from a fringe activity to a bonafide watersport. Otherwise known as SUP, it’s a wonderfully zen way to enjoy the water. You’ve got to concentrate or you’ll fall off, so mindfulness is a big part of it plus it’s fun and also a great workout for your core.

SUP in the city

If you're keen to give it a go in Sydney, there are several SUP schools situated along spectacular Sydney Harbour that will teach you the basics, including Watsons Bay Stand Up Paddling, Let’s Go SUP in La Perouse and the Ladies Stand Up Paddle Tour in Bundeena.

It’s not hard to get the hang of it and once you do, you can explore on your own. Stand-up paddle boards are available for hire at various locations, including Rose Bay Aquatic Hire, the Manly Kayak CentrePaddlecraft in Pittwater, Bundeena Kayaks, the Audley Boatshed in the Royal National Park and Horizon Line, near the Nepean River.

Stand-Up Paddle-Boarding in Watsons Bay

Just out of town

A little further afield, but just as beautiful as Sydney Harbour is sparkling Pittwater in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, spend a day discovering this Northern Beaches basin. The meandering Hawkesbury River in the Hawkesbury is another waterside haven just two hours from Sydney.

Other splendid natural waterways for paddling include:


Sydney Swimming safety

NSW has a wide range of wonderful swimming options including beaches, ocean pools, harbourside pools, lakes, rivers, and swimming holes at the bottom of waterfalls. However to ensure maximum safety and enjoyment, swimmers should follow this general advice:

Look for patrolled beaches (this is where lifesavers are on duty; you will see red and yellow flags that indicate this). You should always swim between the red and yellow flags as they mark the safest place to swim.

Never swim alone at night, or under the influence of alcohol, or directly after a meal.

Always check water depth, as rocks or trees could be submerged, and never run and dive into the water from a beach, riverbank or other surface.

Check for signs regarding advice on water conditions at your chosen swimming spot and at any natural swimming hole. Always proceed with caution as surfaces could be slippery and water conditions may not be immediately apparent; particularly if the area has recently experienced heavy rain or flooding.

Pay attention to the advice of the lifesavers and safety signs. Visit SharkSmart to understand any potential risks in the area you are swimming.