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Summer Holidays on the Broadwater

Summer Holidays on the Broadwater

Summer sees the Broadwater become inundated with thousands of people in boats, yachts, jet skis, kayaks and just about any other means of transport that allows them to reap the benefits of what the Gold Coast offers – beautiful and pristine waterways.

Having spent all of my life here on the Gold Coast, we have narrowed down from many a small collection of anchorages where you can spend a weekend away with the family or maybe just a day cruise for lunch over the festive season. Some spots are obvious and do become quite busy but this depends on the size of you boat. One thing I have learned is that someone always has a bigger boat.

The Jumpinpin is nestled on the northern end of the Broadwater. Typically, it is an area where you can get away from any prevailing wind blow and still enjoy the serenity and clean waters flowing around your feet. Here, a few channels house nice sandy beaches, deep-water access for all craft. It is relatively safe for swimming, and the fishing is not bad either.

Slipping Sands, which is situated at Canaipa Passage, has a deep-water channel running adjacent a large sand dune that stretches from the top of a peak on North Stradbroke Island all the way down to the water’s edge. On a big high tide, the water nearly laps at the base making for an exciting landing when sliding down on a piece of cardboard. The surrounding channels are littered with sand crabs, whiting and flathead making it perfect for those wanting to catch some seafood while relaxing on the banks of North Straddie. Slipping Sands…a perfect spot for the average size boat.

slipping sands gold coast


Further south of Canaipa Passage, we have Millionaires Row. The area lies along the northern banks of South Stradbroke Island, and becomes quite busy on a regular weekend, especially for the larger craft. The reason for this is quite simple: depth. A deep channel runs along the banks. Basically, you can park a sixty-footer five feet away from land without hitting the bottom. It is a perfect area for a day or night away, and is quite protected from the winds during this time of the year. Camping is also allowed here, although a permit is required. The larger boats used to anchor in Tiger Mullet Channel, situated directly adjacent; but the mangrove-lined banks are plagued with mosquitoes and sand flies, and for the life of me, I could and never will understand why they anchored up there! The fishing is excellent throughout this area as you are only a few minutes away from all the top spots of the Jumpinpin. The crabbing is also red-hot. Millionaires Row…a perfect spot for the larger craft.

millionaires row gold coast


The Bedrooms is located a few hundred metres south of Millionaires Row and is only accessible for smaller boats. Half cabins up to twenty-footers and dinghies are best suited for this area as it does become extremely shallow particularly on a low tide. Once in the area, you will find a perfect getaway spot for the family and friends. A spot where you can lie back and relax with the surf less than a few hundred meters behind you. You can catch a few fish here, with the shallow waters attracting mainly flathead and whiting. The Bedrooms… a perfect spot for the average size trailer boat.

jumpinpin gold coast 1


Tipplers Channel is an easy spot to find and if you do not mind the crowds. It is the place to be for a party. There are bars at the resorts where you can buy a cold beer and lunch. Be prepared to have a few knocks on your boat though. At peak periods Tipplers Channel becomes extremely over-crowded but suits all kinds of vessels big or small.

tipplers channel gold coast


The inside of South Stradbroke Island from Brown’s Inlet south to the Seaway is another spot that is perfect for anchoring along. There are a few small spots you will want to avoid due to the shallow water. But all have beautiful sandy beaches and plenty of shade. Camping is allowed in certain spots, such as Currigee, where amenity blocks, showers, and barbeque facilities are located.

Wave Break Island never used to be busy. But now nearly all ships and other boats of a magnitude size moor along the banks and on the surrounding channels. Best suited in a prevailing south-easterly, the northern side of the island is well sheltered, has deep water access up to the sand, provides plenty of shade along the foreshores to get out of the sun, and has a good flow of water in the channels making it extremely safe for swimming. Camping on the island is allowed and no permit is required. There are no water or amenity blocks, and only small campfires can be built. If the wind changes direction, you can easily slip around to any side of the island to take shelter. The shallowest part of the island would have to be the western side. Apart for a small deep hole on the southwestern corner, the flats are best used for those targeting flathead, whiting and sand crabs.

A few smaller islands are also situated just to the south of Wavebreak Island making them ideal spots for people in smaller craft who have the privilege of getting into the shallow waters. Once in, it is pretty much all yours. But a word of advice: get in early or you will miss out.

All in all, this Summer break will be a busy one. The foreshores of the Broadwater, the Nerang River, the Currumbin and Tallebudgera, and even the shallower creeks south of the Tweed all have beautiful spots where one can throw a blanket onto the ground, have a picnic, and watch the kids splash around the water, or wet a line in the hope of catching dinner.


By Paul Burt







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