By far one of the best kite launch spots in the world with its large, fine sand exposed sandbars that also makes for some of the best flat water spots I have ever kited.
When the summer (December – February) north easterly winds kick in on the east coast of Australia, this region turns into a dream place for kiting. The sun on your skin, the warm water and the consistent winds that are present almost every afternoon make this place a must to visit on your world kite adventures. If you are into either waves, flat water or epic all day downwinders (or a mix of all of this) you need to head here.
Quick Location Overview
Location: Noosa, Australia (map link)
Windy Months: November – February
Wind speed: 15 – 25knts
Best Wind direction: North Easterly
Air Temperature: 25 – 33°C (77 – 91°F)
Water Temperature: 22 – 26°C (72 – 79°F)
Water Flatness (River mouth): Glassy (behind sandbar) – ~1m+ waves (3ft) (in front of sandbar)
Water Flatness (Castaways Beach): Waves ranging from 30cm – 2m (1ft – 7ft)
Water Flatness (Lake Weyba): Glassy to small chop (SE kiting only)
Beach Type (River mouth): Sandy
Beach Type (Castaways Beach): Sandy
Beach Type (Lake Weyba): Sandy but trees around shoreline
Experience level (Kite Beach): Beginner – Expert
Experience level (Castaways Beach): Beginner – Expert
Experience level (Lake Weyba): Beginner – Expert
Gear rental/Storage: Adventure Water Sports Noosa
Closest Airport: Maroochydore (Airport Code: MCY) but Brisbane (Airport Code: BNE) is better for international connections (1.5 hour drive to Noosa)
In the Australian summer months being from December – February you will typically get the north easterly winds kicking in around 1-2pm everyday and lasting until 5-6pm in the late afternoon. You will typically see NE winds ranging from 15 – 25knts.
The wind can also spin around to the south east for periods of time which normally comes from a cold/storm front rolling in which turns up the wave size and makes for some epic wave sessions. These SE winds tend to be a little more gusty but also stronger being 18 – 30knts.
Noosa and its surrounding beaches has water conditions for every type of kiters preference. From butter flat water to practise and nail those new unhooked tricks you have been working on to smooth crushing wave after wave after wave as you downwind the coast, it has it all.
At the river mouth in Noosa, you will expect to see a variety of water conditions in the one kite location. As the sandbar is continuously moving at the inlet, it’s hard for me to give specifics but for the years I have been visiting I have observed the following. The Noosa river mouth inlet at low tide is very narrow and can create a very strong current running through it. This current can work in your favor and also against depending on the strength of the wind. In light (<16knts)NE winds on an outgoing (ebbing) tide, you can still have an amazing kite session as the current is moving so fast into the wind that it creates extra force into the wind. The opposite occurs when the current is incoming (flooding) so this is something to take note of at this location with lighter winds.
The eastern beaches south of the Noosa headlands (Sunshine, Castaways, Peregian, etc) can have varying wave sizes depending on wind direction and also tide direction. When the winds are from the NE, expect smaller waves being ~1m (3ft) but very flat between waves. When the wind comes from the SE, expect bigger waves of ~2m (7ft) especially if it has been blowing from the SE for a few days. These waves tend to be a lot more choppy but are super fun to ride/out run.
Lake Weyba is a great flat water location to kite when a SE is blowing and you don’t feel like kiting in the waves. The water here is quite flat as it is quite shallow for some ways out from the shoreline.
Where to Kite
The Noosa region has many places to kite which is what makes it such a great place to visit if you are an avid kiter. Below is a list and a map of kite locations in and around the region which I say are definitely worth checking out.
- Noosa River Mouth (NE)
- Sunrise, Sunshine, Castaways, Peregian, Coolum (NE – SE)
- Lake Weyba (SE)
- Great Sandy Beach – Noosa North Shore (NE)
- Double Island Point (W – NW)
- Maroochydore River Mouth (NE)
- Buddina, Warana, Dicky Beach (NE – SE)
- Caloundra River Mouth (NE)
Where to STAY
Noosa and the sunshine coast region has a lot of tourists visiting in the summer months as it’s a popular spot for families and international surf tourists. This can make it an expensive place but you do have a lot of options from 5 star hotels to van/camper rentals to suit almost everyone’s needs. You will want a car when you visit so you can explore the different kite spots as they are some distance apart and public transport can be difficult.
How to get there
Getting to Noosa is best done by flying into Brisbane (BNE) and hiring a car to drive there (1.5hrs). If you are traveling from within Australia, you can fly into Maroochydore (MCY) airport but you will still need to drive 40 minutes to get to Noosa. Flights into Brisbane (BNE) come from most major carriers multiple times a day from all over the world.
You will need to rent a car. Luckily there is multiple rental companies including the large brands (Hertz, Avis, Budget etc…) and also cheaper alternatives.
Note: Also remember to bring a key lock box with you.
Experience level needed
Noosa and its surrounding areas can be enjoyed by beginners through to experts with multiple kite schools operating in the Sunshine Coast area. I personally recommend George and his team at Noosa Adventure Sports as they are an IKO certified school with many years of experience in the area.
Australia in general has pretty good and reliable cellular services across the country but you will find pockets around the Noosa and sunshine coast region where you will have no signal (even with the leading carrier Telstra). If visiting, I recommend you pickup a SIM/Prepaid plan from Telstra for your device as they have pretty solid 4G/LTE coverage. You will also find that many restaurants and shopping villages/malls have free WiFi in Australia.
No Wind Activities
This list could go on for some time but below are some of the things I would recommend if you find yourself without any wind during your stay in Noosa.
- Surfing – it’s amazing here
- SUPing – it’s amazing here
- Scuba diving – Noosa has some amazing dive sites where you are bound to see sharks, rays and large fish. Noosa isn’t part of the Great Barrier Reef so don’t expect colourful reefs
- Hiking – this part of Australia has some of the most amazing forests and waterfalls you will ever see. You may also be lucky enough to see a colour in the wild.
- Australia Zoo – see all of Australia’s animals in one place
In the summer months the buses are free to ride and they have a wet area on them. So what does this mean you are thinking. A lot of kiters love doing epic long downwinders along the eastern beaches. To do this you park your car in the upwind location, downwind kite the surf and catch the free bus back to your car. Repeat if necessary!
And as I always say with flying, I have found that if you are a One World/Star Alliance priority member and use the priority/business class lane at the airport, they tend to not charge you if you say its a golf bag and keep it under 23kg (50lbs).
Also published on Medium.