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Sailing the Gold Coast Broadwater

Believe it or not, the Gold Coast has nine times more waterways than Venice in Italy… which makes our city an absolute boating mecca! Boat owners in the Gold Coast rank among the highest per capita in the country, and it is not hard to see why! With plenty of anchorages, marinas, sandy beaches, good waves and entertainment precincts, the 260+ kilometres of navigable waterways are the perfect place for an envious life on the water.

It’s not just the locals out on the water though, the Gold Coast it is a vastly expanding port for international vessels cruising up and down the east coast of Australia. It’s definitely not hard to miss the superyachts when they are in town and of course, it would be rude for us not to cruise by and give them a wave. Sailing past these spectacular boats, not to mention the enormous mansions on Sovereign Island, allows visitors to the Broadwater a real sneak peek into the lives of the rich and famous.

The ‘Broady’, as it is affectionately known by the locals, is the ideal location to get a taste of the good life, and we couldn’t think of a better way to explore the stunning coastline than on an affordable private sailing charter with your friends and family. Jump onboard one of Sailing in Paradise’s stunning sailing catamarans for the opportunity to discover what the Gold Coast is really about. Whether you choose to kick back and relax, try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding, look out for the local dolphins, or help our crew to hoist the sails, you are sure to have a day to remember.

Unlike many other vessels, our catamarans have a very shallow draught which conveniently allows us to pull right on up to the many stunning locations on offer. We are lucky enough to be able to nose directly onto isolated sandbanks where we can enjoy a private beach all to ourselves. When the tide is right, the Broadwater boasts crystal clear waters that are perfect for a dip all year round (if you’re brave!) and there is always plenty of wildlife to be seen, including dolphins, sea turtles and if we are very lucky, the rare dugong.

The Broadwater is a calm and sheltered stretch of water that extends north from Southport to Paradise Point. It is a popular area for yachts as the inshore waters are protected by The Spit (to the South) and South Stradbroke Island (to the North.) There is also a safe access to the Pacific Ocean through the Gold Coast Seaway. Our crew are always keen to raise the sails (if the conditions are right) and we love nothing more than our passengers lending a helping hand.

Perhaps you are interested in buying your own boat or are considering a bareboating holiday? Or maybe you’ve just always wanted to try your hand at sailing? This is the perfect opportunity to get hands-on and see what it’s all about before delving into the deep end. Our friendly crew of two are happy to answer any questions and will look after the serious stuff so the pressure is off and you can truly enjoy your day.

Wavebreak Island is one of our favourite spots to visit. Located just off the coastline from Labrador, it is a great spot for learner divers. Many local dive operators can be seen at the seawall, and we sometimes even see the glow of their torches from the depths below on a night dive! The island is the ideal location for a family picnic or a game of beach cricket, and we know all the best spots to swim. There is never a shortage of activities and with options to snorkel, relax on floaties, play volleyball, or simply enjoy a couple of beers, smiles are guaranteed all round.

If the northerlies are howling, we love stopping by the Marine Stadium, more fondly known as ‘Bums Bay’, a deep, sheltered anchorage with little tidal flow, making it an ideal overnight spot for boats travelling along the coast. This inviting location was used for filming in The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Referred to by cast and crew as “the Bondi Cigar”, a version of the hulk ship known as The Dying Gull was built on a ramp at The Spit on the section of sand known as ‘The Finger.’ The ship was launched along the ramp into the Broadwater several times during the final days of the shoot. We definitely won’t stand in the way if you feel like recreating your favourite Captain Jack Sparrow scenes!

South Stradbroke Island, a haven for local surfers, is only a short sail away. There is nothing better than escaping the hustle and bustle of the city to this pristine paradise. This 1800-hectare conservation park is just the spot to lay back on our trampolines for a stargazing session. With over 200 species of bird on the island, from big Brahminy kites and sea eagles roaming the thermals above, to kookaburras and tawny frogmouths in the treetops, a sail along the Broadwater is a must-do for any keen bird-watcher. Known by the indigenous Australians who lived in the area as Minjerribah, or ‘Island in the Sun’, we feel extremely grateful to have this little slice of heaven on our doorstep.

Once you’re back on land, there is a great selection of waterside bars, restaurants and retail outlets should you wish to continue the party. The Sailing in Paradise crew love to grab breakfast from markets on a Saturday morning or enjoy a knock-off drink at the infamous ‘Fisho’s.’ Nestled between Bum’s Bay and the ritzy Palazzo Versace Hotel and recently upgraded Marina Mirage development, colourful fishing trawlers also sell their catch direct to the public - our kind of souvenir!

The opportunity for such a unique and tailored experience so close to Surfers Paradise shouldn’t be missed. With striking views over Tamborine National Park and the glow of the city lights in the distance, a private sail on the Broadwater is sure to take your breath away… and we haven’t even covered the best part of sailing - the silence! We love turning those motors off, feeling the wind in our hair and just taking in the surroundings. As the infamous Darryl Kerrigan once said, “How’s the serentity? So much serenity.”