As a watersports lover, I was looking to hit the beach to do some paddling. Found Sandgate is probably the closest and the only beach I can get to by public transport. Went to the Visitors Information Center on Queen Street, and they gave me a flyer of Surf Connect Watersports Center on the northside of Brisbane at Sandgate. Half hour ride from Brisbane Central station and there I was, in the beautiful Moreton Bay. Sandgate Village has a lot of characters, a good handful of shops, from supermarkets, Coffee Club, chemists, banks, everything you need really. I asked people where the beach is, and I was told it's just behind any of these streets. A few minutes walk through the first street, and there was the beach! It was quite early in the morning. Lots of cyclists, people jogging, personal traners on the foreshore, people walking dogs, it was quite a busy morning but great seaside atmosphere. Then saw what I came for - a group of standup paddlers, and a couple of windsurfers. Eagerly asking a few passers by where Surf Connect Watersports Centre is, and they told me to keep walking along the beach and I will see a green house with an aussie flag just before the swimming pool. A couple of minutes and there it was! Bright out-standing green color house, with their van, trailer with big flags parked outside. Went inside and BINGO! It was exactly what I came for - watersports paradise!!!! The shop has everything I love - standup paddle boards, windsurfing, kitesurfing and wakeboarding - lessons, rental...... And my gawd, it has so much stuff in the shop too - from GoPro cameras, wetsuits, longboards, surfboards, DVDs.... everything one would need for the sports!
I then planned my day and as there wasn't much wind around, I hired a standup board and because I was referred by the Visitors Centre, they offered me a 20% discount! Yuppie! Water was beautiful, shallow, calm.... even saw fishes and a few rays! Came back and there was a windsurfer just finsihed his lesson. I asked the instructor if I could have a quick go, and he kindly allowed me to do so. The equipment was modern, nice friendly staff. Goon work guys!
I went back to the shop and told them what a great time I had. At that time, the breeze started to pick up and a few kitesurfers was setting up. Always been amazed by the sport, I never had a chance to go close by. THESE KITES ARE HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I asked a few questions, how much are lessons, how fit you need to be..... and the manager offered me a two hour group lesson for $60 instead of $200. I jumped right in and it was unreal. It was an eeye opener and instructor was very caring ensuring everyone had a safe but unforgetful experience. The thrills of getting pulled on the water purely by nature is unreal. Really enjoyed it. The manager asked how long I was staying in Brisbane, and you will not believe it, they even have hostel facitlities. $30 a night I was in a shared room with 3 other people. But ay, it is the same price I paid at the backpckers, but I live on the beach! I stayed there for a week, and everyday I went paddling, kayaking, windsurfing and kitesurfing. I even went fishing with the guys. Very enjoyable, and if you love watersports, this is a MUST place to visit! Good work Surf Connect. You have my recommendation!
The calm waters of Moreton Bay offer an excellent venue for kite surfing. This sport is rapidly increasing in popularity and places to hire gear and take lessons are springing up to meet this need.
There is always a sea breeze and on weekends the Sandgate foreshore is alive with colour and activity.
I was lucky to have my camera with me but unlucky not to have time or I would have been tempted to try it out!
The trees forming this cluster of Moreton Bay figs are several hundreds of years old and are heritage listed. They stand on a little triangle where Eagle Street meets Creek Street right in the midst of the busy banking and stock exchange precinct of the Central Business District. In the early days of settlement in Brisbane there was a creek, Wheat Creek, running past this site which ran from Roma Street and emptied ino the Brisbane River which runs through the city about one hundred metres away. The site is now a beautiful little oasis in the middle of the bustling city district.
If you're tired of trudging the streets of Brisbane, consider a trip to Moreton Island which is just 40km from Brisbane's CBD. It's hard to believe but within a couple of hours cruising you'll be in a heritage listed national park where you'll be able to feed dolphins, exprience sandboarding and a host of other activities. We caught the Moreton Bay Barge but friends of hours did a day trip with a yacht charter from Raby Bay harbour. A full day cruise can cost around $3-400 for a family of four but three-course meals are usually provided on board, the weather's reliable and along the way, you'll usually spot dolphins, turtles and if you're lucky, a sea eagle or two.