Noosa River Boat Hire

boat hire family day out noosa

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip. That started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship. While we did make it home at the end of the day, we had our own island like Gilligan’s castaways. Beautiful white sand beneath our feet, surrounded by crystal clear blue water.

The Noosa River Scenery

The Noosa River is a stunning part of the Sunshine Coast and a perfect place to spend the day, there is something for everybody. If you’re keen to try some fishing, explore the waterways towards Tewantin. Drop anchor in a quiet reach and try your luck. In the other direction is Noosa Sound, explore the waterways and enjoy the scenery. Otherwise, head towards the Noosa River mouth and find your own little sandy island where the water is a beautiful shade of blue. Seeing the river by boat is truly a magical experience, and being on the water has a relaxing effect.

Our Family

noosa river sandbar

They say the best kind of boat is someone else’s boat, and I tend to agree. We hired our run about from Pelican Boat Hire which provided lifejackets, fishing gear, maps and gave us a thorough briefing before departing. Onboard we had Master Four and Master Two, both keen beachgoers and explorers. Although I have a boat licence and have travelled the Noosa River before, the briefing was beneficial.

First, we cruised up towards the river mouth for a swim, and even on a busy Saturday morning, we had a sandbar to ourselves. The boys swam, collected sea shells, built sandcastles, waded in the shallows looking for sea creatures, checked out the fish and chased the seagulls. It was an adventure walking around ‘our island’ exploring and finding. We were having so much fun we lost track of time.

Then we decided to explore the river up towards Tewantin as there is a lot less traffic this way. The boys enjoyed looking at all the different houseboats, and there was a lot more birdlife to spot. We found a small sandy spot, dropped anchor and had a picnic. This seems to be the spot to wet a line and try your luck with the fishing gear.

Although we didn’t want the day to end, when our time was up, we pulled up to the dock and collected our belongings. It was that easy.


noosa tributaries

The runabout had a 9.9HP outboard, so we were travelling at a very leisurely pace. Each of these times are approximate and one way from the hire operator dock. 20 minutes to Noosa River mouth 30 minutes to car ferry at Tewantin 90 minutes to Lake Cooroibah


back of boat, noosa river

When hiring a boat on the Noosa River there are numerous operators, and most don’t require drivers to hold a boat licence, this is dependant on the outboard engine size. According to Maritime Safety Queensland lifejackets are not required to be worn in boats over 4.8m long that aren’t crossing a bar. We hired from Pelican Boat Hire and had the boys fitted for lifejackets (level 50) and I made them wear them. Like a seatbelt, it seems unnecessary when everything is fine, but a lifesaver if something goes amiss. The boat had numerous Level 100 lifejackets onboard for adults.

Inside we had a briefing about boat safety, navigation and the map. Once outside at the boat we received another briefing on how to use the boat and a few boating tips. The phone number was on the map should we encounter any problems.


A great day out starts with a little preparation, so it would be a good idea to pack the following Mosquito repellent for the reaches toward Tewantin Sunscreen and hats Food and water Towels and swimmers Mobile phone in case you do need to call for assistance

Getting There

Noosaville is roughly 90 minutes north of Brisbane, and there are a few options to get there. Set the sat nav for Gympie Terrace. On one side of Gympie Terrace is parkland adjoining the river, there are BBQs, sheltered tables and chairs, bubblers, and a long pathway from one end to the other. This is where you will find the boat hire operators. Not only can you hire boats, but other watercraft as well. Holiday apartments, restaurants, take away options and boutiques line the other side of the road. There is street parking and a small public carpark.

Once your boating adventure ends there is a fantastic playground on Gympie Terrace next to the yacht club, it’s tucked up the Western end. Stay for dinner and watch the sunset over the Noosa River, it’s absolutely stunning. Another amazing spot for 360-degree views is Mt Tinbeerwah at Tinbeerwah.

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