We're staying on Golden Beach for a couple of weeks later this month, wondering if any locals can provide a bit of advice on launches, conditions, kite sizes, local relations with lifesavers etc?
I've been kiting since mid 90s, but off the water for a while so would prefer flat/safe spots to get a few hours up.
Saw someone out in passage a few times last year, not sure where they were launching, boat club or navy cadets? Also a few up on the bar, but I'm guessing currents would be pretty savage there and lots of swimmers in the water so might give that a miss for now.
Golden Beach works best on Incoming tide in a SE and Outgoing tide in NE, launch at Navy Cadets (Onslow) but chat to the friendly locals for advice. Assisted launch on grass area just watch the wind shadow behind the large tree and building. Oyster shells/rough concrete can hurt when entering or leaving water but i usually just jump (non kite assisted) over the worst of it. At low tide you can also pump up and launch on one of the sand bars if you're uncomfortable launching on grass area. Note; NE can get quite gusty.
Happy Valley (5mins away at the passage entrance) only really works in SE and most suitable for outgoing tide.
Cotton Tree in Maroochydore (25 mins North) best for NE but also tidal.
Lake Weyba (45 mins North) works very well in SE and is shallow, non tidal and relatively flat but involves a water launch and land although you setup on grass.
Speak to Col or Paul at Caloundra Boardsports (formally Kite Action) they're both very helpful and often do downwinders or chat to George from Adventure Sports Noosa if you head to Lake Weyba, he is often doing lessons there and is also a wealth of info and very helpful.
What Gateman said = local knowledge -
Check out the link below for SE Qld sites (Approx 400 Kms from Harvey bay to NSW boarder.. Tags are colour coded green easiest yellow next etc , but is dependant on day too.. So on a g8 day a Yellow tag is often ok for a competent beginner but not ok on a hi wind day. Click on a tag and description available.
Suggest use satellite view. For a very friendly zone further up the coast check Lake Weyba.
There are 4 identified zones. Shops/ Svs, Sites, Down-wind zones, and SLSC flags and a couple of no-go areas.
BTW you will likely see kiters in the river mouth at Caloundra (East thru South direction with tidal boost on out going tide) be wary of going in there if you are not confident. It is a high energy zone and if you drop your kite in low wind (so relying on the tide flow) you will have difficulty re-launching. If you get into the wave zone where the tide/waves meet you will get punished - so basically avoid without help / advise - it is far from a 'P' plate zone especially if you are by yourself.
Couple of schools that way both ok I know MIke at KiteAction he is good and licensed for the area you are in - could always grab a lesson to brush up.