It may be true that ‘only a surfer knows the feeling’ but there’s nothing stopping you from getting high on the good stuff too. Queensland is a surfer’s mecca and a must-do on any globe-paddler’s checklist. Blessed with awesome weather and world-class conditions, surfing isn’t just a pastime here; it’s a way of life.
Catch a wave for your first time with a lesson at Noosa main beach or Currumbin and experience the thrill of surfing for yourself.
Check out the pristine waves at Noosa National Park when the timing is right and all the point breaks are working.
Explore Surfer’s Paradise and several other breaks all along the Gold Coast known for plenty of swell action all year-round.
Queensland’s Gold Coast is one of the most intense surf zones in the world, combing 40km of legendary surf spots with a huge, hungry surf population. It is the most visited stretch of coastline in Australia, and with year round warm temperatures, a buzzing nightlife, and endlessly long right point-breaks, this region continues to tempt southerners and foreigners alike to try their luck in Australia’s most competitive line-ups.
If you are intending to learn to surf, you’re going to be spoilt for choice. From Coolangatta on the sheltered southern end of the coast, to the buzzing north of Surfers Paradise and The Spit, there are 9 affiliated and approved surf schools and 3 Stand-Up Paddleboarding Schools for you to chose from. All of these schools offer a wealth of Surfing Australia certified programs and lessons, and will have you up and riding the pristine waters of this stunning stretch of coastline in no time at all!
If you are a more experienced surfer looking to develop those skills, the Gold Coast is the perfect playground. Add to the mix some of the best high performance coaches in Australia, and you’ll be tearing the points apart in days.
The best time of year to visit the Gold Coast is between December and March, which is tropical cyclone season in the Coral Sea. Its also peak summer season so the water is a balmy 25 degrees and the air very rarely drops below this as well night and day!
If you are planning a trip to Australia’s Sunshine Coast and you’re interested in trying out a little surfing, you will be amazed at all of the surf spots you will have to choose from. There are breaks perfectly suited for the beginner surfer, and then there are surf spots that are challenging for surfers that feel confident in their ability to ride the bigger waves.
There are over 100 surf breaks to choose from, so there is a location for every surfer, from beginner to expert level. Surfers from all over the world come to the Sunshine Coast just to ride the waves.
For the beginner surfer, there are numerous spots to choose from. Noosa Main Beach has waves that range from 1 to 6 feet. It is one of the few beaches on the coastline of Australia that faces north. Little Cove is also another great spot for beginners. The waves range in size from 1 to 4 feet. Other great beginner surfing locations along the Sunshine Coast include Mooloolaba, Coolum, Caloundra, Maroochydore, and Bribie Island.
There are 8 Surfing Australia approved surf schools and centres on the Sunshine Coast, all offering a range of lessons and programs for all ages and abilities. With year round warm waters, and some of the best learn to surf conditions in Australia, the Sunshine Coast is a surfing destination not to be missed!
From Sarina to Cape York, the Great Barrier Reef blocks most of the swell in Northern Queensland, but there’s an odd small groundswell day every now and then. Usually fairly small and generated from South-East trade winds but can get OK and is often perfect for learning to surf. Watch out for those cyclones through cyclone season as this can often generate some great waves.
Stand Up Paddleboarding is often the watersport of choice up in Northern QLD. The water temperature is beautiful all year around, and here you will encounter some of the clearest waters in the world. The Great Barrier Reef provides an incredible haven for wildlife and the perfect setting for a beautiful paddle on the water.
There are 3 Surfing Australia approved centres in this region. You can learn to surf in Bargara, just on the coast of Bundaberg, or you can travel a little further north to Rockhampton and then head out to the coast at Yeppoon. Alternatively, if you are wanting one of the best Stand Up Paddleboarding experiences in Australia, head to Mackay and stop in at Pro Paddle where you will be able to truly embrace the beauties of Northern Queensland!
NSW offers more accessible surf beaches than anywhere else in Australia, making it the ideal place to learn to surf. There are accredited surf schools up and down the coast, offering everything from short lessons to intensive, multi-day surf camps.
The NSW mainland coastline is over 2,000 km long, including more than 900 km of beautiful sandy beaches, and is home to nine national surfing reserves. The Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea work together to deliver some of the most consistent swells in the country, creating excellent surf conditions. NSW is a great place to learn to surf, with accredited learn-to-surf schools, surf safaris and surfing events up and down the NSW coastline.
The NSW North Coast surf beaches are some of the best in the state. There are dozens of family-friendly surf beaches where you can learn to surf in stunning surrounds. Byron Bay, Ballina, Angourie and Lennox Head Beach are where the 1960s surfing counter-culture took hold. Check out Lennox Head’s famed righthand point-break, or venture inside the north wall at Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach. Surf schools are spread out along the North Coast, or head out on your own and catch a break at one of the area’s top surf beaches.
The South Coast is also a very popular destination for learning to surf, known for its vast beaches and strong surf conditions. Shellharbour beach lies between Barrack Point and Shellharbour Village, with an easy wave at the beach’s south end. Kiama’s Surf Beach offers opportunities for all levels of surfers, and in Kiama, you can sign up for a surf camp to Seven Mile Beach, which sits between Shoalhaven Heads and Gerroa. You can also book yourself or the kids in for a surfing school holiday program with AST Surf School in Wollongong, or head south of Bateman’s Bay to Broulee and take a surf lesson there.
The beaches of the Central Coast are less than 2 hours’ drive from Sydney. Popular spots for surfing include Terrigal’s beaches, with Soldiers Beach at Norah Head known for its surf-friendly swell. Avoca Beach is a calm 2 km stretch of sand that offers excellent surf conditions with a northeasterly swell, and it’s a popular place to learn to surf. Or head to Umina Beach for beginners lessons with Central Coast Surf School, who also hold lessons at Avoca and Terrigal.
The New South Wales Northern Rivers region is famous for its beautiful beaches and iconic Australian surf culture. Experienced surfers share the ocean with all of the beginners looking to improve their skills with a helping hand from many of the approved surf schools and surfing centres in this area.
The Northern Rivers of New South Wales is home to legendary point-breaks, exhilarating beach breaks, and some great spots for both the beginner and experienced surfer.
Highlights of a surf holiday or experience here include a visit to Byron Bay to experience a taste of its famous beach culture and top surfing conditions. There’s also the iconic waves at Lennox Head, which are consistently ranked amongst the country’s best. Beaches from Lennox to Ballina are known as the ‘Magic Miles’, while the coast between Tweed Heads and Pottsville offer a consistent variety of waves to suit all abilities.
There are 9 approved surf schools and surf tour operators in this region alone, may offering stand up paddleboarding experiences and lessons as well. The surf is less crowded than the neighbouring Gold Coast, and the water is just as warm!
The Mid-North Coast of New South Wales is a real hidden gem when it comes to surfing on the east coast of Australia. There are hundreds of breaks and beaches that are worth a visit, and you’ll often find yourself surfing the warm waters without another surfer in sight! From Ballina through to Forster, you have hundreds of kilometres to enjoy and explore.
There are 9 approved Surfing Australia surf schools and surf centres along this stretch of coast. It is a popular stop off for backpackers travelling up and down the coast due to the ideal surfing conditions; the warm climate, and the ample activities to get involved with.
There are schools from Yamba to Forster, where you will find lessons and experiences for beginners through to seasoned pros. Hire a surfboard, or take a lesson…just choose a spot and you’ll find your stoke!
The Hunter region is located in the state of New South Wales and has a population of 590,000 people. It sits approximately 120 km to 310 km north of Sydney and the majority of the population live in the coastal cities of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
Newcastle takes pride in the nickname ‘Surf City’. This region stands with California as having the highest concentration of surfers per capita in the world. It is estimated that 90% of males aged between 18-35 surf. This is compared to the 80% figure on the Gold Coast of QLD, Australia. Newcastle is home to the “4 times World Champion”, Mark Richards and the town continues to foster the legacy that goes with such a history. Names such as Simon Law and Nicky Wood. With a near perfect blend of beach, reef, point and big wave spots in the area, another world champion is merely a matter of time.
In the Hunter Region you will find 3 approved surf schools and surfing centres, stretching from the stunning Port Stephens in the north to Redhead just south of Newcastle. The waves in this region are incredible, so whether you are a beginner or a seasoned surfer it is worth checking out!
A long time popular holiday spot, especially for Sydney-siders who would drive up the winding, single lane, old Pacific Highway, often sitting in traffic for hours as cars (and passengers) overheated on hot summer days.
The Central Coast today is now just over an hours drive from Sydney and tourists still come to escape the city and relax at the quality beach resorts and eateries that abound, along with at the caravan parks and holiday shacks that have thankfully retained the country town charm of yesteryear.
A strong surfing community enjoys quality waves at beautiful beaches and fun surf spots for beginners can be found almost everyday – just don’t be surprised if you are called off a wave by skilled little kids, along with mum or dad flying past you. Here, surfing really is a family affair.
There are 4 approved surf schools on the Central Coast you can choose from. The operate at all of the popular locations – Umina; Terrigal; and Avoca.
Surfboards and Sydney go hand in hand. Catch a wave (or learn to) on one of Sydney’s spectacular surf beaches. Beginners can learn to surf year-round at one of the many Surfing Australia approved surf schools – check out programs in Manly, Bondi and Maroubra – and experienced surfers can enjoy some of Sydney’s legendary surf breaks.
Sydney has approximately 70 surf beaches that cater to all levels of surfing skill, from small waves for beginners to big breaks for the more experienced and adventurous. Four Sydney beaches feature on the National Surfing Reserve Register, a list of iconic surfing spots in Australia: Manly, North Narrabeen, Cronulla and Maroubra.
One of Australia’s most famous surf beaches is Bondi Beach, less than 20 minutes on a bus from Sydney’s city centre. You’ll find serious surfers at the southern end of the beach, while boogie boards and bodysurfers occupy the northern end, whilst visitors to the area all enjoy the myriad bars and cafes by the waterfront.
Further south is Maroubra, a kilometre-long curve of sand that attracts surfers, swimmers and families.
The Cronulla area comprises four beaches Wanda, Elouera, North Cronulla and Cronulla and has a lively surf scene with local board-riding communities and lifesaving clubs. You can find several cosmopolitan eateries in Cronulla, with many cuisines from around the world to choose from.
Sydney’s Northern Beaches, from Manly to Palm Beach, offer some of the city’s prime surfing spots, including Freshwater, Narrabeen and Dee Why and Curl Curl.
The South Coast region of New South Wales in Australia stretches from Sydney in the north to the border with Victoria. It is famous for small towns and villages along a rocky coastline, interspersed by numerous beaches and lagoons. The area is rich in rural charm with a strong surfing community, so it is a popular tourist destination.
One of the best ways to get to the beaches on the NSW South Coast is to take the Grand Pacific Drive, a 138 km touring route south of Sydney that travels over the Sea Cliff Bridge, a marvel of engineering, and along the coast past the gorgeous beaches of Wollongong to The Farm and Mystics Beach at Shellharbour (the South Coast’s only National Surfing Reserve). Venture farther south for more splendid beaches including some of the whitest sands in the world at Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay, a haven for dolphins and seals.
There are 8 approved Surfing Australia surf schools, camps and surfing centres on the South Coast of New South Wales. All operate year round, and offer some of the best surfing experiences and locations available anywhere in the world! The water is warm for most of the year, and the waves are suitable for beginners right through to experienced surfers.
Catch the perfect break in Victoria, home to some of Australia’s best surf spots. Take your board to famous Bells Beach, home of the annual Rip Curl Pro, find brag-worthy beach breaks at Cape Woolamai, part of Victoria’s first National Surfing Reserve, and feel the pull of powerful tides along the Gippsland coast.
With wild ocean beaches for seasoned pros and gentle swells at protected beaches for beginners, Victoria has a break for you and your board.
Start your surfing journey at Victoria’s surf HQ: Torquay, home to Bells Beach and birthplace of iconic surfwear brands Rip Curl and Quicksilver. Find boards and boardies galore, and school up on surf history at Surfworld Museum.
For surfing lessons, you’ll find surf schools a-plenty around Torquay, Anglesea, Fairhaven and Lorne and ideal conditions for learning. Further along the Great Ocean Road, try lessons at Cape Bridgewater and East Beach, Port Fairy.
On Phillip Island, surf schools and surf-gear hire shops are bountiful, and consistent waves make Smiths Beach and Beachcomber Beach popular with beginners.
Near Geelong and on the doorstep of the Great Ocean Road, the Bellarine Peninsula offers gentle conditions for learners, as does the Mornington Peninsula.
Seventy kilometres south east of Melbourne lies the Mornington Peninsula, a beautiful region offering a spectacular mix of untamed bush land, rugged coastline and, of course, fantastic stretches of ocean in which to surf in. Perhaps the most famous location here is Gunnamatta, a high energy beach with a wide, rip dominated, 150 metre wide surf zone. Word of warning however; this isn’t a place for beginners. Exposed to the full force of the Southern Ocean, waves are fierce here, averaging 1.9 metres in height when the winds are up. But for the experienced surfer, Gunnamatta is one of the best surfing breaks this side of Melbourne, with consistent breaks guaranteed by the high swell and reefs.
Further west, at the end of the peninsula near the Wilson’s Folly wildlife park, lie the beaches of Portsea and Sorrento Ocean. Portsea, like Gunnamatta, isn’t suitable for beginners, but if you’re experienced this is the place to come. With waves 1.8 metres high on average and 2.5 kilometres of beach to choose from, you’re guaranteed good surf here if the winds are up.
East of Mornington lays the small coastal community of Shoreham, and it’s here where you’ll find another world class surf spot: Point Leo. A wide beach with waves on average 0.5 metres high, Point Leo is the place to come if you’re a surfer developing your skills. With great views out to Phillip Island, this really isn’t a spot to miss. Phillip Island itself is another great surf location, renowned as one of Australia’s most consistent and varied surf spots. The swell here is rarely too small to surf, and many tournaments and meetings are held here for competing surfers.
Dose up on surf culture in this iconic surfing region of Australia.The home of Bells Beach and birthplace of iconic brands Rip Curl and Quiksilver. The official start point of the Great Ocean Road, Torquay is Victoria’s surfing and beach worship capital. Visit over Easter and see the world’s best surfers compete in the mighty Rip Curl Pro.
Holiday with the family and splash about on one of the protected beaches. If you prefer the action of the surging surf, nearby Jan Juc is a little wilder, and experienced surfers can tackle the big swells of Bells Beach. Further west there is the stunning Apollo Bay and Port Fairy…home to some of Victoria’s best surfers.
Some of the biggest names in surfwear and accessories had their start on the West Coast of Victoria and their influence is on show at Surf City Plaza, a shopping precinct devoted to the sport. Stock up on the latest from the likes of Rip Curl, Quiksilver, Strapper, Gash and Rojo. Around the corner you can bag yourself a bargain from the Baines Court surf seconds outlets.
There is a wealth of knowledge and experience you can find here, and a considerable number of options when it comes to learning to surf. Choose from one of the approved and affiliated Surfing Australia surf schools or tour companies in the region and you won’t regret it!
Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. At the city’s centre is the modern Federation Square development, with plazas, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River. In the Southbank area, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is the site of Arts Centre Melbourne – a performing arts complex – and the National Gallery of Victoria, with Australian and indigenous art.
There is virtually no surfing that takes place in Melbourne due to its inland location, however Melbourne and surround regions of Victoria are SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) havens.
Check out the stunning waterways, lakes and harbour beaches with one of the approved Surfing Australia SUP centres in the area, and see the state from a different perspective!
Tasmania has world class cold water breaks and uncrowded, pristine waves generated thousands of kilometres away in the Southern Ocean. The best surfing in Tassie often takes some trekking through world heritage areas but pays off with huge breaks and beautiful waves.
Shipstern Bluff on the tip of the Tasman Peninsula is Australia’s heaviest wave. Regarded as one of the wildest rides in the world, it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. A 45-minute bushwalk leads to the famous sea cliffs with a break 150 metres offshore, a reef at the bottom, patrolling sharks and rides as long as 40 metres.
Not so risky, nearby Eaglehawk Neck usually has a wave, as do most places on the East Coast from Orford to Bicheno.
Further south, South Cape Bay is Australia’s southernmost surf beach and reached via a seven-kilometre walk through World Heritage wilderness.
In Tasmania’s north-west, Marrawah’s big Southern Ocean groundswells will also challenge the bravest and the best.
And on King Island, Martha Lavinia Beach is the jewel in the crown with a unique wave that breaks both left and right, depending on the swell and wind.
Across Tasmania, late summer provides the warmest and mildest rides, but Tassie waves are bigger and better in the wild winter weather. Needless to say – bring a wetsuit.
For the past 10 years, Shipstern Bluff off south-eastern Tasmania has gained a reputation as Australia’s most fearsome surf break. Named after the Titanic-like headland that looms above it, “Shippies”, with waves regularly rising six metres, is visited by the world’s best big-wave surfers, though this is still considered a secret spot.
For all other surfers, you will need an adventurous streak, but if you have it Tasmania offers several other world-class, albeit smaller, surf breaks and myriad chances to ride uncrowded, pristine waves generated thousands of kilometres away in the Southern Ocean.
There are hundreds of great breaks and beaches where you can learn to surf, and there are 4 approved Surfing Australia surf schools and surfing centres on the Island.
You’ll still need your wetsuit, however – summer is a relative term in Tasmania!
South Australia is a state defined by extreme wilderness. It’s home to the 100km-long Bunda Cliffs facing the Great Australian Bight, the empty expanse of the arid Nullarbor Plain and the red dunes of the Simpson Desert. Its capital, Adelaide, nicknamed “City of Churches” and known for its rich culture, is neighboured by Barossa Valley vineyards and sheltered beaches of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
South Australia is blessed with clean water, moderate sea surface temperatures and good weather for a fair portion of the year. Quality surf can be found fairly close to the state capital Adelaide, but for those prepared to travel, world class setups are available a few hours away.
The sheltered Metro and Mid Coast beaches around Adelaide more often than not see tiny waves break on their sandy shores. This lack of wave energy can be frustrating for experienced surfers who spend a lot of time driving to the more exposed south coast or challenging gems to the west of Adelaide. However, beginner surfers and kids will find that the small waves that break on the beaches south of Adelaide can be great for learning to surf on.
So check out one of the 7 approved Surfing Australia surf schools or surf centres in South Australia…grab a big softboard or longboard on the many small surf days, find an empty peak and enjoy!
Surfing Australia’s west coast is a must-do for pros and beginners alike – it’s here you’ll catch some of the most consistent, top quality reef breaks, beach breaks and point breaks on Earth.
Ranked alongside Hawaii, Margaret River surf is internationally renowned as a ‘big wave’ hot spot. Take your pick from more than 40 powerful reef breaks and fun beach breaks, including the 10-foot wave powerhouse of Yallingup, North Point in Gracetown, The Box, Smiths Beach and the Three Bears. Or join the world’s elite at Surfer’s Point, home of the annual Margaret River Pro.
For Perth’s gnarliest waves head to Trigg, where shifting sand banks over rocky ledges create powerful surf. You’ll also find ample wave action at iconic Cottesloe Beach, buzzing Scarborough Beach and the famous Strickland Bay on Rottnest Island.
Going that extra mile to seek out the local surfing secrets will reward you with experiences of a lifetime. Head for the reef breaks of Esperance, the left-hand ledge at Gnaraloo, The Bluff in Geraldton, Yardie Creek near Exmouth, or try Jake’s Point in Kalbarri for some of Australia’s most powerful left-handers.
For more tips on surfing Australia’s west coast, check out the State’s Top 10 Surfing Spots and visit the Surfing WA website – where you can also find information about learning to surf.
Australia’s South West is world famous for its spectacular coastline and the huge surf that has long been a draw card for visitors. With over 75 major surfing breaks located between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin alone, and many more along the southern coastline, anyone from the novice to the experienced surfer can enjoy the ultimate surfing experience in Australia’s South West. Spectacular coastal lookouts provide vantage points to watch those taking on the ocean.
Don’t know how to surf? Then, book a lesson or course with one of the 7 approved Surfing Australia surf schools or surfing centres on the south west coast, or hire a surf board and master the art and technique of surfing. Check with the local surf school for further information on the best times and locations.
Alternatively, see the experts in action at one of the major surfing events such as the Margaret River Pro held in Margaret River each year.
TREAT YOURSELF TO AN EXHILARATING RIDE ON SOME OF THE BEST SURF IN THE WORLD
World famous for some of the most consistent, spectacular, high-quality surf on Earth, surfing WA is on the wish-lists of many professionals and amateurs. It has the longest coastline of any Australian state, stretching 12,000 kilometres, and offering plenty of reefs, beaches and point breaks for all levels of experience.
Perth is Australia’s only capital city where you can enjoy the beach lifestyle, relax in natural bushland, sample world-class local wines and watch an ocean sunset within just 30 minutes of the city. It’s also the sunniest state capital, averaging 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and boasting a string of 19 beautifully clean and uncrowded beaches, from iconic Cottesloe to the surf hotspot of Scarborough.
Learning to surf in this region of Western Australia is idyllic, with temperate waters, and a strong network of approved Surfing Australia surf schools and surfing centres in the region. Stand up Paddleboarding is also popular, and there are a number of centres where you can learn the correct techniques and hire equipment when needed.
Geraldton in the NW is also worth a visit, where the water is warm and the waves are consistent!