Australia’s Best Surfing Beaches


Nothing is more exhilarating than slipping on a wetsuit, grabbing your board and paddling your way into a pristine ocean. Surfing is more than just a sport in Australia, it’s a way of life and if you’re ready to take your passion for surfing to the next level, here are a few spots to consider. From the temperate seas of Eastern Australia to plentiful swells off the western coast, there’s no limit to the number of beaches to explore and surf. Don’t waste your time searching for the perfect waves and instead hit any of these five beaches.

Angourie

Found just off the northern coast of New South Wales, Angourie –or more specifically the point off Lennox Head — is quickly becoming a hot commodity among novice and professional surfers alike. First discovered by diehard surfers in the 1960s, the area remained in relative obscurity for the next 20 years. That is until professional surfers began “rediscovering” the spot, and now it’s one of the most visited and photographed beaches in all of NSW.

Snapper Rocks

Ask anyone with even the most limited experience, and they will quickly tell you that if you want to truly surf Australia’s beaches, you must head straight to the “Super Bank.” Found on the Gold Coast’s Rainbow Bay, Snapper Rocks is a point break like no other, and don’t be surprised when one epic wave is enough to take you from the Rocks to Kirra, a distance of nearly two kilometres. Find the perfect wave yourself or simply spend the day chatting up celebrity surfers including Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson, who both make frequent pilgrimages to this surfer’s paradise.

Crescent Head

Head to the area just to the north of Port Macquarie and you’ll find the not-so-unassuming point at Crescent Head. Found on the Point Plomer Road, Crescent Head is an ideal location for experienced long boarders and newbies alike, and once again don’t be surprised if you notice a few well-known faces in the surfing community. A 200-metre ride is not out of the question at Crescent Head, and don’t forget to stop by Delicate Nobby on your way out. If you aren’t sure exactly what that entails, feel free to ask the locals.

Bells Beach

Do you require a spot with unparalleled historical significance and a sense of spiritual awakening? Or a combination of shallow reefs and a sea-bed that is miraculously free of the constant pain associated with shifting sandbars? If these are your two requirements for an ideal surfing spot, look no further than the world famous Bells Beach in Torquay. Original home of the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach features an almost mystical configuration of sand, water and surf.

Tamarama

Otherwise known to the cheeky locals as “Glamour-ama,” Tamarama is a daredevil’s paradise. The spot off Sydney’s coast is notorious for its dangerous conditions, providing it with the dubious distinction of being NSW’s most patrolled beach. Breathtaking 12 to 15-foot waves are commonplace along Tamarama as well as the beautiful cliffs that allow onlookers to take in the coasts along NSW.

Tips for a Beginner

Surfing has been on your bucket list for years, but you aren’t sure where to begin. First off, it’s important to realize that not all beaches are created equally, and some feature gentler points ideal for the first-timer. Before you grab your longboard, here are a few more tips for any newbie surfer, young or old:

  • Always wear a leash, wetsuit and vest in the water. You may feel out-of-place amongst the more seasoned surfers, but their familiarity with the water allows them a little license that you shouldn’t take.
  • Stick a helmet on your children. If your kids are taking their first surfing lessons, it’s easier to slip a helmet on their head instead of explaining the proper way to fall off the board.
  • Look for your board immediately after resurfacing. Learning to surf is fraught with peril, including hurting yourself or someone else with a loose surfboard. The minute you emerge from the water, grab your board and try again or head to shore.

If your surfing experience is limited, consider taking a class. Living or vacationing on any number of Australia’s beaches offers you the luxury of options, as there is an abundance of qualified surfing instructors scattered across the country.   Derek Williams is a Gold Coast resident who has worked at several hotels in Surfers Paradise, offering surfing lessons to patrons. He has won several surfing competitions in his lifetime. 

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