Smiths Beach Resort - WA
Smiths Beach Resort is nestled on one of Australia's most beautiful beaches close to picturesque Yallingup. Blessed with a great location settled between Cape Naturalist and Cape Leeuwin and just a few hundread meters from Canal Rocks, the stay
Manly Surf School - NSW
Learn to surf with Manly Surf School and Sydney Surf School, teaching since 1983. Manly Surf School has been voted by surfing Australia as the number 1 surf school in NSW. It runs classes every day. The classes cater to all levels of ability,
From 70 pp for 2 hours
MojoSurf Tours - NSW
Join the fully guided surfing adventure and you will explore remote beaches in search of good times and fun waves. Experience summer beach parties, make new friends, relax and enjoy the sun, sea and sand while learning how to surf on pristine
From 599 pp for 5 Days
Injidup Spa Retreat - WA
Injidup Spa Retreat is a small luxury resort in Western Australia with great spa, in proximity to surf breaks and pristine beaches. All 10 luxury villas have their own private plunge pool and sweeping ocean views. It has been featured as one of
From 770 pp for 6 Nights
The Villas of Byron - NSW
The Villas of Byron offer you a unique and luxurious surf and stay experience like no other place. Conveniently but discretely nestled in the heart of Byron Bay, this 5-villa complex is a sanctuary for the soul, offering everyone a chance to
From 1129 pp for 7 Nights
With an unending 12000kms of coastline, WA is famous for not only it’s size but its quality and variety of waves. Perth’s most popular surf spots are Cottesloe, Scarborough and Trigg beaches just north of the city, but generally Perth has a lot of its swell blocked by Rottnest Island. There are beach breaks and reefs all the way up Perth's shoreline but the swell has to be just right to get some of them working. Alternatively, a trip over to Rottnest is well worthwhile to get some waves. There’s a great pub there too! You can just go for the day or stay a few nights.
In the south west of WA, about 3 hours south of Perth, the Margaret River region is home to some legendary waves. There are at least 75 top class breaks spread along about 130kms of coastline from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin. Year round, the coast gets pounded by powerful ground swells generated in the notorious Roaring Forties, 1000kms to the south of Cape Leeuwin. The surf gets very big and can be dangerous, but it is also possible to find some beach breaks suitable for beginners. Margaret River is also famous for its world class wineries and spectacular caves.
Practically all of Queensland and New South Wales’ coasts get plenty of swell and there are an immense number of great surf spots of all varieties. Queensland is home to legendary spots such as Kirra and Burleigh Heads and has been the training ground for many surf champions. The main problem with the east coast is the crowds. Everyone surfs. To avoid the crowds, keep clear of the cities. Saying this, this is where you’ll find some amazing and fun tourist sights and activities. The Gold Coast is a tourist mecca with theme parks and wildlife sanctuaries, an endless strip of high rise hotels and great nightlife, not to mention the hippy retreat of Byron Bay close by. Sydney has the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, some of the best restaurants in the world, and world renowned beaches, Bondi & Manly.
Victoria’s main surfing area is along the Great Ocean Road around Torquay. Famous for being where boardshorts were invented, the area is rich in surf history. Bells Beach is the most famous break here but there are plenty of other spots to check out. The whole coastline gets loads of swell generated by the deep low pressures tracking across the bottom of the country, particularly April to October. If you are into big wave riding, there are numerous waves around here that can hold 15+ ft. Beware of the much colder water temps though.
The biggest and most spectacular surf hits the coast in winter and spring, however summer and autumn also offers consistent swells. It is very rare to find the ocean flat for more than a few days, even in summer. There is a wide variety of breaks, way too many to mention. Below is a list of the better ones in WA and some of the main ones in the Margaret River region.
- Ningaloo Reef - There are countless awesome breaks on offer at Ningaloo Reef, which once held the Billabong Super Challenge events in the mid-90s. The area offers some of the most spectacular scenery and secluded surf spots in WA.
- Esperance - Esperance is one of the best-kept surfing secret, with hundreds of islands and reefs breaking on the horizon. Particularly the break Cyclops is one of the most talked about but least surfed waves in the world.
- Lancelin & Yanchep - Around an hour north of Perth, you’ll find an array of waves with perfect surf conditions for all levels. Eddie Island and Backbeach in Lancelin are favourites for intermediate surfers, while the isolated Alkimos beach in Yanchep suits the pros.
- Geraldton - Geraldton's uncrowded waters has breaks to suit everyone, from beginners to pros. Mahomet's Back Beach offers consistently good surf in summer while Sunset Beach is best in winter.
- Rottnest Island - 16kms off the coast of Perth, Rottnest Island offers several extraordinary reef breaks, the most renowned is Strickland Bay.
- Kalbarri - Jake's Point in Kalbarri is a beautiful area that delivers some of Australia's most powerful lefts.
- Rockingham & Mandurah – in between these sprawling coastal towns is a stretch of coastline where you’ll find consistent rolling surf. Check out Singleton, Golden Bay and Secret Harbour.
- Perth Beaches - For Perth's most popular surf areas, go to Scarborough, Trigg & Watermans on the north of the city, or City Beach, Floreat & Cottesloe.
- Boranup - With the best surf in the area generally being found south of Margaret River, Boranup is well worth the drive. Here you’ll find pristine, isolated beaches and clean surf.
- Redgate - The surf here is usually quite good on a small swell and holds shape well up to a 3 metre swell. The area is out of the main thoroughfare which means less crowding.
- Surfers Point – Surfers Point is internationally renowned as the best break in the area and home to the Margaret River Pro. There is nearly always a wave here and when it gets over 12ft the left lines up right into the bay. South side is another sizable and heavy wave that can require lots of paddling. If you can handle even bigger check out the break a couple of hundred metres to the south. There is also a few outer reef breaks south of the boat ramp.
- Margaret River Mouth - This is quite a bit smaller with rights and lefts breaking on a sandy bottom so it’s a great spot for beginners.
- Injidup Car Park - Injidup is renowned for its right hand break and has a couple of peaks that handle size and even a slight onshore. If you find it crowded here, go north to Pea Break and Mitchells, where there are long lefts with a couple of take off points making it better when there are large numbers of surfers.
- Yallingup – Another infamous area, Yallingup is has a big left hander and a more shapely right hander that will handle up to 20ft. When it’s really cranking the left will clean up everything in its path.
- Three Bears - One of the premier surf spots due to a series of rights and lefts that always seem to have a wave. This break handles anything from 2 to 10ft.
- Sunshine Coast - this area has some consistent beach breaks and the Noosa Heads area has some perfect point breaks, but can get crowded.
- Stradbroke Island - Straddie's beaches are also worth checking out.
- Gold Coast - The Goldie is a legendary swell magnet and home to many surf competitions :
- Burleigh Heads – Burleigh is a world class right hand point break, but gets very crowded. The wave is long and tubular especially after the drop
- Kirra – This break is another world class right hand point break and really hollow with the possibility of multiple barrels. Possibly one of the most popular and well known point breaks in Australia. With a southern swell and winds, Kirra Point provides big, fast, hollow tubes. Quick take offs are required.
- Currumbin - Currumbin is a classic right hand point break that holds size well and reels off long rides with tube sections.
- Snapper Rocks - This is a classic point break where the waves are formed by southern ocean swells converging towards the rocky point. Snapper Point is surrounded by deep water, so the wave formations tend to be full. This break is a favourite for long boarders.
- Duranbah - Known as D-Bar, this is a great fast breaking beach break that picks up heaps of swell particularly works well on a south east swell and breaks both ways. With bigger swells this wave gets faster and hollower.
- Byron Bay - Around Byron Bay there are a number of great beach and point breaks. Byron Bay is Australia's most easterly point, so is more open to some of the winter swells that are generated in the Tasman. Lennox Head is a popular classic right hand point break, quite a long ride.
- Lennox Head - Endlessly photographed & filmed, the right hand point break at Lennox Head is one of Australia’s most famous waves, consistently ranked in the top 10 waves of Australia's 10,685 beaches. The Lennox Head point break is powerful and not for beginners. Lennox Head was declared a National Surfing Reserve in February 2007, the third site in Australia to be recognised for its significance to recreational surfing and the largest in Australia, it runs 7kms from the Surf Club to Flat Rock. The “Magic Miles” between Lennox Head and Ballina offers a mixture of beach breaks and reefs that work on a variety of wind and swell directions.
- Coffs Harbour - Coffs is made up of 6 different beaches offering lots of beach breaks & sandy bottom point breaks that can handle big swells. There are great options for beginners.
- Angourie - The swell needs only be one or two metres for the point to start breaking, at which stage it’s rideable for surfers of most abilities, but anything bigger should only be tackled by confident surfers. Angourie Beach was declared a National Surfing Reserve in 2007, the second site in Australia to be recognised for its significance to recreational surfing and, as such, is considered sacred by Australian surfers.
- Mid North Coast – This area’s most popular surf areas are Cresent Head and Port Macquarie.
- Central Coast - Here, winter ground swells from the Tasman Sea can start affecting the breaks. Surfing is generally good all year in the Newcastle area.
- Sydney - Sydney is blessed with scores of surfable points and reefs, some of the more popular being Narrabeen, Dee Why, Curl Curl, Queenscliff, Manly, Cronulla, Maroubra & Bondi.
- North Narrabeen – North Narra is a left hand point break with barreling sections and is renowned as one of the best surf breaks of the world. The lake emptying into the sea here creates a deep channel which is instrumental in forming the sand bank that creates this classic break. The deep water off shore allows these swells to break with more power than at most beaches in the area.
- Long Reef - There are offshore reefs in the north (the Long Reef Bombora's) and beach breaks running the entire 1.6km south to Dee Why. The Long Reef Bombora’s starts to break at one metre or so and in a big south swell can produce a beautiful wave up to five metres. Reliable sandbanks shape beach breaks that are great for beginners and intermediate surfers, especially in summer with the northern headland blocking the sea breeze.
- Dee Why Point – The Point is a hollow right hand point break with a somewhat critical take off.
- Curl Curl – Curlie has a large area of consistent beach breaks with a variety of waves. North Curlie is sheltered from N/NE winds and there is an occasional left of the point. On bigger swells there is a decent outside wave in the middle and a heavy hollow right at the southern end.
- Freshwater Beach - This is known as the birthplace of Australian surfing. In 1915 Hawaiian surfer, Duke Kahanamoku, surfed at Freshwater on a locally made surfboard based on traditional Hawaiian design.
- Manly - Manly Beach is made up of South Steyne, North Steyne and Queenscliff beaches. Manly works best in north east swells and is one of two beaches only on the north side to be able to handle cyclonic swells. Manly closes out a lot in the winter southerly swells, but the summer winds break up the banks and that can provide some good quality waves. North Steyne in the middle of the beach is a lot more open to all swells and winds and the banks there are generally better than South Steyne. The break between North Steyne and Manly was the venue for the first ever world surfing championship in 1964, won by local surfer Midget Farrelly. Queenscliff at the northern end works better in south swells and can be offshore in the north east winds if you can get close enough to the point. Doesn’t hold the bigger swells as the outer banks are affected by the Queenscliff Bombora. Queensie Bomby breaks about 800m off the shore in large south swells. It’s an angry reef break that needs a swell size over 3m to break. Fairy Bower is a reef break South of Manly Beach off North head, the outer reef sometimes links up with the bower which is then named racecourse due to the speed you need to get through ‘surge rock'. The outer reef breaks heavily on a ledge and barrels for up to 4 seconds on a good ride. Bower can get crowded in good surf and finishes with the shoulder dropping off into deep water.
- Bondi is a very busy beach break but often closes out. Not a destination for die hard surfers, though there is something to be said for telling everyone back home you went surfing on Bondi Beach! South Bondi is the better end of the beach for surfers, where south swells load up across a rocky reef and unfurl as powerful right handers. Sandbanks around the middle of the beach shape two or three separate left and right hand breaks.
- Maroubra - The reef at the south end creates Maroubra’s premium wave, which on a south swell and with a southwest breeze breaks as a classic barreling right hander. The beach itself has some great long waves and it's generally an easy paddle out.
- Cronulla has both beach & outside reef breaks. From monster barrels at Shark Island, Cape Solander and Voodoo; to mellow beach breaks at South Cronulla and Boat Harbour to the north, Cronulla has something for everyone. Cronulla Beach was declared a National Surfing Reserve in 2008, the fifth site in Australia to be recognised for its significance to recreational surfing
- South Coast - Sandon Point, Windang Island and The Boneyard at Kiama will all handle waves well over 12ft. Further south and the coast gives way to isolated towns and a largely undeveloped coastline. There are still "secret spots" on the south coast. Waves such as Black Rock and Merimbula Bar rival any in the world for quality.
Although Tasmania blocks some swell, Victoria is still very consistent.
- Around Torquay and Anglesea - Torquay is considered by Victorians to be the surf capital of Australia. Torquay itself is ideal for beginners while good intermediate reefs and beach breaks can be found at Point Impossible, Point Danger and Jan Juc. From Bird Rock, at the west end of Jan Juc, to Bell’s Beach is a rocky shoreline with a series of reef breaks below the cliffs more suitable for advanced surfers. Anglesea and nearby Fairhaven have good beginner and body surfing beach breaks, while the long stretch of coast between Airey’s Inlet and Lorne is a favourite..
- Bells Beach – The most famous break in the South Coast is Bells Beach, an icon of Australian surfing, where the Rip Curl Pro is held every Easter as part of the ASP WCT. World renowned Bells Beach has two main breaks, the Bowl and Rincon, both right handers and are best during autumn and winter. Excellent right hand breaks can also be found at nearby Winki Pop and Centreside with Southside providing one of the few lefts in the area.
- Lorne to Apollo Bay - Lorne has beach breaks for beginners and bigger right handers running into the rocky shores of Lorne Point and, on its western side, at Vera Lynn and off St George’s River. Along the coast, between Lorne and Apollo Bay, there are good surf spots at Cumberland River, Wye River, Baldy Rock, Skene’s Creek, Sawmills and Kennett River. The main surf breaks around Apollo Bay are Marengo, Boneyards and Juniors, all just past the town. 35kms west of Apollo Bay is Johanna Beach, one of the top surfing beaches in Victoria.
- Phillip Island further west has great beach breaks and some point breaks.
- Bellarine Peninsula - Surfing is a popular activity along the southern coast of the Bellarine Peninsula where Bass Strait provides plenty of wave action. Some of the best places to catch a wave are at Point Lonsdale, Ocean Grove and Thirteenth Beach near Barwon Heads.
Season & Weather
Year round, Australia has generally awesome weather. Summer, (December to February) really goes from November to March; and Winter (June to August) is not harsh and sometimes in some areas it rarely even rains. Saying this, it is a vast country and where it can be 30degrees and sunny in one area – it can be snowing in another.
Australia has a very large swell window, May through to September which spans either side of winter offers the best swell throughout the whole of Australia. Surface conditions are often superior during this time with prevailing offshore winds typically in force between storm cycles that originate in the Antarctic Ocean. Spring swells can be inconsistent but the summer pattern of strong afternoon onshore winds can create more reliable, although smaller, northerly swells. Occasionally, tropical cyclones over summer will thread their way down the left and right coasts, depositing massive northerly swells that create quality left handers across hundreds of kilometres of coastline.
Cyclone season is a favourite time for Queensland surfers. The most likely time to score a cyclone swell is January to April but they have been known to occur during other months.