Pick any day of any season and you will find people out in the surf somewhere along the coastline of Australia. The continent is known as having some of the best waves in the world and therefore some of the best surfers in the world. If you’re looking for some of the top surf regions there are plenty of recognized ones to choose from including 80 in New South Wales, 25 in Queensland, 30 in South Australia, 9 in Tasmania, 30 in Victoria and 33 in Western Australia.
Some beaches have year round swell and others are better known for when certain weather conditions prevail. What makes surfing in Australia so good are the consistent waves, world class surf and the variety to suit every ability. But even if you don’t know your Ankle Busters from your Bommie here are some spots that are worth a look even if only for the views.
When you’re talking surf in Australia you’d have to start with the spiritual home of surfing, Bells Beach in Victoria. This is Victoria’s most famous surf spot and is known to be consistent on almost any tide or wind. Bells is home to the Rip Curl Pro surfing competition held every April and to see how it all began it pays to visit the nearby town of Torquay and the Australian National Surfing Museum.
On the other side of the country is the Margaret River region in Western Australia which also has a World Surf League pro competition that attracts big name surfers from around the world each year. One of the well-known beaches is Yallingup which is the birthplace of surfing in the south west and home to famous surfer Taj Burrow.
On the east coast of Australia you have Surfers Paradise in Queensland which has the name that says it all. This long strip of sandy beach has plenty of room for everyone to get involved and is crowded with hundreds of people year round. It is especially good during summer and a perfect place for beginners with gentler surf and lots of lifeguard patrols.
Moving down the east coast is the famous Byron Bay and The Pass both of which can be best sometimes for experienced surfers only or at other times a good spot for children and beginner surfers, but only when the beach is being patrolled. A lot of times throughout the year it’s packed with surfers and paddle boarders but it is a brilliant place to brush up on your surf photography with a lot of high vantage points overlooking the action. This is an area where you are likely to see plenty of dolphin visitors and the occasional shark and whales too.
Further south the regional city of Newcastle has a lot of variety for all types of wave riders with consistent swell sometimes so big that combined with windy winter conditions can see some extremely huge waves that only the experienced (crazy) would tackle.
In South Australia the best surfing can be found on the peninsula coastlines. There is Eyre Peninsula on the far west coast, Yorke Peninsula (Yorkes) only a few hours drive from Adelaide or the Fleurieu Peninsula which is an easy day trip from the city. All of these areas have spectacular coastal scenery and great places to camp and caravan right by the coast. Some of the more popular spots on the Fleurieu are Middleton, Waitpinga (Waits) and Parsons. All of these beaches are more consistent in autumn and winter but are very dependent on swell and wind variations. Being the southern ocean water temps are going to be cold but it never seems to stop the hardy ones.
Middleton Point is a popular beach for learners and beginners, it’s an easy beach to access and has plenty of room for all including surf schools which use this beach a lot.
A lot of the surf beaches and hotspots in Australia provide maps showing breaks, surfing etiquette for the uninitiated and hazards that may be in the water including reefs. For those of us that prefer to watch and admire the experts though, you never seem to be too far from a surf beach in Australia to check out the action.