Surfing is more than just a sport in Australia - it’s a lifestyle and a philosophy. Duke Kahanamoku, a Hawaiian swimmer and surfer, brought this ancient sport to Australia in 1915, but it became increasingly popular only after a group of surfers from California came Down Under together with their modern Malibu surfboards. Nowadays, thanks to its spectacular coastline jam-packed with excellent surfing spots, Australia is among the world’s leading surfing destinations. Here’s a list of locations where you can catch some amazing waves.
Rainbow Bay, Queensland
This bay is situated on the Gold Coast in Queensland. This whole region boasts some of the most consistent waves, while many surfers say that surf breaks around Rainbow Bay are among the finest in Australia. The best period to visit this superb spot stretches from December to April, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the longest and most powerful right-handers in the world. There are lifeguard patrols throughout the year, so even if you’re a rookie, Rainbow Bay is the place to visit, as it’s great for beginners and intermediate surfers.
This region became the heart of the Australian surfing counterculture during the 1970s. It has kept that laid-back vibe, and a somewhat hippie spirit. In 2007, this pristine beach was declared a National Surfing Reserve. Seasoned surfers say that its right-hand point-break could easily be the best wave in Australia. According to the locals, the swell from the south is safe for surfers of all abilities, while the swell from the east or north is challenging and only experienced and bold surfers can handle it. On a good day, you can catch a breathtaking wave and have an exhilarating tube riding experience.
The oldest and most respected professional surfing event in Australia, the Rip Curl Pro, takes place here. Depending on the swell, the waves can be great and exciting, but when they rise 5 meters and more, even the most experienced surfers stick their surfboards in the sand. This point-break with superb right-hand breaks should be visited during autumn and winter. Although this spot attracts mainly pros and experts, it still has a lot to offer to inexperienced surfers. If you’re new to this sport, or if you want to polish your skills, you can take classes at one of the surf schools in the area.
Bondi Beach, New South Wales
Bondi doesn’t need any special introduction, as it’s one of the most famous beaches in the world. Conveniently situated about 20 minutes from the center of Sydney, this beach is an attractive spot for both experienced surfers, who ride the big waves at the southern part, and beginners, who take their first steps at the northern part. As Bondi Beach is crowded all the time, it’s important to follow surfing etiquette. Optimal conditions for learning are met when the wind blows from west or north, as that’s when the waves are small. However, during south swells, which can be big, and when the wind is from the south, inexperienced surfers should opt for nearby northern beaches. When you want to take a break from riding the waves, you can enjoy Bondi’s wonderful coastal walks or have a drink at one of its beachfront cafes or restaurants. In case you need quality surfing equipment and accessories, check out Natural Necessity and choose from a wide range of surf-related products.
Prevelly Bay, Western Australia
Serious surfers will definitely love this region, as it’s the place where powerful 6-meter swells form into perfect barrels. Beginners and the weak-kneed shouldn’t try their luck here, as it’s the kind of spot where daredevils from Hawaii come in search of the perfect wave. If we mention that this is one of the few places in Australia where wearing a helmet during surfing is not only common, but also advisable, it’s clear why only the brave are willing to take a risk and try to catch a wave here.
Make sure to assess your fitness levels properly, and don’t attempt to catch a wave you are not ready for – surfing may be amazing, but the ocean can be treacherous. Australia is a surfers’ paradise, so you won’t make a mistake if you visit any of these spots.
Marie Nieves is a travel blogger who loves unusual trips, active holidays, gadgets and creative ideas. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag.
Most of her free time at home she spends walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences.