Where To Sleep
All types of accommodation are available along Australia's coastline from roughing it at primitive camp sites with little or no facilities, to first class resorts where your every desire is catered for. You can sleep under the stars or holiday with the stars, save money staying at self catered cabins or holiday homes or spoil yourself and dine out three times a day at any one of the many quality beachside cafes.
Just make sure you book ahead during the peak holiday and long week end periods, as much of the offering fills up well in advance during these times.
In the more remote regions, especially along Australia's southern and western coastlines, there are places where you can camp for free. These spots are normally isolated without facilities. Before setting up for the night, ask the locals if it is OK to camp in that spot, as you may be on private land or free camping may not be permitted in the area. You don't want to receive a fine that is more than triple of what it would have cost if you had of paid a few dollars to camp down the road in the local camping ground or National Park.
Wherever you camp (even for day use) do so responsibly. Observe signs, don't disturb or feed the native fauna, respect the local residents, don't tramp through the bush or sand dunes (locate and use toilet facilities provided), and take your rubbish with you.
National Park Camping
A cheap and excellent way to experience the wonders of Australia's most pristine environments. Many camp grounds have basic but practical facilities and are located just metres from some of the most beautiful surf spots and walking trails in the nation. Again, observe the signs and keep your food stored away from the wildlife! A small fee is charged (that often also applies for day use) and booking in advance is a must during busy school holidays and long weekends.
Camping & Holiday Parks
Most Australians have fond childhood memories of school holidays camping trips at beach side caravan parks, spending hot, sunny (and often rainy) days relaxing, swimming, surfing and fishing. Today, whilst there are so many more accommodation options available than in the past, many families and friends continue to choose to stay at well located caravan parks for their budget holiday at the beach. Ask most Australian kids where they want to stay on holidays, and the lure of swimming pools, jumping pillows, playgrounds, games rooms, kids activities, riding scooters, bikes and skateboards, meeting other kids, wildlife and the beach metres from your tent wins hands down! For adults, here you can connect with nature and still comfortably cook a meal and have a hot shower. Many parks provide sites for tents, vans and caravans along with cabin accommodation. Check in, set up camp, put the car keys away for a few days, then walk down the beach path for a swim or surf...
For an excellent guide book that provides detailed information on rest areas, free camping spots, National Park camping and Caravan Parks throughout Australia check out the Camps Australia Wide website.
These fun filled packaged surf tours offer transport, accommodation, hearty meals and surfing lessons. Most of the surf camps are very social affairs and for some guests, the legendary parties are of more importance than the surfing! Surf tours range from two day to two week journeys and are a great way to combine travelling from big cities to popular surf towns along the coast, and be introduced safely to surfing at some of the most stunning and lesser known beaches in the nation. Self drive / arrive options are also available.
Hostels / Backpackers
Backpacker style accommodation exists in most of the bigger coastal towns with many hostels located just a quick walk away from the beach. Both shared dorm and private rooms are often available at reasonable prices. Byron Bay is the surf town of choice for many backpackers, yet there are so many more lesser known towns with hostel accommodation in beautiful surrounds, where the waves are just as good with way less crowds.
Surf & Yoga / Health Resorts
Surfers have long known the healing powers of swimming in the ocean and riding waves, and you can also combine this with other complimentary activities like yoga, massages and other natural therapies at well-being resorts. These surf & yoga retreats are located in peaceful and beautiful settings around Australia and provide an opportunity to learn how to live life with a healthy balance along with how to enjoy surfing too!
Apartments & Holiday Houses
Renting a house or apartment has long been a popular way for Australian's looking for a holiday by the beach with all the comforts of home. Often more affordable than hotels, families and friends also love the freedom and privacy of having a home base where they can relax and prepare meals to their own liking.
Hotels, B&Bs & Beach Resorts
Everything from budget motels on the side of highways to luxury bed & breakfasts, hotels and resorts in stunning beach front settings are available along Australia's surf coasts. Most of the high end offering is conveniently located close by to regional airports or within a couple of hours drive from major cities. With the wide range of accommodation options available in most towns, finding a bed for any budget is easy.
Surf Holiday Destinations
New South Wales