Overview of Surfing in Australia

About Surfing in Australia


Given Australia's rich surfing history, a seemingly endless variety of quality waves, a warm climate and passionate surfing communities, its no wonder that it produces surfing champions, along with a fun, healthy lifestyle for many of its residents and visitors.

From gloriously warm, sunny summers with small, easy beach break fun, to the icy waters throughout cold southern winters offering big reef break wave madness, the Australian surfing experience is wonderfully diverse.


Surfing Highlights


National Parks, Surfing Reserves & Warm Water Surf Fun

Queensland's and northern New South Wales' iconic surfing reserves and coastal national parks have long been popular surf trip destinations. You'll find fun beach breaks along with palm tree lined point breaks where clean, aqua blue waves peel flawlessly along boulder strewn bays. The water is warm and the waves are some of the longest in the land.

Surf Trip to Australia's laidback Surf Towns

Escape for a few days with some friends and head up or down the coast to one of Australia's classic laidback surf towns. Search along the way to discover great waves at any one of many stunningly pristine beaches. After a day of exploring and sharing waves with your mates, head to town for a meal, meet the locals and reflect on the days surfing (mis)adventures.

Southern & Western Australia's Wild Desert Coastlines

For the brave and highly experienced, challenging reef breaks offer big, hollow rewards during autumn and winter, especially along the western and southern coastlines. Many of these powerful waves are located in isolated locations where knowledge and planning is fundamental to surviving. An accident here can be fatal with the closest hospital in some spots located a full days drive away.

East Coast Variety & Accessibility

The east coast possesses the majority of the nations easily accessible surf spots. Here you'll find a variety of points, beaches, reefs, breakwalls, and rivermouths, all of which function in varying tides, swell and wind conditions. Catching a wave on the east coast is viable almost every day of the year. Even on big surf days, a sheltered bay often has smaller waves breaking that can be suitable for kids, beginners and progressing surfers.


The highly populated areas and well known surf spots get crowded all year round. These include parts of the Sunshine and Gold Coasts in Queensland, Byron Bay, Newcastle down through Sydney and south to Wollongong in New South Wales, along with Perth in Western Australia.

In summer and during school holidays, crowds flock to pretty much everywhere along the coast where there is accommodation and a good beach. Finding a place to stay can be difficult during these times so book in advance. If the surf is crowded, checking around the next headland or a short drive along the coast often uncovers some empty gems.

For those looking for some surfing solitude, take a mid week surf trip outside of school holiday periods, as a 2 hour drive away from Australia's coastal cities will reveal miles of beaches with hardly another soul around.

Learning to Surf in Australia

When learning to surf it's so much easier and safer to take a surf lesson, as attempting to surf without knowledge of the basics or surf safety can be really frustrating and even dangerous if you are inexperienced in the surf zone. If you have mastered the basics of catching waves and standing up in the whitewater, make sure you understand surfing etiquette before heading out into the line up to catch unbroken (or green) waves with more experienced surfers. Understanding this surfing etiquette will reduce the risk of accidents and help you to maintain a good vibe with other surfers in the line up.

So whether your Australian surfing dreams include enjoying the journey of becoming a competent surfer, holidaying in Byron Bay, Margaret River or the Great Ocean Road, escaping to an empty beach to surf in crystal clear water, or simply just to stand up on a surfboard once and feel the thrill of riding a wave, you'll find a wave perfect for you. Get out there, search around, and enjoy!

Surf Holiday Destinations




Agnes Water




Surfers Paradise


New South Wales


Byron Bay




Coffs Harbour


Crescent Head


Port Stephens


Central Coast






Batemans Bay






Phillip Island


Great Ocean Road




North, East & South Coasts, Tasmania


South Australia


Fleurieu Peninsula


Western Australia




Margaret River