What To Bring
Avoid sunburn, getting lost, disappointing, freezing cold or even abused. Take the following with you on your next Australian surfing experience to make it the best ever:
- Sunscreen (plus zinc cream), hat and sunglasses and a long sleeve lycra vest or wetsuit when at the beach or surfing to avoid sunburn.
- Boardshorts or bikini (that stays on when you wipe out) for surfing on hot days along with the right wetsuit to keep warm on windy days, during the cooler months of the year and down south where the water is chilly.
- The right surfboard suitable for the conditions and your surfing level. A big board with a lot of volume is best for learning and for having fun catching waves on small surf days.
- Plenty of water to re-hydrate after surf sessions, especially in summer. Drinking water is available in almost all towns in Australia, so no need to add to landfill and waste money) by continually buying bottled water.
- If you're planning a self drive surf trip, a good map that details the coastline so that you can work out how to get to and what direction each beach faces. This will help you to find the best waves for your surfing level depending on the wind and swell directions.
- Insect repellent to ward off flies and mosquitoes (mainly during spring and summer).
- Knowledge of rip currents, surf safety and surfing etiquette. People drown swimming in the surf zone each year and serious accidents have occurred because of people not respecting the ocean or their fellow surfer. Observe warning signs at the beach, surf at lifeguard patrolled beaches, listen to the lifeguards, swim between the red and yellow flags and if you are starting out, take a surfing lesson, you'll have more fun and improve your surfing more quickly.
- Warm clothes and a waterproof jacket as evenings anywhere around the Australian coast can be cool and it can rain at anytime. Overnight temperatures down south in winter do drop to zero degrees Celcius.
- Good walking boots. Much of the coastline and surrounding national parks are full of amazing walking trails that provide an opportunity to see native flora and fauna and some of the best views in Australia.
- Beach towel, iPod and a good book for long days at the beach.
- A tough boardbag to keep your board safe from dings and scratches when you're on the move. Boardbags double for a mattress when sleeping in a tent or if you find yourself sleeping on the ground!
- A spare leg rope (also called a leash). You don't want to snap your only leash when the surf is pumping and the closest surf shop is over an hours drive away.
- Travel insurance that covers surfing and any other adventure activity you plan (or did't plan) on taking while travelling.
- A sense of adventure to discover the best beaches and waves perfect for you. The popular surf resorts are often really crowded, so walk down the beach a little further or drive around the coast a bit to find less crowded spots.
- Thongs. For your feet! That is flip flops, jandals or whatever you want to call them. Thongs are, just like most Australian surfers, practical, weathered and often wet and sandy.
- A credit card to purchase accommodation, food and transport and to withdraw cash from ATMs (found in every town and petrol station). Some businesses don't accept credit card transactions for purchases under $20 AUD. So carry enough cash to get you through to the next major town.
- Passport for identification when checking into accommodation, and a valid visa for Australia.
- If you are planning to drive and you have a foreign drivers license, you will need to carry either an international drivers license or an English translation of your foreign drivers license if it is not written in English.
- Make sure your camera has a fully charged battery and an empty memory card as photo opportunities abound everywhere.
- A smartphone makes communicating with friends and family, finding information & booking travel arrangements online or over the phone whilst you are on the go way easier than days gone by. Several companies provide competitive smartphones bundled with pre-paid phone credit plans that are suitable for travelling around Australia.
Surf Holiday Destinations
New South Wales