SURFING IN AUSTRALIA

SYDNEY – NEW SOUTH WALES

  • Located only 30 minutes from city center, Bondi Beach is one of Australia’s most famous beaches as well as one of the most visited. The waves average 1.6m (5ft 3in) with a continuous bar usually cut by 2-3 rips. Hazard rating is 6/10 -- moderately hazardous.
  • 30 minutes north of Sydney, by ferry, lies Manly Beach, which is made up of three sections; Queenscliff, North Steyne, and South Steyne. The waves are moderate, but the rips dominate the entire beach. Hazard rating is 6/10 -- moderately hazardous.
  • North of Sydney, a little over an hour away at the end of a long peninsula is Palm Beach. The beach breaks are popular in the north and center during summer and in the south during the winter swells. The extreme southern end provides a more protected area for novices. Hazard rating is 7/10 -- highly hazardous.

MELBOURNE – VICTORIA

  • Along the Great Ocean Road are several surfing points. Torquay, known as the “Surfing Capital of Australia,” has a wide break, is moderately protected, and best in a north-westerly.  Hazard rating is 6/10 -- moderately hazardous.
  • Jan Juc, just south of Torquay, is a little more challenging and receives waves averaging 1.4m (4ft 7in). Hazard rating is 7/10 -- highly hazardous.
  • Located about 100km (62 mi) southwest of Melbourne, Bells Beach attracts advanced surfers from around the world. The waves are 1.5m (4ft 11in) and produce a right called Rincon. Hazard rating is 6/10 -- moderately hazardous.
  • Due to the protection of Point Grey, Lorne is a relatively safe beach for beginners. Wind surfers may want to go out further for the larger waves. Hazard rating is 5/10 -- moderately hazardous.

BRISBANE – QUEENSLAND

  • The Gold Coast, south of Brisbane, has some of the best and longest waves in Australia.  Burleigh Heads is one of the top point breaks with swells up to 1.5m (4ft 11in).  Hazard rating is 6/10 -- moderately hazardous.
  • Just north of Brisbane is the Sunshine Coast with KingsCaloundra a moderate location, Maroochydore with the best break off Alexandra Headland,and Noosa with only beach breaks at the beach. Hazard ratings are from 5/10 (for Kings and Maroochydore) and 3/10 for Noosa.

PERTH – WESTERN AUSTRALIA

  • Located 15 minutes from the city center of Perth, Cottesloe Beach with its more protected southern end is great for families and beginning surfers. Higher waves rips can be found 100m (328ft) up the beach with permanent rips against the reefs. Hazard rating is 3/10 -- least hazardous.
  • The area of Yallingup known for its reef break off the southern end will have larger swells nearing 10ft. at places like North Point with smaller swells at Smiths Beach. Hazard rating is 6/10 moderately hazardous and 7/10 highly hazardous respectively.

ADELAIDE – SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  • Just a short distance from Adelaide, along the Fleurieu Peninsula, you’ll find huge swells (2m or 6.5ft.) at Goolwa with numerous breaks along and across the wide surf zone and the best conditions during moderate swell and northerly winds. Hazard rating is 8/10 highly hazardous.
  • Small swells under 1m (3ft) are favorable to beginners at beaches like Seacliff, Brighton and Henley just a short distance from Adelaide. Hazard rating is 3/10 -- least hazardous.

SAFETY

  • Always check the weather conditions and read the safety signs before going out
  • Not all beaches are patrolled at all times so check with the life guards
  • Choose locations that meet your skill level and don’t over extend yourself
  • Don’t surf alone
  • If you need help, stay calm, raise your arm in the air and wave it