A Guide To Surfing in Australia
Australia is one of the best countries in the world to slip into your swimmies, grab a board, and
head out to catch some waves.
World famous for the quality of the surf, the beauty of the beaches and the skills of the surfers;
Australia is well and truly synonymous with surfing. The sport actually originated here. Although
Captain James Cook recorded himself observing the sport back in the 1770’s, according to
aboriginal history, the custom goes back hundreds of years.
And boy, is it still going strong.
Whether you’re a seasoned surfing expert looking for challenging waves and the thrill of the chase,
or you’re more excited by learning a new sport and enjoying the great weather, pristine coastline
and friendly nature of the locals – Australia has something to offer you.
It should come as no surprise that Australia is, in fact, a fairly large country. Surrounded by the
Pacific and Indian oceans, Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. It encompasses large
stretches of desert, snow capped mountains and is a continent all in itself. So, if you’re looking to
surf on part of its 25,760 km long coastline – it’s best to know where to go for the experience you
The North Coast is arguably the best area of the country to surf in – it’s even known as ‘The Surfing
Coast’. It has some of the world’s most iconic beaches and boasts the most accessible surfing
areas in Australia – a great place to start if you’re looking to really throw yourself into the surfing
The South coast of Australia is famous for wine, Aussie football and the laid back lifestyle – but did
you know surfing is hugely popular in this area too? There are plenty of places to enjoy waves for
both novices and more experienced surfers. Plus, if you’re looking to punctuate days on the waves
with nights drinking wine or spending time with the family – this is the place to go.
Innes National Park
Day Head National Surfing Reserve
East Australia is home of Bondi, Balmoral and most of the Australian population. Here you’ll get to
experience the glamour of Australian city life and the fun of accessible surf beaches.
Most of the surfing spots in the area are around Sydney, being the Australian city with the highest
population, but travel a little further afield and there are plenty of less crowded beaches to explore.
Western Australia is for the true adventure seekers, and we’d recommend only seasoned surfers
apply! This area is wild, with few roads, almost no towns and very little access to provisions or
water – you’ll almost certainly need to get your hands on a four-wheel drive if you’re looking to
explore here. But one thing there is, is some of the world’s most challenging and beautiful waves.
Travel to North of Albany and you will experience reliably large waves – 2.5 metres is a gentle day
in the Margaret River area. If you head down to the South West, it’s here that some of the largest
ever recorded waves have broken.
Summer tends to be less consistent for surfing in Australia, however the occasional cyclone can do
amazing things for swell! The summer season stretches from December to February.
Winter waves can be rough in all areas of Australia and you might want to hire a wetsuit! In some
places the temperature can drop fairly low. Plan your surf trip for between February and June for
reliable waves and warm weather.
Whether you’re taking a class or just high-fiving other surfers on the beach, you’re going to want to
know a bit of the local slang!
What a shame
• WIPE OUT
To fall or be knocked off
A male surfer
• BAIL OUT
To decide not to catch a wave
at the last minute
A non-surfer who spends time
at the beach
A friendly yell shouted by
surfers as they ride the wave
A hard breaking wave
To be full after eating
To surf aggressively
Lame or false
Almost every popular surfing beach you visit will have a location or school nearby where you can
book surfing lessons, rent equipment and often stop by for a chat to discuss the surfing outlook for
The locals are always the experts, so follow the advice of a surf instructor or shop owner on the
best equipment to get for a particular area and where to go for your skill level.