Australia is one of the surf capitals of the world – the mixture of warm water, year round swell and miles of coastline make it the ideal destination for surfers of all levels. There is a wide range of choice so we asked Chris Stevens, surfer, traveller and photographer, to round up the best surfing beaches in his favourite area – New South Wales.
The state of New South Wales is one of the best places to learn to surf. From Sydney to the Gold Coast there’s an abundance of waves to suit any level of surfer.
Experienced surfers can indulge in the hollow, fast point breaks of Lennox or Burleigh Heads and there’s heaps of beach breaks ideal for the beginner or intermediate surfer.
I spent a year in this area of coastline and sampled a massive cross section of waves – so here’s my pick of the bunch;
Bondi Beach – arguably Australias most famous stretch of sand. Bondi is more suitable for intermediate to advanced surfers due to the strong rip currents and heavy waves.
Manly – I much preferred Manly over Bondi in a choice of Sydney beaches. The long stretch of beach gets a lot less crowded and the surf is much more manageable.
Coffs Harbour – a less popular spot means it’s easy to find a lineup to yourself. It has a number of beach breaks where I enjoyed a few evening sessions with only myself out on the water.
Byron Bay – my all time favourite place to surf and stay in Australia! I lived here for about 6 months and enjoyed heaps of surf filled days. There’s something for everyone here; point breaks such as The Pass (beware of crowds on good days though) and Broken Heads, through to mellow beaches like Main Beach, Belongil or Wategos. When a big swell heads in the experienced should head to Tallows, and The Wreck – where steep faces and barrels are the order of the day.
Burleigh Heads – Burleighs famed point break means if it’s firing there’s going to be a crowd, so those less experienced should stick to the beach break. A long and often hollow wave it’s perfect for intermediate to advanced surfers, just stay on the right side of the locals!
Surfers Paradise – not the best named place in Oz! On a small day the long stretches of beach are a good place for learners, however when the swell pics up the rips can be pretty strong – so be careful!
Best of the rest – The whole of the New South Wales coast is peppered with all manner of beaches and surfable spots. If you’ve got some time on your hands and some experience in the water it’s a great place to campervan and find yourself some uncrowded waves. And there’s plenty of other popular spots to learn aswell – just far too many to list!
So are you ready to hit the surf? Our consultants are Aussie Specialists, they can tailor make a trip to cover all the hot spots above and more. The number to call is 0208 045 4186. In Part 2 Chris will be back to tell us about his favourite surf schools and tips for getting hold of a board. You can follow his adventures on his blog http://www.backpackerbanter.com