Surfing is one of the most active, adventurous, and fun activities that travelers who are visiting a coastal area can partake in. This is especially the case in Australia, which boasts some of the best and most beautiful beaches for surfing in the world. However, learning the sport can be quite intimidating for novices, and learning how to surf without any guidance is no doubt a real struggle. Figuring out how to balance perfectly on the board, as well as finding the right area with the right waves and weather is not something that should be left to amateurs.
If you’re interested in learning how to surf during your visit to Australia, you’ll have plenty of options, no matter which coastal city you visit. Here’s our list of the best places in Australia to learn how to surf—and have a great time doing it.
- Byron Bay, New South Wales
One of the most well-known places in Australia to learn how to surf is the Byron Bay. This gorgeous area of outside of Brisbane boasts white sand beaches like Wategos and Belongil that are known for decent-sized swells and small crowds. There are dozens of surfing schools to learn how to catch the waves, like Byron Bay Surf School, Style Surf Byron Bay, and Soul Surf School. There’s also excellent restaurants in the area, so after a long day of learning to stand up on your board, you’ll have plenty of places to grab a well-earned bite to eat.
- Bells Beach, Victoria
An iconic entry into the list, Bells Beach is an excellent place to learn the fine art of surfing. It’s about an hour and a half drive outside of Melbourne but well worth the travel. Because of its big swells, it’s a popular choice for amateur and professional surfers. However, there are plenty of spots where the waves are easily tackled for those who have never touched a surfboard before. Check out the Torquay Surf Academy or the West Coast Surf School to literally get your feet wet in the sport. This awesome area is also home to the famous Rip Curl Surf And Music Festival, which is a two-day surfing competition and musical festival that surfers and travelers of all skill levels can enjoy!
- Cairns, Queensland
This may seem like an unusual pick, but here us out. Because of its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, the waves around Cairns can have a difficult time reaching the beach. However, you can find a good amount of spots around the city with small swells—which makes this an excellent spot to learn how to surf! You may have to ask the locals for advice, but you’ll visit some hidden gems you’ll not find anywhere else in Australia. Find a car rental in Cairns and drive out to the the surrounding beaches like Clifton Beach, Machan’s Beach, Holloways Beach, Yorkey’s Knob, and you’re bound to have a “swell” time.
- Northern Beaches, Sydney
If you’re looking for a wide variety of different beaches to check out for surfing options, then look no further than this suburb of Sydney. There are tons of different areas with accredited surf schools, shops, and cafes to check out, not to mention the gorgeous beaches and crystal blue water. Some of the best beaches for surfing in this area include Dee Why, Curl Curl, Narrabeen, Maroubra, Manly, Cronulla, and of course the world-famous Bondi and Palm Beaches. In any of these spots you’ll find endless surf schools and a friendly surfing community with amateurs and professionals mingling and enjoying the country’s best surf spots.
- Surfer’s Paradise, Gold Coast
Last but by no means least is the aptly named Surfers Paradise which sits right on Queensland’s breathtaking Gold Coast. There’s tons of white sand beaches and even more ocean in the area, so there’s plenty of space for everyone to get into the water and try their hand at surfing. Because of its name, this place is one of the most famous areas for travelers, so there’s loads of local surf schools like Get Wet Surf School and Gold Coast Surf School. The area is also well known for its boardwalk, with tons of shops and restaurants with authentic and delicious ethnic cuisine.