Top Surf beaches in Australia

Countries:

Australia
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Bondi Beach
The day begins early at Bondi Beach. As a glorious sunrise edges above the ocean horizon, surfers gracefully carve up waves, joggers limber up on the promenade and swimmers flip turn in Bondi Baths. The famous beach is buzzing from dawn to dusk and then Bondi’s night-time scene sparkles.The beautiful sandy beach is perfect for travel snaps or selfies at any time of the year. Just 8km from the city centre, Bondi is easy to get to by public transport – the trip from Town Hall is 30 minutes. Or you can take a scenic ferry ride from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay for a connecting bus to Bondi.
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Bronte Beach
Bronte is just over a kilometer’s walk south of Bondi. The beach itself faces east and picks up swell from any direction, but bulky headlands to the north and south and clusters of underwater rocks make conditions challenging, especially for swimmers. The south headland shapes Bronte’s premium wave, but it breaks across rocks so it’s for confident board-riders only.Those same rocks create a sheltered natural pool beloved of parents with young kids, while an ocean-fed lap pool tucked in beneath the south headland provides one of Sydney’s finest saltwater swim experiences (free entry). A wide grassy park behind the beach has barbecues and picnic tables and gives way to a wooded gully between rows of expensive houses on the opposing hillsides.
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Manly Beach
You're spoilt for choice when it comes to Manly Beach. Whether you want to spread a towel out and enjoy the soft white sand all day, surf its waves or explore its depths while snorkelling or diving, there's something for everyone. For those that prefer to look at it, it also makes a great backdrop for picnics or walking and cycle tracks. Manly is where the world's first surfing contest was held in 1964, making it one of Australia's most famous beaches. The iconic beach curves from South Steyne to North Steyne and Queenscliff, where a submerged reef, or bombora, creates the waves that inspire the world's best surfers to travel to our shores.
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Palm Beach
There's a reason that Palm Beach doubles up as the setting for Summer Bay, the fictional beach in TV show Home & Away, the golden sand and sparkling blue sea make it look too good to be true. But there's more than just sea and sand here, explore Barrenjoey Head, Sydney’s northernmost seaside point and lots more. What makes Palm Beach, a narrow peninsular, so spectacular is its unbeatable location. It won nature's lottery and is surrounded by water on three sides: Pittwater to the west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, and Broken Bay to the north at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River, which meanders inland to historic Windsor. If you're planning on spending the day at Palmy, as the locals call it, bring your board because you'll enjoy excellent surf at the northern end of the beach. The southern end is more lo-fi, offering less active beachgoers a protected area for swimming in the ocean pool and pretty picnic spots under the pine trees.
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Collaroy Beach
Collaroy has great swimming conditions and is excellent for beginner surfers. While advanced surfers are more likely to look at nearby wave-magnets such as Narrabeen and Long Reef, Collaroy does offer a considerable advantage in amenities for visitors. Collaroy Beach has a fully accessible beach reserve and playground complete with disabled toilets, accessible picnic areas, rockpool and paths. For those in a wheelchair, it has a freewheeler wheelchair that can go in the water, and a liberty swing.
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Freshwater Beach
Freshwater is part of the Manly-Freshwater National and World Surfing Reserve that recognises the historical, cultural and environmental values of famous surfing beaches. It is where Duke Kahanamoku held his famous 1915 surfing demonstration that popularised surfing in Australia. Freshwater has some pretty reasonable waves in the one to two-metre mark. It can be busy on a summers day with people learning to surf, and families sticking in groups. For less experienced surfers, the break at the middle-northern end of the beach is an ideal spot for you. More experienced surfers may not get the wave they’re looking for but you can try the southern end which can get pumping with the right swell.
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Long Reef Beach
Long Reef is a perfect stretch of white sand. At the north end there is Long Reef Headland, a protected aquatic reserve, and a golf course. A walk to the top of the headland can often be rewarded by views of migrating whales. There are offshore reefs in the north (the Long Reef Bomboras) and beach breaks running the entire 1.6 kilometres south to Dee Why and, on weekdays there's every chance of getting a quality wave to yourself. The Long Reef Bomboras starts to break at one metre or so and in a big south swell can produce a beautiful wave up to five metres. Reliable sandbanks shape beach breaks that are great for beginners and intermediate surfers. North Long Reef is also a favourite for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
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Ocean Beach Umina
Located between Umina Beach and Ettalong Beach at the southern end of the Central Coast and nestled within the protection of Broken Bay you will find over two kilometres of golden sand to relax on and enjoy. Ocean Beach provides the beauty of an ocean beach with the safety of an inland waterway, offering a perfect location for families. Picnic tables with seating are available, along with barbecue's and a children's playground. The beach is patrolled every day from October long weekend until the end of the April school holiday break. Public facilities are available as well as lovely grassed and under cover picnic areas.
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Bells Beach
Ride a wave at Bells Beach, located near Torquay on the southern coast of Victoria in the Great Ocean Road region. Head to Bells Beach over the Easter weekend and watch the world's best surfers carve up the waves at the Rip Curl Pro Surfing Competition. High cliffs provide a dramatic backdrop to the natural amphitheatre of the beach and large swells from the Southern Ocean, which slow down and steepen over the reef-strewn shallows, creates the outstanding surf. If you're a sightseer, Bells Beach is a popular spot with great vantage points along the cliff. For surfers, Bells Beach is really for the experienced. The beach is an exposed reef and point break with excellent right-hand breaks, at their best during autumn and winter.
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Thirteenth Beach
Grab your surfboard and explore this 4.5 kilometre stretch of picturesque coastline west of Barwon Heads. A popular surf spot, Thirteenth Beach provides varied conditions to suit both learner and advanced surfers. The lovely wide stretch of sand spreads between looming sand dunes and crashing waves, and is also ideal for a refreshing walk, jog, sandcastle-making or ballplay with the dog. Take a short walk around the headland, don a wetsuit for some diving, and take in the expansive views.
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Main Beach
While other suburbs snatch their names from exotic Aboriginal meanings or English seaside villages, Main Beach is far more literal. Situated at the northern end of the Gold Coast, Main Beach was so named as it was the main surf beach to the town of Southport. But while its name may be obvious, its hidden gems are far more exciting for this is one of the coast’s areas which celebrates something old and something new in style. A highlight of a visit here is to the beach itself, where the old bathing pavilion, Pavilion 34 to be precise, has been reincarnated as a casual beach café complete with chiko rolls, potato scallops, pineapple fritters and fish and chips. The old male and female change pavilions are still here and there’s loads of retro photos to remind you of the Main Beach of old. This bathing pavilion sits next to the Southport Surf Club, the first to make its mark on the Gold Coast in 1936 and right next to a sprawling shady park which is perfect for oceanfront picnics. Away from the beach - popular with surfers due to its open shore break - toddle down to Tedder Avenue. Sassy socialites and salty surfies rub shoulders here in this strip of modern cafes, exclusive restaurants, bars and boutiques. For more shopping and style, take a wander towards the Southport Spit – or simply The Spit - to locals.
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Snapper Rocks
Snapper Rocks is a small rocky outcrop on the northern side of Point Danger at the southern end of Rainbow Bay on the Gold Coast. Snapper is a point break forming the first part of the man-made Superbank which extends from Snapper Rocks Point, through Rainbow Bay, Greenmount Point, Coolangatta Beach, and Kirra, for a distance of around two kilometres. The Superbank is now renowned as one of the most consistent breaks in Queensland and plays host to the annual World Surf Leagues’ Quiksilver and Roxy Pros. Multiple barrel sections can now occur at any point along this length. The quality of the surf has markedly improved since the 1990s, and is now of legendary quality, creating one of the longest, hollowest and best waves in the world. The Rainbow Bay Surf Club is the best place to view the break while enjoying a relaxed meal.
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Cylinder Beach
Cylinder Beach is a picturesque cove between Cylinder and Home Beach Headlands. It is popular with families because it is easily accessible with a carpark situated only metres from the beach. The waves at Cylinder are often smaller and therefore it is perfect for sunbathing and swimming during good weather conditions. However, during strong southerly winds, there is a side sweep which may carry you parallel to the beach. Cylinder Beach is also a favourite with surfers when the conditions are right. Lifeguards and lifesavers patrol this beach.
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Frenchmans Beach
In the late 19th Century, four men sailed west from the French-speaking South Pacific islands. They landed on this beach, which was named after them. The four men, Jack Newfong, John Lifu, George Fenoch and Richard Martin, were taken to the Myora/Moongalba Mission, where they ended up settling. Descendants of these four men still live on North Stradbroke Island. Frenchman’s Beach faces due east, receiving little protection from the prevailing south-east waves. The beach is 500m long and is backed by steep, densely vegetated bluffs, access to the beach is either around Dune Rocks from Deadmans Beach, or down a signed steep walking track from the main road. The beach receives waves averaging between 1 and 1.5m, which maintain an inner bar usually cut by two rips, including a permanent rip against Dune Rocks.
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Catseye Beach
One of the main beaches on Hamilton Island, beautiful Catseye Beach is a perfect spot for relaxing, swimming, and enjoying a whole range of fun watersports. Hamilton Island Beach Sports is located right on the beach, and has catamarans, paddleboards, windsurfers, kayaks and snorkelling equipment available for hire. The long and curved Catseye Beach is a beautiful place to while away the hours - soaking up some sun, enjoying a good book, or swimming in the turquoise water. At low tide, take a leisurely stroll out on the sand flats and see the island from a different perspective.
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Leighton Beach
Leighton Beach is a popular beach just north of Fremantle offering lovely snorkelling, swimming or just an easily accessible spot for enjoying a trip to the beach. With low wave conditions it is suitable for young children. Laze on the soft white sandy beach and observe the skilled wind and kite surfers tackling the winds off the shore. Cool off in the refreshing waters of the Indian Ocean and try your hand at body surfing. On a calm day ensure you have a snorkel to observe the marine life under the water. For the more active, take advantage of the flat water to join some of the locals who swim daily along the coast. Complete a perfect day at the beach with the stunning Western Australian sunset against the backdrop of Rottnest Island.
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Scarborough Beach
Just 20 minutes from Perth City, Scarborough Beach offers one of Perth's most popular beaches. Located within the City of Stirling, with excellent public transport links, there is no excuse not to visit. Once you're done surfing, sunbathing and swimming spend a relaxing hour or two at one of the many cafés or bars overlooking the ocean. Or you can stay overnight, at one of the many accommodation options. Scarborough Beach is currently going through a massive face-lift with a $30 million revitalisation of the area to create a vibrant hub of activity. During summer enjoy live entertainment at the only amphitheatre on the beach in WA.
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Trigg Beach
Trigg Beach is one of Perth's most popular surfing beaches, with a consistent break for boarders. The long soft, white sandy beach and grassed reserve to the north is very popular amongst locals and provides lots of space for visitors. Trigg Island is also a hotspot for birdwatching and fishing, with dolphins occasionally spotted here in summer.
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Cactus Beach
On the western side of the Point are the world-famous Cactus and Castles beaches, and their surrounding surfing breaks. The Penong Road runs along the back of Cactus Beach, with a large camping area set amongst the dune scrub, between the road and beach, and good vehicle and foot access to the back of the beach. There is a small camp store, which provides the only commercial activity in the area. The beaches are 250 and 400 m long respectively. They face west and are backed by a low foredune, bordered by calcarenite bluffs and fronted by exposed beach rock and shallow calcarenite reefs. In the lee of the reefs is a narrow high tide sand beach, and while waves can be large on the outer reefs, they are usually less than 0.5 m when they finally reach the beach. However, both beaches are drained by strong permanent rips, particularly off Castles. In addition to the Cactus left and Castles right surf breaks off the beaches, to the south of Cactus out on Point Sinclair is Witzigs, Backdoors and Cunns, while off the north Castles bluff is Caves, Crushers and Supertubes. All the breaks are over calcarenite reefs and receive slight protection and cleaner waves owing to refraction around the point and over outer deeper reefs.
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Waitpinga Beach
Waitpinga, an Aboriginal name meaning home of the wind, is about 10 km southwest of Victor Harbor. It is well known for its fishing, mostly salmon and mullet, and also popular for its surfing. Waitpinga is an exposed beach that has the best consistent surfing this close to Adelaide. Recommended only for experienced swimmers and surfers with what may be considered dangerous conditions. There are rough waves, with powerful rips.
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Glenelg Beach
Glenelg is Adelaide’s most popular beach. It is famous for its sandy wide beach, long grassed and shaded picnic areas right on the seaside, rich heritage, charming hotels and bustling shops, sidewalk cafes and plenty of entertainment at venues or on the strip with many talented buskers. Jetty Road is one kilometre of shopping that leads right into the jetty and the beach itself. You can take yourself off for some retail therapy with plenty of fashion and gift boutiques, shoe stores, swimwear and surf shops, art galleries and jewellery stores. Whether it is winter or summer, you can enjoy the myriad of activities available at Glenelg beach for all ages. The Glenelg foreshore has a natural playspace for kids to balance and swing. Moseley Square has water fountains to cool off on hot days.
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Clifton Beach
Clifton Beach is an Urban Location area within the local government area of Clarence in Tasmania, it is located approximately 20kms from the capital Hobart and extends over an area of 7.356 square kilometres. Clifton Beach has a recorded population of 588 residents and is within the Australian Eastern Daylight Time zone Australia/Hobart. If you are planning a visit to Clifton Beach we’ve put together some of the things you can see or do while you are here. These include places to stay, tours and attractions, some upcoming events and places where you can grab a meal. Go ahead, try one of the buttons above. Every destination has something worth seeing so start exploring…
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Flynns Beach
Flynns Beach, situated three kilometres south of Port Macquarie, is almost 500 metres long and nestled between a pair of rocky headlands to the north and south. It has good protection from westerly and southerly winds and suits learn-to-surfers most of the year. The Surf Club has a kiosk that serves meals. There is plenty of accommodation available within a short walk of Flynns Beach.
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Grants Beach
Grants (North Haven) Beach is located on the north side of the Camden Haven River mouth. The southern end is protected by the break wall which offers great 'right-handers' with a southerly swell. The beach is home to the Camden Haven Surf Lifesaving Club, who patrol the beach throughout the summer weekends. Dogs are allowed north of the patrolled area. The beach runs north-south for about 3.5 kilometres and is paralleled by a lovely walking track through the littoral forest and heathland. The beach is patrolled by council lifeguards and the Camden Haven Surf Club during school holidays. There are showers, toilets, and picnic tables at the southern end.
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Rainbow Beach
Rainbow Beach trends south-south west for 2.5 kilometres from the dolerite rocks at Middle Rock Point to the sedimentary rocks at Bonny Hills, The beach is backed by a foredune, then two kilometres long Duchess Gully Creek that drains across the southern end of beach, where it is called Little Vinegar Creek, linking with a second small creek. Ocean Drive skirts round the beach with access only available at Middle Rock, where there are no facilities, while Bonny Hills has the surf club, a park and picnic area, and two caravan parks. Rainbow Beach is patrolled during school holidays October through April.
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North Wollongong Beach
Ideal for families, North Wollongong Beach has rock pools, wading areas, and good surf. There is plenty of grass, shade, and picnic booths. A children's playground is close by, and shops, cafes and amenities are provided. North Wollongong Beach is the only beach that's patrolled all year round making it the perfect place for a barbecue with full facilities provided. It is conveniently located along the shared cycle way. North Wollongong Beach hosts the NSW leg of the Beach Netball Festival and a round of the Ocean Six Series in annually and its the perfect spot to watch the New Year's Eve Fireworks. This Beach is not a dog friendly beach, however simply cross the lagoon to the north to find the off lead dog area. Dogs are permitted on the walkways and cycle tracks.
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Coalcliff Beach
Coalcliff is located 24 kilometres north of the Wollongong city centre. This is a small beach in the northern suburbs, surrounded by rocks and cliffs. It is also a popular fishing spot. There is a saltwater rock pool at the southern end of the beach. Explore the rocks for ocean life from this quite secluded beach. This beach is only patrolled from the commencement of the NSW school holidays in September until the end of April school holidays. Coalcliff beach is an on-lead dog-friendly beach during certain times. Time-sharing zone allowing access on the beach on leash in summer before 9 am and after 6 pm and in winter before 9 am and after 4 pm.
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Wombarra Beach
Wombarra Beach is a narrow 250 m beach fronting the slopes that lead up to the small town of the same name. The sand and cobble beach is located immediately south of the southern Scarborough rocks, with rocks and boulders backing the beach. It is fronted by rock platforms, leaving only a narrow break to provide direct access to the sea. A road provides access to the southern beach with a small car park and picnic area, however, this is more for the southern rock pool, than for the beach.
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Corrimal Beach
Corrimal Beach is 1.4 kilometres long and backed by fenced sand dunes, grassy reserves and Corrimal Beach Tourist Park. Holiday makers and local's alike enjoy this beach as it is long and private. A small lagoon proves popular with children for shallow paddling. Corrimal is located six kilometres north of Wollongong's central business district. Corrimal Beach is only patrolled from the commencement of the NSW school holidays in September to the end of the NSW April school holidays. North Wollongong Beach is the only beach in the area that is patrolled all year round. East Corrimal Beach, located to the north, is an off lead dog friendly beach. Once past the lagoon on Corrimal Beach this dog friendly area begins.
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Thirroul Beach
Thirroul Beach is one kilometre in length and faces east, so it picks up swell from most directions. There's little wind protection at either end, although big southerly swells or southerly winds get slowed up somewhat by the Sandon Point headland. Thirroul Beach is patrolled September to April and there is a saltwater pool that's great for a swim. Thirroul Beach is a timeshare dog zone. Time-sharing zone allows access on the beach on leash at certain times dependant on the season. However, McCauley's Beach is located directly to the south and an off-leash dog-friendly beach.
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Cable Beach
With 22 kilometres of pristine white sand edged by the stunning turquoise water of the Indian Ocean, Broome’s Cable Beach attracts visitors from around Australia and the world. Bounded by sand dunes and ochre red cliffs, Cable Beach is as nature intended, with the convenience of resorts and caravan parks close by. With months on end of perfect warm weather there is no better place to enjoy a beach holiday. This white sandy beach offers many great beach activities. Uncrowded even in peak season between May and October, you can always find a quiet stretch of sparkling sand to lay down your towel or hire a deckchair and umbrella, and be lulled into relaxation as the waters gently lap the shoreline. Broome has huge tidal movements and visiting the beach at low tide will provide you with a large expanse of sandy beach to enjoy. If you are feeling active, try your hand at swimming, fishing, kayaking, surfing (when the swell is up), a beach stroll along the flat sands, or just relax and soak up some sunshine.
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