- Discover Surfing
You can't go to Australia without having a go at the national pastime, surfing. Luckily there are lots and lots of surf schools willing to teach us beginners how it's done. If you decide to have a go, here are some tips to help you get started:
Listen to experienced surfers; they know what they're talking about. It's very unlikely they will crash into you as they will just go around you, but be careful just in case they don't see you. It will hurt plus they won't be happy if you keep getting in their way.
Be careful of rips. Look for signs that identify where the rips are. These signs will only be on patrolled beaches. Be sure to rest regularly. In the very likely event that you fall off your board or get caught in a rip, you will need your strength to save yourself. Don’t swim against the rip. Concentrate on staying afloat until the rip releases you.
The one rule you must remember when surfing is not to drop in on someone else’s wave. Whoever is closest to the curl of the wave has the right to surf that wave.
They call beginner surfers 'shark biscuits' in Australia; very amusing I know, but don't worry it is rare, although it does happen. Surf where others are surfing, don't surf at dusk or in places that sharks are known to feed and you should be fine, hopefully.
Beginners should always consider getting lessons. Your guides will show you the best spots and help you stay out of the way of more experienced surfers.
Best surf spots
Byron bay is such a beautiful part of the world and the surfing here is excellent. If you’re a beginner try Belongil beach, north of Main beach.
Sydney’s Northern Beaches
Bondi, Cronulla, Marouba and Manly are all great places to catch a wave but Sydney’s northern beaches should not be forgotten. Try Long Reef, Bilgola and Palm Beach.
Noosa is popular with beginners as the swells are quite tame.
Snapper Rocks, Rainbow Bay is famous for waves that you can ride for up to 2km if the conditions are right.
Burleigh Heads is south of Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast. It’s one of the most famous surf beaches in Australia and also can be one of the most difficult breaks to surf. You should really leave this to the locals. If you feel confident enough to try it then go early in the morning or in the afternoon during the week to avoid the crowds. The waves are best from January to April.
Bell’s Beach is famous for hosting the Rip Curl Pro; the world’s longest running surfing competition. Head there at Easter if you want to see this. Bell’s Beach is really for the more experienced surfer.
There are breaks for all levels of surfers on Philip Island. The island is Victoria’s first National Surfing Reserve.
Margaret is one of the most famous surf regions in the world. There are a wide range of breaks here for all levels of surfers. It’s also just a great place to visit.