If you live or vacation in Australia and have decided surfing is the sport for you, you’re in for loads of fun and exhilaration. There are thousands of beaches in the nation where seasoned surfers manage to make the sport effortless, but you’ve probably learned that it takes work to get to that point. An important first step is starting at the right beach. The following nine beaches are among the best for beginner surfers.
1. Greenmount, Coolangatta
Not as bustling as nearby Snapper Rocks, Greenmount, especially Coolangatta on the southern end, is a good beach for gentle waves across a long stretch of crystal clear water. You’ll want to surf early in the day before the wave-strengthening winds from the north and northeast come in. Everyone who sells surf gear in Australia, as well as local surf schools, can help you pick a good spot to paddle to. Once you’re ready to classify as an intermediate, you’ll find more challenging beaches nearby on the Gold Coast.
2. Yamba, New South Wales
This classic Australian beach town has more than 10 beaches that stretch to Angourie Point in the south. Located in northern North Wales, Yamba lies at the mouth of the Clarence River near Yuraygir National Park. To learn the basics, head to the Yamba Angourie Surf School at Turners Beach. Hone your skills and then take the ferry across the river to Iluka for consistent wind swells and groundswells.
3. Clarkes Beach, New South Wales
Clarkes Beach and Byron Bay are one of the most popular surfing and party spots on Australia’s East Coast. The beach gives great protection from strong southern swells and winds, making it the perfect beach for beginner surfers. Another good feature for beginners is the numerous local surf schools available and surfboards for hire.
4. Agnes Waters, Queensland
If you plan to head north to the Great Barrier Reef, the quaint town of Agnes Waters will give you the chance to ride waves before the swell is cut to replace the rideable ones with lake-like water. Families and travelers on a budget will appreciate the low fee of only $17 for three full hours of professional coaching at Reef 2 Beach Surf School.
5. Double Island Point, Queensland
Learn to surf on Australia’s longest wave at Double Island Point three hours north of Brisbane. Crowds here are minimal since you must reach the sandy-bottomed point break by 4WD. Epic Ocean Adventures offers group lessons and will transport you from Rainbow Beach past the colorful sands of the shoreline, a spectacular natural attraction. They guarantee you’ll be riding waves by the end of the lesson.
6. North Stradbroke Island
Learn the art of surfing on the second largest sand island in the world at North Stradbroke Island. Get familiar with the area by exploring the freshwater lakes, snorkeling, and sandboarding before heading to the crystal waters of Point Lookout for surfing alongside manta rays, turtles, and dolphins.
7. Gold Coast
Queensland’s Gold Coast is home to some of the breast breaks in all of Australia. Get ready for Snapper of D-Bah by taming the waves at some of the world’s best surf schools including the following:
- Get Wet Surf School, Main Beach, QLD
- Currumbin Alley Surf School, Currumbin, QLD
- Gold Coast Surf Academy, Broadbeach, QLD
- Surf Easy, Currumbin, OLD
- 1st Wave Surfing, Main Beach, QLD
8. South Coast, New South Wales
The NSW South Coast is famous for undeveloped, uncrowded stunning beaches. If you haven’t been successful with group session surfing, book a private session here at one of Pam Burridge’s Surf Schools. She’s a former champion and the nation’s first professional female surfer. These professionals will have you riding the waves in this paradise soon.
9. Crescent Head
This mid-north coast location is legendary for longboarders and is home to the Crescent Head Malibu Classic. The point at Crescent Head provides long and gentle righthand peelers. Beginners will most appreciate this location on small wave days, and may even choose to head down into the bay. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll enjoy some of the coastline’s longest right-handers. Just be cautious of a few rocks since this is a point break.