Best places to surf the east coast

Even if you’re not a surfer, this list of great places on the east coast will be fantastic for the sun or beach lover. It also features some of the most beautiful coastal areas to visit. We’ve listed a smattering of places up and down the coast, feel free to write in and add more!

We know it’s getting a little cooler in Australia at the moment, but it won’t dissuade northern hemisphere types used to colder waves and many locations on the east coast you can surf all year round thanks to wonderful balmy winter temperatures. Anyway, you might not happen on our blog until summer anyway!

Locations feature Bells Beach, Bondi Beach, Byron Bay, Noosa and Kirra… so pack your shorts, swimmers and your board and read on…


Bells Beach, Melbourne
Made famous by the film Point Break where the 50-year storm breaks, Bells Beach is also the home of an international tournament (Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach (late March / early April).

My first recollection of Bells is sitting in a car in the pouring rain as a youngster, while my brother surfed the breaks. He was (and still is) dead keen on surfing and we’d driven 100km out of the city so he could hit the waves and we could sit in the car – it wasn’t entirely memorable! These days of course I’d go in with him. If you’ve got a board, strap it to your car and head out here. It’s one of the most iconic places in Australia to surf.

If you want to learn to surf on this stretch of coast we have a fabulous surf tour product offering from 1-5 days out in the action.

Bondi Beach, Sydney
Well I said Bells Beach was iconic but so is Sydney’s Bondi beach (and Manly and Coogee!) Bondi is probably known better internationally because of its location near the heart of the CBD and for the popular TV show Bondi Rescue. It has some great breaks too and surfers can always be spotted offshore.

Bondi Beach hosted an international class surfing tournament this March, the Boost Mobile SurfSho, which featured amongst other top surfers, American legend Kelly Slater.

We have some fabulous hostels right near Bondi, Manly and Coogee that are perfect for a bit of surfing in between visiting the other sights of Sydney. Or book yourself into one of our surf school products so you too can catch waves on Bondi.

Byron Bay, New South Wales
Beautiful Byron is an absolute pleasure to surf. This is the most easterly tip of Australia and has pleasant balmy weather which means you can surf all year round. The town is surrounded by beaches and there is really something for all levels, so it is a bit of a surfing Mecca. If you’re a beginner ask around to see where you should go but generally the bay is the most protected and suitable. If you’re up for something a bit more you can catch really long and gnarly breaks, we’re talking about 100m in length, from the Pass all the way into Main Beach.

We have a couple of options for staying at Byron Bay and both are conveniently located for the best beach action.

Kirra, Queensland
Kirra is a beachside suburb of the Gold Coast and has some killer swells for surfing. This is thanks to the rocky headland Kirra Point that separates Kirra beach to the north and Coolangatta to the south. Unfortunately in recent years, sand pumping means the high quality barrels that were once produced are no longer here, but there’s still great surfing to be had so bring your board and get into the action. Kirra is also one of the most picturesque stretches of coast south of Surfers Paradise so even if you don’t like surfing make sure you stop by!

If you would like to stay in this neck of the woods, we have a number of hostels in this area. Some offer free boogie board use!

Noosa, Queensland
The glassy morning point breaks around the Noosa headland are some of the best in Australia. In the summer months it can be pretty busy out on the waves but as weather is generally good year round you’ll have the place more to yourself in the cooler seasons. It’s good for surfing and longboards, boogie boards and body surfing. There are quite a few options where you can go in this area including Tea Tree Bay, Granite Bay, Alexandria Bay and Sunshine Beach.

If you need accommodation in Noosa we can help you out. And the hostel also offers lessons for surfing and kite surfing amongst many other activities.

If you’re not really a surfer but you’d like to try it, VIP Backpackers has some awesome surfing packages that will help you literally get your surfing feet. Take in one of our courses when you first arrive and then you’ll be able to surf the swells all the way along the coast on your own.

For the rest of you that aren’t surfers or used to our oceans here’s some safety tips to consider to help you best enjoy your Aussie ocean experience:

1. Always swim between the surf lifesaver’s flags as this part of the beach is manned. Always read the safety signs.
2. Never swim alone or at night.
3. Don’t venture out into waves that are beyond your capabilities, take it easy!
4. Please don’t swim under the influence of alcohol.
5. Stick your hand up for help if you need it – surf lifesavers are there to help.

If you’re keen to check out some of the competitive surfing action in Australia check out this link to Surfing Australia for dates and places.

This is the third in a series of “Best Places” blogs that will feature downunder locations. If you’ve always wondered where the best place was to surf the east coast, go on a camping trip, spend New Year’s Eve and get a job in Australia keep checking back for our “Best Places” series.

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Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at blog@vipbackpackers.com

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3 thoughts on “Best places to surf the east coast

  1. My favourite surfing spot are the breaks off Tea Tree or A Bay (Alexandria). On glassy days it’s gorgeous. The point peels beautiful.

  2. Pingback: Show me that horizon – from a deserted Malaysian beach… « Vipbackpackers's Blog

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