Best Australia surfing holiday: Top 11 surf spots in Oz

Mar 12, 2020 BY AWE365 Team

Do you want the best Australia surfing holiday possible? With so many great surfing destinations it is tough to narrow it down to a few. That said here are what we consider to be the top 11 surf spots in Oz.

best Australia surfing holiday top 11 surf spots in Oz Pixabay royalty free image

Best Australia surfing holiday

Choosing the 11 best places to surf in Australia is like picking an all-star rugby team. There are too many great players to whittle them down into a list of 11 that will satisfy everyone.

But, unlike rugby players, waves exhibit characteristics that can be more objectively analysed. It’s all to do with the shape, consistency and prevailing conditions (of waves not rugby stars!).

The better these characteristics are for a particular wave, the better the spot. Utilising this scale and the best of my knowledge, the following is my attempt at Australia’s best surf spots.

Top 11 surf spots in Oz

Remember as with any top 10 (or in this case 11) this is personal opinion. I expect you will disagree… If you have an opinion leave a comment at the bottom.

Winki pop, Bells Beach (Torquay), Victoria

In terms of consistency Winki probably takes the cake. Breaking next to the famous waves of Bells Beach, Winki doesn’t need a heap of swell to work. But you’d probably prefer it with a solid eight feet of southwest wrapping down the coast.

Bells Beach one of the top 11 surf spots in Oz Pixabay royalty free image

On perfect days the wave links its upper and lower sections for ridiculously fast 200 metre rides and 10 to 15 second barrels. I’m confident this wave makes everyone’s top surf spots in Oz.

Cronulla, Sydney, NSW

Do you travel and surf in south-Sydney? You’ll find this suburb is home to epic reef setups and miles of beach break.

A huge swell window facing the Tasman Sea ensures there are waves nearly every day of the year. Shark Island is perhaps Cronulla’s eminent break – just don’t get caught at low tide.

Kirra, Coolangatta, Queensland

One of the finest waves on any coast of any continent. The most southern point of Queensland is close to the Gold Coast airport and easy to reach. However, Kirra gets packed when an eastern hemi rolls through.

But why surf anywhere else when it’s on? Kirra’s set up lends itself to barreling sections that reform to create more barrels. It’s an anomaly that doesn’t get nervous about its popularity.

Coolangatta one of the best Australia surfing holiday destinations Pexels royalty free image

Snapper Rocks, Coolangatta, Queensland

Just beyond Kirra’s famed take-off spot is the half-kilometre or so of point break named Snapper Rocks. The Tweed Rivers dumps off endless sandbar fodder to the south making the waves at Snapper some of the best rights in the world.

The paddle back to the top is immense and you’re better jogging back up the beach instead of endlessly digging to the top. It can get super crowded on good days. Combined with Kirra it makes Coolangatta one of the best Australia surfing holiday destinations.

Gnaraloo, Western Australia

Representing Australia’s west coast are the heaving lefthanders of Gnaraloo. The set up exists hundreds of kilometres away from anything even resembling civilization.

So you’ll need camping gear and a level head for this surf trip. But just one ride at the headlining peak of Tombstones should quench a lifetime of frothing. Probably the best Australian surfing holiday if you like to be in the wilderness.

Manly, Sydney, NSW

Just across the bay from Sydney is the beach break of Manly. There are several peaks to surf here and many have been overrun by tourists and macho locals. But the consistency and perfection of the waves help Manly onto this list of the top 11 surf spots in Oz.

Manly one of the top 11 surf spots in Oz Piqsels royalty free image

The more serious reefs can handle additional swell. Bring your regular shortboard to reap the benefits a variety of waves at this spot. It’s a very trendy neighbourhood, with fun bars, girls in cheeky bikini bottoms and guys with more muscles than brains.

Lennox Head, NSW

Less than ten kilometres south of Byron Bay is the sleepy town of Lennox Head. The right point at the southern part of town is known as one of the best in the world.

This wave is able to hold massive amounts of swell. Lennox Head is everything a regular-footer dreams of – except for the boulders underfoot.

The Pass, Byron Bay, NSW

The road out to the Byron Bay lighthouse is replete with waves, but none more notable than The Pass. Favored by longboarders who patrol the cape for peeling perfection, The Pass can get as crowded as it is good.

On the downside this spot gets a fair few of tiger and great white shark sightings. But combined with nearby Lennox Head it makes the cool town of Byron one of the best Australia surfing holiday destinations.

Byron Bay one of the best Australia surfing holiday destinations Pixabay royalty free image

Noosa Heads, Queensland

A series of north-facing points dismiss the roaring southeast swells that batter other beaches along the Sunshine Coast. But with the right cyclone or errant east wind swell, all of Noosa’s points turn on for hollow perfection.

A popular longboard destination, Noosa has unfortunately been overrun by tourism. But some of the points take a bit of know-how to access so are not as busy as town. Home to an iconic surfing festival it is well worth a visit.

Shipstern Bluff, near Port Arthur, Tasmania

This Tasmanian gem attracts big wave surfers from around the world. Breaking about 150m off shore it’s a long paddle if you don’t have a tow. Waves here reach more than seven metres (25 feet). So when firing it is only suitable for experienced big wave surfers.

With a granite shelf and boulder strewn headland it is dangerous even in small swells. Accessed via a two hour hike through bush there are great views from the bluff. Well worth a visit even if you won’t be getting wet. 

The Box, Margaret River, Western Australia

Another WA shout out and regular stop of the World Surf League. This wave is aptly named for the flat-topped lips that heave over bumpy reef to create a picturesque barrel. Take off deep inside and shoot the backdoor tube to earn the respect of locals.


Have the lip drop on you or stumble in the barrel and be sure to cover up before being introduced to a not-so-friendly ledge. For the less experienced Surfers Point on the other side of the bay is more user friendly!

Do you agree with these top 11 surf spots in Oz? Let us know in the comments below. If planning the best Australia surfing holiday check out our Australia discounts as you could save a fortune.


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