Complete Guide To The Best Beaches For Surfing In NSW

Complete Guide To The Best Beaches For Surfing In NSW

Nothing beats the thrill of feeling the wind brush past you as you glide and carve your way through a wave. Ancient cave paintings found in Polynesia indicate that as early as the 12th century surfing has been incredibly popular. Since then, surfing has exploded into a gnarly watersport that has engrained itself as a cultural identity to all Australians, becoming a way of life for many.

When anyone in the world thinks of Australia, one of the first things they will picture is iconic beaches showcasing glistening blue waves, warm sun and golden sand. Sure, Australia is home to some of the best beaches found on earth, but more specifically, NSW is home to those very beaches. Whether it is the gentle waves for beginners at Manly Beach or testing your skills at Bondi Beach, Sydney is home to the best beaches for surfing in NSW - and here is where to find the very best!

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Freshwater Beach

Freshwater Beach is the birthplace of surfing in Australia

We start off our list of the best surf beaches in NSW with the birthplace of surfing in Australia, Freshwater Beach (also known as Freshie to locals). Back in 1915, Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku came over to Freshwater Beach and showed us Aussies his ancient board riding technique - and we've been hooked ever since. It is perfectly suited to all levels of surfing and can get pretty crowded during the weekend, but it's totally worth it. For experienced surfers, heading down around mid to high tide will give you a good eastern swell, but check the forecast before heading down. There is also car parking available right in front of Freshwater Beach, so remember to head down early before it gets crowded.

Why you'll love Freshwater Beach:

  • Perfect for all experience levels
  • The birthplace of surfing in Australia
  • Great for waves early in the morning

Maroubra Beach

Maroubra Beach is perfect for beginner surfing

Stretching out for one kilometre of crystal blue ocean, glistening golden sand and clear blue skies (if you go on the right day), Maroubra Beach is the perfect beach for surfing in NSW for beginners. It is known for its consistent waves all year round and large spaces, giving each surfer their own room and not feeling boxed in with other surfers. It also became Australia's first National Surfing Reserve back in 2006, drawing in surfers from all over. However, there can be strong rips from time to time, so make sure you always check the flags and weather report before heading out.

Why you'll love Maroubra Beach:

  • Excellent beach for beginners new to surfing
  • Doesn't get too crowded during the day
  • Australia's first National Surfing Reserve

Cronulla Beach

Cronulla Beach is Sydney's longest beach and is a perfect family location

Cronulla Beach is not only a great beach for surfing in NSW for all experience levels but is also Sydney's longest beach as well, being made up of four beaches that include Cronulla, North Cronulla, Elouera and Wanda. Because it is so large, you won't have to battle through crowds during the day, even at peak times, making it the perfect surf beach in NSW to visit with friends and family. Cronulla Beach features an exposed beach break, which provides consistent surf throughout the year, so all you have to do is rock up, pick a spot and hop on your surfboard. There are also surf lifesaving clubs for beginners looking to brush up on their skills, and there are plenty of delicious and award-winning cafes and restaurants nearby that serve as the perfect post-surf treat.

Why you'll love Cronulla Beach:

  • Officially the longest beach in Sydney
  • Perfect for all skill levels
  • Lots of award-winning cafes and restaurants nearby

Manly Beach

Manly Beach is a popular location for both beginner and experienced surfers

With a palatable swell coming in from the south winds, Manly Beach provides the best surfing experience in NSW for novice and beginner surfers. Although Manly Beach can get pretty busy during the weekend, it is still an incredible spot for surfing in NSW, birthing some of the greatest surfers such as Layne Beachley and held the very first surfing contest in Australia back in 1964. If you are looking for bigger swells, Manly Beach still provides! Head over to the southern end near Queenscliff Bombie reef break and Deadman's Point to experience larger swells with waves even as high as seven metres. And if you don't have all the surf gear you need, no worries, as there are heaps of surf equipment hire nearby.

Why you'll love Manly Beach:

  • A great beach for novice and experienced surfers
  • An iconic beach that held the first surfing competition in Australia
  • The southern end has a larger swell for more experienced surfers

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is one of Australia's most famous and popular beaches

You would be mad to think we'd create a list of the best beaches for surfing in NSW and not mention Bondi Beach! Needing no introduction (but we will give it one anyway), Bondi Beach is an incredibly popular destination, with as many as 2.7 million people visiting Bondi Beach every year - so it can get pretty busy. Apart from being a great beach to learn how to surf, Bondi Beach also has many iconic sights to take in such as the orange glow bouncing of the distant clouds as the sun melts into the waves, the CBD skyline bustling in the distance and the endless blue of the far-out Tasman Sea. There are also restaurants, cafes, boutiques and ocean pools nearby, making Bondi Beach the perfect weekend outing.

Why you'll love Bondi Beach:

  • The most famous beach in Australia and the world
  • A great beach to learn how to surf
  • Heaps of restaurants, cafes and boutiques around

Tamarama Beach

Tamarama Beach is the perfect destination for experienced surfers

If you consider yourself an experienced surfer who is looking for a challenge, then Tamarama Beach is going to be for you. Nestled in between Bronte and Coogee Beach, Tamarama Beach might only offer 80 metres of reef beach, but that little strip is a surfer's paradise. Nicknamed 'Glamorama' by the locals, don't be fooled, Tamarama Beach is known as the most dangerous beach in Sydney, so only exercise extreme caution. For those surfers who are brave and skilled enough, here is where you will find the best waves in Sydney! During patrolled hours Tamarama Beach is closed to surfers, so if that's the case when you get there, simply head over to Bronte Beach instead for some great waves instead. Make sure you head down during winter and spring for truly the best waves.

Why you'll love Tamarama Beach:

  • The perfect beach for experienced surfers
  • Officially the most dangerous beach in Sydney
  • Incredible views of Sydney and turquoise blue ocean

Discover The Best Beaches For Surfing In NSW Today

These are just some of the many awesome beaches that provide the best experiences for surfing in Sydney. Before you head out though, make sure you are fully stocked up on all your surfing gear needs such as beach surf accessories, swimwear, surfboards and much more. Make sure you check out our Adventure Centre for more exciting destinations that you can visit with your friends and family. If you liked where to find the best beaches for surfing in NSW, then you might also like some of our other articles for awesome destinations in NSW and tips such as:

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