Top 5 surf beaches in Australia

Top 5 surf beaches in Australia
on Apr 10, 2018

Surf your way around Australia at these top 5 places to ride the waves

With more than 25,000 kilometres of coastline, it’s no wonder that Australia is an idyllic spot for surfing; and with the friendly locals, gorgeous scenery, and world-class bars and restaurants, the epic waves are just the beginning.

We have gathered five of the top surf beaches in Australia so that you can make your way around this stunning country catching waves in the most scenic of places. A campervan will get you, your friends and your gear there comfortably and in good time.

1. Bells Beach, Victoria

A surfer rides a wave at Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia

No list of Australian surfing beaches - or even global surfing beaches - is complete without a mention of Victoria’s Bells Beach.

Bells Beach is a world-renowned surfing location, hosting the annual Rip Curl Pro Surf and Music Festival around Easter every year. The oldest and most prestigious surfing competition in the country, it draws in crowds thanks to its five-metre swells and awesome conditions. Aside from the surf itself, the spot is also home to rugged red clay cliffs that provide the perfect spectating spot to see all the action.

Plus, Bells Beach is found in Torquay, the eastern end of The Great Ocean Road, which is widely regarded as Australia’s best road trip. Pack your gear, rent a campervan in Melbourne, and complete this epic road trip with a few days surfing along the coast as you go for the ultimate mix of sight-seeing and wave-catching along the way.

2. Prevelly Bay, Western Australia

Waves crash the shore on a beach near Margaret River in Western Australia

Not to be outdone by the popular beaches on the east coast, Western Australia adds its own top surfing location to the mix with the Margaret River region.

Prevelly Bay is easily the leading surf beach in the region, known for its massive breaks that are challenging even for the pros. In fact, this is where the annual Margaret River Pro is held every year. The competition is one leg of the World Surf League (WSL) World Championship Tour, where some of the best names in the business battle it out over 12 days of surfing. Naturally, the epic surfing conditions are also the reason behind why the tiny town of Prevelly has boomed in recent years.

If you’re not quite up to the big waves of the bay, keep in mind that Prevelly also offers exceptional cafes and bars by the waterfront, and the limestone cliffs around the shoreline add a wild and scenic touch to this beautiful beach. Of course, there are surfers out on the breaks almost every day of the year, so you’ll always be able to watch keen thrill-seekers tackle the waves.

3. Lennox Head, New South Wales

Waves crash to shore on a stunning day in Lennox Head, Australia

Image (modified): Timothyjay1986 (Own work), CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve got a soft spot for a right-hand break, look no further than Lennox Head, as this New South Wales beach is considered to be one of the best in the country. It also happens to be part of the largest Surfing Reserve in Australia.

Lennox is a popular spot with locals and can serve up some powerful swells, so even though the waves mainly break onto the sand, it’s still not ideal for beginners. It once began as a quiet and relatively unknown spot, but with time it has grown and become something of a new Byron Bay, with more surfers arriving each year and new bars and restaurants popping up in the town to cater to hungry and thirsty surfers after a day out on the water. Plus, be sure to check out the ‘Magic Miles’ between Lennox Head and Ballina, which generally always host decent waves so long as there is at least a hint of a swell.

4. South Cape Bay, Tasmania

The aqua-coloured waters of Tasmania crash to the shore of South Cape Bay

Image: JJ Harrison ( (Own work), GFDL 1.2 or CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It may be a little chillier than the surf beaches of the mainland, but the rugged wilderness and empty shores of South Cape Bay in Tasmania make this trip more than worth your while. You’ll need to pick up a campervan in Hobart and head a ways south to discover this remote location.

Not only is it the southernmost surf beach in the country, but it’s also in a particularly gorgeous spot where you’ll need to walk almost 8 kilometres through World-Heritage-listed bushland to get there (don’t worry, there’s a path). Go as much for the experience as for the waves and enjoy the quiet and untouched nature of the Tasmanian coastline.

5. Gold Coast, Queensland

A group of surfers take on Gold Coast waves with the city skyline in the distance

Sure, the Gold Coast is one glorious beach after another, but it’s tough to pinpoint one small stretch of shore when the entire area is prime for surfing. After all, it is where you’ll find a place literally called ‘Surfers Paradise’.

The appeal of the Gold Coast is no secret. The waves vary enough that first-time surfers can learn to stand up on a board in areas such as Broadbeach, whereas seasoned pros can tackle the larger swells of Snapper Rocks and Burleigh Heads. Of course, this is also one of those locations that offer on-shore attractions that are just as tempting as the waves, from the nightlife and restaurants to the shopping and sightseeing. The waters around the Gold Coast are also warm throughout the year, so while there will be more crowds than lesser-known secluded spots, you can’t go wrong with the combination of great surf, warm water, and the comforts of a modern city just steps from the beach.

Now you’re ready for the surf adventure of a lifetime. Rent a motorhome to visit as many beaches as possible!