10 Australia surf spots for beginners

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Clear water, white sand, fun waves… it’s almost like Australia was made for surfers and those who are keen to learn. With thousands of beaches and an ever-growing list of surf schools to choose from, it’s easy to get a little lost. So, we’ve jumped in, gotten wet and rounded up the top 10 learn to surf destinations across Australia. So, what are you waiting for?

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Reef 2 Beach Surf School. Photo: Facebook/Reef 2 Beach
Reef 2 Beach Surf School. Photo: Facebook/Reef 2 Beach

Agnes Waters, Queensland

Heading north to the Great Barrier Reef? This sleepy town offers you the last chance to score waves before the swell is cut off, and any rideable bumps are replaced with calm, lake-like water. Not only does Reef 2 Beach Surf School offer lessons at a place where most Australian surfers haven’t even visited, but also they claim to be the cheapest on the east coast. For only $17 you’ll get three hours of professional coaching making it an irresistible activity for budget travellers or family groups.

Epic Ocean Adventures. Photo: Facebook / Epic Ocean Adventures
Epic Ocean Adventures. Photo: Facebook / Epic Ocean Adventures

Double Island Point, Queensland

Where better to start your learn-to-surf journey than on Australia’s longest wave? Located about three hours north of Brisbane, this sandy-bottomed point break can only be reached by 4WD which means crowds are minimal (especially in the off-season) and the beach is pristine. Sign up to a group lesson with Epic Ocean Adventures, and you’ll be driven from Rainbow Beach along the shoreline past the coloured sands, a stunning natural attraction. With a guarantee that you’ll be standing up and riding waves by the end of the lesson, you’ve got nothing to lose!

Noosa Learn To Surf. Photo: Facebook / Noosa Learn To Surf
Noosa Learn To Surf. Photo: Facebook / Noosa Learn To Surf

Noosa, Queensland

Warm water, a laidback vibe and friendly waves, Noosa has been a surf mecca for wave riders for decades, and it’s easy to see why. Point breaks aplenty and beaches either side; this palm-fringed paradise is a water wonderland for surfers of all levels. Hire a board from Noosa Longboards on Hastings Street and follow the track from Main Beach to the national park, jumping into the water at First Point for a low-key afternoon of fun. Need a few tips? You might as well get them from the top! Former World Pro-Am Surfing Champion Merrick Davis runs Learn to Surf Noosa, and offers daily lessons.

Photo: North Stradbroke Island Surf School
Photo: North Stradbroke Island Surf School

North Stradbroke Island, Queensland

Cross off two Australia must-dos by learning to surf on the world’s second largest sand island. Sounds impressive, huh? In between sand boarding, snorkeling and exploring the fresh water lakes, head to the crystal clear waters of Point Lookout at the tip of the island and master the art of paddling, standing up and the importance of surf etiquette with North Stradbroke Island Surf School. If you’re in luck, you’ll be sharing waves with dolphins, turtles and manta rays. Not a bad crowd to hang with on your holiday!

Let’s do it

A photo posted by Get Wet Surf School (@getwetsurf) on


Gold Coast, Queensland

Glittering high rises and beaches strung together by golden sand, the Gold Coast is an enticing mix of glamour and surf culture. Home to some of Australia’s best breaks, this stretch of coastline is full of variety. Whilst you won’t be hitting Snapper or D-Bah just yet, with the help of Get Wet Surf you’ll be taming the waves at The Spit in a few hours. Visiting in winter? This surf school has exclusive access to the heated wave pool at White Water World, where you can learn on consistent waves in a controlled environment.  

We’re all going on a summer holiday. #holiday #summer #relax #surf #Yamba A photo posted by Tony Curl (@tonycurl) on

Yamba, New South Wales

Yamba is a classic Australia beach town with loads of character and over ten beaches that stretch to the infamous Angourie Point in the south. Situated at the mouth of the Clarence River and surrounded by Yuraygir National Park in northern New South Wales, it really is a postcard-worthy spot. Learn the basics with Yamba Angourie Surf School at Turners Beach, then stay on and hone your skills. Or, take a daytrip and catch the ferry across the river to Iluka where more empty rides await at the break wall.


South Coast, New South Wales

Uncrowded, undeveloped and unbelievably beautiful, the NSW South Coast is home to some of Australia’s best beaches. And it’s here that you’ll find the surf school belonging to Australia’s first professional woman surfer and former world champion, Pam Burridge. If you’ve tried a group session before, this is the time to book a private surf lesson and see how fast you progress.  

Torquay, Victoria

Cold? Maybe. Ragged coastline? Definitely. Waves? Always. Torquay is the country’s surfing capital and a must-visit for anyone interested in the sport’s Australian history. Sitting at the entry point to the Great Ocean Road, it’s the perfect base for a holiday of chasing waves. Start from scratch or brush up on your style with Great Ocean Road Surf Tours. With so many breaks to choose from, a lot of which aren’t suitable for beginners, it’s best to be guided to sheltered coves by someone in the know.


Margaret River, Western Australia

Whoever said wine and surfing don’t go together had never visited the Margaret River region. Producing top of the line wine alongside world-class waves, this patch of Western Australia is only three hours from Perth, and definitely worth a visit! Whilst the waves in this area are an advanced surfer’s dream, there are protected beaches that are ideal for beginners. The friendly people at Margaret River Surf School or Josh Palmateer’s Surf Academy will be happy to show you the ropes.  

East Coast, Tasmania

If you’ve got three free days in Australia, get down to Tassie. The island at the bottom of the country is often forgotten when it comes to surf holidays, but that only means those who visit will get the secluded beaches to themselves. Coastrider offers surf tours and takes guest from Hobart to the Freycinet Peninsula and then onto Bicheno and the Bay of Fires. You’ll surf fun beach breaks along the way and be rewarded with jaw dropping scenery whilst on the search. It’s a win-win!

(Feature image: Aristocrats-hat)

10 Australia surf spots for beginners was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Claire Plush
Author: Claire Plush (36 posts)

I tell stories because I’m a photographer and a writer, blogging at claireplush.com. The past 9 years have been a hearty mixture of study, travel and new experiences, and have been split between Noosa, Raglan (New Zealand) and more recently, Paris.