Ah surfing, the pastime that's just as much a part of Australian culture as Vegemite on toast or wearing thongs, well, everywhere. If you’re lucky enough to have been born and raised on the coast, you pretty much learned how to surf before you uttered your first words.
The rest of us aren’t so lucky—which is exactly why we’ve rounded up all the places to learn how to surf this summer. If the sun’s out, you can bet we’ll be learning how to shred some gnarly waves. Just promise not to laugh as we fall spectacularly on our arses.
Ready to hit the waves? Here are all the places to learn how to surf this summer.
Greenmount Beach, located at one end of Coolangatta on the Gold Coast, is famous for its swells for a very good reason. This stretch of ocean is nestled between two of the world’s most well-known breaks, Snapper and Kirra. In non-surfing terms, that means waves with just enough oomph to get your board moving without causing you to nosedive into the sea (don’t worry, we’ve all been there). Plus, when you throw into the mix the oh-so-gorgeous scenery and gorgeous sand, Greenmount becomes the perfect place to dip your toes into the world of surfing.
If you’re looking for a gentle surfing spot that would much rather hold your hand than throw you into the deep end (literally), Currumbin Alley was made for you. Get started on your surfing journey with the assistance of Surfing Services Australia, a Currumbin-based surf school that offers every type of learn-to-surf class you could hope for. We’re talking group lessons, private beginner lessons and even ladies surf lessons for if the thought of stacking it in front of cute surfer boys doesn’t quite appeal to you.
Burleigh Point is pretty well-known as one of the spots to catch a world-class break. The natural amphitheatre shape formed by the waves offers surfers long rides, deep barrels and the ability to hold a large swell. But, the affectionately dubbed 'Kid’s Corner' in front of Burleigh Pavilion provides a nice alternative for the surfing beginner. Gentler waves and the abundance of board shops in the vicinity make it ideal for those who feel like they have the basics down pat, or just don’t fancy forking up that precious dosh for a lesson. Hey, at least you can head to the iconic Rick Shores afterwards to drown your sorrows if the whole surfing thing doesn’t work out.
Okay, okay, so you like your beaches quiet and pristine. Well, we’d like to introduce you to Kawana, a little slice of the Sunshine Coast – nestled between Caloundra and Maroochydore—that offers surfing lessons far from the madding crowd. It also just so happens to be a low-key sub-tropical paradise. Start your weekend getaway by signing up for a class with Kawana Surf School, who will teach you the fundamentals while you immerse yourself in the uncrowded waters of the Sunshine Coast. Just don’t forget to keep an eye out for the whales and dolphins that can sometimes be spotted in the waters in this area. Magical AF.
Ah Noosa, the beach-side town that just rolls everything into one super-chic-yet-casual package. There’s a reason Noosa is famous for its waves and the options available for every stage of surfer are only the half of it. There’s just one caveat: because Noosa’s swells are so sought after, you can bet the water can get rather hectic. If that doesn’t bother you, Main Beach is waiting for you to tackle your surfing goals head on. If you’re in need of assistance on that journey, the legends over at Go Ride A Wave are on-hand at the end of Hastings Street to run you through the basics before getting you out onto the open, uh, ocean.
We all know how hard it is to get out there and try something new, so it’s understandable that we don’t relish the thought of having experienced locals grumping at us for cluttering up their precious waterways with our fumbling, beginner ways. A lesson with Caloundra Surf School, in the stunning waters of the beach town that shares their name, keeps both the locals and beginners happy by offering lessons where no one else does. The surf school has exclusive permits to show you the ropes in three of the best beaches surrounding Caloundra: Happy Valley, Dicky Beach and Currimundi. The location of the classes changes depending on weather conditions, meaning that you’ll always be in a safe, calm environment as you level-up your surfing skills. Getting hands-on lessons AND not having to worry about the whims of the ocean? Yes. Please.
Yup, that’s right; North Stradbroke Island is good for more than jaw-dropping coastal views and 4WD exploration opportunities. Point Lookout is home to crystal clear waters and wild dolphins, who just so happen to make a regular appearance during North Stradbroke Island Surf School’s lessons. Guys, this is not a drill, you could be learning to surf alongside everyone’s favourite ocean larrikin, talk about #lifegoals. A lesson with North Stradbroke Island Surf School will net you training with an established and accredited school, all necessary equipment (including sun safety clothing), and a chance to work on your surfing skills in a super-chilled environment. Oh and did we mention the dang dolphins?! Run, don’t walk.
With access from the mainland via a bridge, Bribie Island's Woorim Beach is the closest patrolled surfing beach to Brisbane, which also makes it the quickest way to have a crack at surfing if you’re a little short on time. The island itself is made up primarily of national parkland and features white sand beaches, warm waters and waves with just enough action to help you on your surfing journey. Woorim Beach also happens to be home to the Bribie Island Surf School, who offer daily classes for surfers of every age and ability. Choose from a beginner group class or a more in-depth private lesson with an accredited coach. Whatever your choice, the time spent soaking up that precious Vitamin D in the tropical waters of Bribie Island will make the whole exercise definitely worth it. Yes, you can thank us later.
Keen to get out and explore? Make sure to hit up our travel page for all the best places to see and things to do in Australia.
Image credit: Abigail Lynn