Sydney is a city that is on most traveller’s hit list and while the city offers it’s own famous attractions, the destination actually has some surfing hot spots.
Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku popularised surfing on his visit to Sydney in 1914-15, first hitting Australian waves at Freshwater in 1914. His original board is still on display at the Freshwater Surf Lifesaving Club. Since then, Australia has produced many World Champion surfers.
Sydney has approximately 70 surf beaches that cater to all levels of surfing skill, from small waves for beginners to big breaks for the more experienced and adventurous. Four Sydney beaches feature on the National Surfing Reserve Register, a list of iconic surfing spots in Australia: Manly, North Narrabeen, Cronulla and Maroubra.
Where to surf in Sydney has become an endless question, it means you need to be ready for the combative nature of urban surfing.
Before joining the hordes at Cronulla, Bondi or Manly, try some of these spots just around the corner that just may offer that elusive, meditative and downright soulful experience.
Garie Beach, Royal National Park
Located in the Royal National Park on Sydney’s southern rim, here sharks and big breaks make the surf for the experienced surfer only. Garie is a great left-hand beach break that offers intermediate and experienced surfers solid surf up to two meters high in solid north to northeast swells. Access is via the Royal National Park south of Cronulla and north of Wollongong. A park entry fee is required.
For the lunatic surfers, this is place is a hardcore reef made of sharp rock. Perhaps you need to feel more aware of your own mortality to surf this extremely shallow wave, in the lineup it’s about two meters deep, then it sucks up on dry reef. A deposit of skin is the usual transaction required should you not judge the takeoff correctly.
If seclusion from the Cronulla crowds is what you seek then Wanda and Green Hills are the closest you will get to it in Sydney. It is a fun, peaky little beach break that works well in southeast and easterly swell. The long walk from Wanda car park north of Cronulla is worth it for waves where the surf is secluded.
Surfing at Narrabeen requires the major virtue of patience. Whilst a spot of virtual seclusion is often to be found, the banks and swell rarely offer the perfect combination. This results in frequent close-outs and rips. However, if you take the time to walk the 1,500 meters to the end, you can find that gem of a bank that may be entertaining only one or two other surfers.
The secluded Bilgola Beach gives some protection from a southeast swell and as a result waves average less than 1.5 meters. While it can be hard to arrive there on a good day, when Bilgola does turn it on, it can be one of the most satisfying waves on the Northern Beaches.
A place for any level surfer, this beach break has plenty of fun little waves. Should a long board be your style, then head to Kiddies’ Corner located at the southern end for some surf that’s protected from the cold southern swell and wind. It’s also a gentle easy wave for those beginner surfers and a good spot to learn.
Located on the north side of the Tamarama rock platform, this wave is also perfect for a surfer of any experience level. It is mostly dependent on the shifting sands so proves a little fickle but can be a lot of fun if you get it at the right time. Beware of the rocks.
Probably the most reliable wave in Sydney, this is the place to hit up when nowhere else is in Sydney working. Because of this, it can get crowded, but a peak can be found somewhere along the beach offering fun, punchy waves that can hold a swell of up to two meters.
Fancy a surf with some celebrities? This is the place to be seen as Whale Beach is situated amongst some of the most expensive real estate in Sydney, and home to celebrities seeking a more sedate existence. Known for the Whale Beach Wedge which is located at the northern corner of the beach, this spot offers an A-frame peak that forms when the swell hits a rock ledge and bounces back to create a solid, pitching wedge. A great wave, but where only experienced surfers dare to go due to the small take off zone.
Located on the Northern Beaches and north of Dee Why, is the southeast facing Long Reef Beach. At Long Reef, when a good westerly wind combines with a clean southerly swell it can deliver some fairly consistent surf over a sand and rock shelf bottom.
With affordable flights to Sydney from all over Australia with tigerair, there is no reason you can’t look to Sydney for a quick wave hunting getaway. So pack your bags and boards and check out the latest deals with TigerAir at www.tigerair.com.au.
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