The Gold Coast is one of those rare places in the world where there are plenty of amazing waves many of them very different from each other all within a short drive. Let’s take a closer look.
South Stradbroke Island
The most northerly point of the Gold Coast South Stradbroke Island is known by a few different names, TOS (The Other Side), South Straddie, Straddie and probably a few others that I have missed. Situated about 5km north of Surfers Paradise, just drive past along Sea World Drive right to the end, then you will see an island about 300m to the north. There is a ferry that will take you to the island if you have a shark paranoia, the paddle can be a bit sketchy as the tide rips in and out and there is a lot of boat traffic.
South Straddie is a proper gem. When the surf is small and not up to much Straddie is the place to head to, the southern end of the Goldie can be totally flat and Straddie might be three foot of spitting barrels. The wave is fast and heavy a proper board snapper and not for the faint hearted. If you want to get some time in the green room then give Straddie a visit at low tide.
This Beach break is the other option right at the northern end of the Gold Coast. Use the same carpark as Straddie but instead of paddling over to the other side walk around to the beach.
A slightly friendlier wave with a good left that breaks off of the rock wall, can get really hollow as well. The spit gets plenty of swell and is a popular spot especially during the summer months.
More of a tourist attraction than a surf destination. There can be some good banks and is worth going at least once just so you can tick it off the list. Honestly though if the surf is good here somewhere else will be much better.
There are a few km of beach breaks between Surfers and the southern end of Miami where a headland juts out to form Burleigh Beach. The beachies along this stretch are of varying quality and very much dependent on what the banks are doing, there is every chance you can find a little beauty all to yourself.
At the southern end of the long beach from The Spit to north Burleigh Miami is a great beach break it can get really hollow and while at low tide it does have the tendency to close out a bit there are always a few makeable ones that a worth a try.
Burleigh Beach / Burleigh Heads
Before the formation of the Superbank at Snapper Rocks Burleigh Heads was the main surf spot for the Gold coast. The ASP Gold Coast Pro was held here before being relocated to Snapper Rocks.
The headland at Burleigh has a few breaks, starting on the inside right next to the beach you have a sheltered spot that works when the surf gets big and blown out. As you work your way out toward the south there is a point break that runs from level with the carpark, depending on the banks it can range from fast and hollow to fat and slow.
A few hundred metres to the south again is the second point at Burleigh, a shorter wave that is very fast, very very hollow and breaks really shallow onto sand. This second point is possibly the best wave at Burleigh depending on your tastes. Around the front of the headland next to Tallebudgera creak is a spot called Sharkies which is also very fast and hollow. When the sands are aligned properly and the swell is in the right direction you can get a wave from Sharkies almost to the beach, you do need a bit of size in the swell and also a bit of luck to get the right one.
Another classic right hand point break that is world class on its day. It can be a little fat and is a bit more of a mellow wave compared to a lot of the waves on the Gold Coast and for that reason it is popular with longboarders and SUP’s. Again when the banks are lined up right you can get a fast and hollow wave that will seem to go forever. Can be a good alternative to the crowded Superbank.
Just to the south of Currumbin is another long stretch of beach that runs for a few Km’s right up to the groyne at Kirra.
There are plenty of banks along this stretch at are uncrowded and can be really good fun. These beaches are a bit better with the southerly wind and work well with an easterly swell direction.
Possibly the best right hand point break in the world. When it is working properly it is possible to get a wave from behind the rock at Snapper right to north Kirra which is about 3 km’s! It’s pretty rare that it works that well and normally when it’s good you can get a ride for a few hundred metres. At high tide it’s a bit fatter and low tide is a bit hollower. The major problem with The Superbank is how busy it gets. Muscle in and get what you can even if you only get a couple of waves per surf it can be well worth it.
In general when surfing at The Gold Coast the key thing to remember is that if there is any north in the wind go north and if the wind is from the south go to the south. Keep a smile on your face and don’t get too pissed off when some old twat drops in on you because it is going to happen at least a few times a surf.