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Where to surf in Sydney

Where to surf in Sydney

Sydney is one of the few cities in the world where there is a wide variety of surf spots. With ideal conditions all year round and more than 20 spots where you can surf dotted around the city centre, Sydney is clearly the surfing capital of Australia. In this article, we’ll bring you through the best places to surf in Sydney.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is without a doubt the most popular beach in Sydney, maybe even in Australia. It attracts a lot of travellers due to its beauty and its relaxed lifestyle. In summer, the beach is packed with people and it is literally impossible to walk around. The waves at Bondi are regular and good all year round.

Bondi will undoubtedly be the first spot in Sydney that will entice you to the joys of surfing. In the north of the beach, there’s a supervised area for beginners, which is reserved for foam boards.

Many Beach

In the far north of Sydney, Manly is renowned for offering good surfing conditions all year round. November to April is the ideal surfing season, during the big swells* coming from the north. Apart from surfing, Manly is a small town where life is good and well represents the famous Australian lifestyle. The streets are filled with surf shops and pubs, restaurants and boutiques.

Why does Manly attract surfers from all over the world?

In addition to the amazing lifestyle on offer here, it must be said that Manly has a beach break, a point break and a reef break* a few dozen meters away. The northern tip of Manly is home to the Queenscliff beach break, which offers good waves with southern swells but tends to close quickly when the waves become consistent. If so, head to the southern part of Manly which holds the big swells better.

In the heart of Manly, the main Steyne beach can sometimes produce magnificent tubes for experienced surfers, ready to face the currents to reach the peak.

Queensie Bomby is the first reef you hit in Manly when you arrive from the north. It is a dangerous wave that requires patience and commitment. To surf its long and hollow shoulders, you will have to wait for the big swells.

South of Manly is calmer and offers good waves for beginners and intermediate surfers.

Fairy Bower is Manly’s main reef. When the conditions are good, this spot generates incredible waves. Some locals claim to have ridden 8-second tubes!

McKenzies Bay and Tamarama

South of Bondi, you will reach McKenzies Bay and Tamarama, where you will find fast, hollow waves. Beware – inexperienced surfers stay away! You may run into the rocky ground, or worse, into a local, with whom it’s better not to joke if you’re not from the area. These spots tend to be closed when waves are higher than 1.50m.


A bit further, you will arrive at Bronte beach. This large sandy beach gets all kinds of swells of all sizes, mostly from the South-South-East.


The path continues to Coogee, a cosmopolitan suburb full of expats, surf shops, and cafes. Coogee, due to its sheltered position, is particularly suitable for beginner surfers but may be a good option for anybody interested in huge swells.


Maroubra, known as the territory of the Bra Boys (Kobbe Aberton gang) offers consistent waves. Dunny Bowl, in the centre of the beach, is a quality beach break that satisfies most surfers. Otherwise, you will have to wait for the big swell. The big swells coming from the south awaken the reef of Maroubra and its mythical wave “Bear”, a monster that breaks on a slab of rocks, which doesn’t leave room for error! Consider going to Malabar if Maroubra is closed.


In the far south of Sydney, you find a surfer’s paradise. A 4-kilometer long area called Cronulla offers the most beautiful waves in Sydney. This part of the coast has a wide variety of waves for all levels. Cronulla Point is a dangerous reef break that provides some of the most beautiful waves in Australia on some days. You won’t get bored of surfing all the waves in this area (The Wall, North Cronulla, or Elouera and Wanda for the more adventurous). Shark Island (don’t be put off by the name!) off Cronulla, has massive hollow waves, some of which can exceed 5 meters.

Surf spots a bit further from Sydney

If these waves are not enough, the area around Sydney is full of surf spots. All you have to do is travel a few kilometres to discover stunning beaches, where you can surf for days without coming across a living soul. Further north of Manly, the Pacific Highway runs along the coast and makes it easy to explore the Australian coastline.

Freshwater is a good surfing spot. It became famous thanks to Duke Kahanamoku, who came to do a surfing demonstration there in 1915.

Narabeen has a few consistent lefts that will make you tremble!

Curl Curlis is a protected beach break that offers good left and right peaks for all levels and is a good backup when conditions in Manly are too extreme.

Whereas seasoned surfers prefer Dee Why or Butterbox, beginners and intermediates prefer the peaceful atmosphere of Collaroy and Long Reef.

Further south following the Princess Highway, the Sydney Royal National Park will exceed your expectations. Here, you can surf magical waves in a preserved natural setting on more than 20 kilometers of wild coasts! The best way to explore the park is by car. Garie Beach is the best-known spot, but there are many more.

Tips for safe surfing

Australia has some of the best surf spots in the world. However, it is important to arm yourself with as much information as possible before jumping into the water. Here are some tips for safe surfing in Australia:

  • Know the weather conditions and sea currents.
  • Surf with a partner or in a group, so you can look out for each other.
  • Be aware of potential dangers, such as sharks, jellyfish or rock pitfalls.
  • Listen to warnings from coastguards and locals.
  • Always surf in authorised areas and respect the safety rules.
  • If you feel ill or have a problem, seek help immediately.

*Swell: A series of waves coming from the ocean
*Beach break: Waves near the edge, generally short and steep
*Point break: Waves breaking along a cove formed by the coast
*Reef break: Waves crashing on a coral reef or rocks. More dangerous
*Take-off: Taking the wave
*Wipeout: Falling from the board

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