Surfing Sydney Australia

What Coolangatta is to Gold Coast surfing, Sydney is to NSW. Which is to say that it’s the epicenter. With waves, parties, culture, music, arts and nearly five million people, Sydney might just be the best surf metropolis on the planet.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Surfing Sydney Australia. Photo thanks to Surf School Sydney[/caption]

The Sydney Surf: Sydney has everything from user-friendly beach breaks to heavily localized death slabs—and all that fits between—making it one of the most diverse surf regions in Australia. Depending where you surf, the waves range from beginner to expert only.

Five Waves Worth Surfing in Sydney:

  1. Bondi Beach: Ha ha, just kidding—unless you enjoy surfing crowded, gutless, closed out beach break on the most famous stretch of sand in Australia. (Which, as it turns out, a lot of people do.) Bonus Factor: Bondi is offshore when the rest of Sydney is blown out with a NE wind.
  2. Manly Beach: Touristy, crowded, fronted by a strip of bars and retail stores—Manly is a lot like Bondi, except that it occasionally has epic waves (both beach breaks and points). Bonus Factor: Lots of skin on the beach, but no annoying lifeguard TV show.
  3. North Narrabeen: Narrabeen is famous for a reason—and that reason is epic lefthand sand-bottom barrels. Bonus Factor: Some big names in Australian surf history hail from Narrabeen, including former world champ Damien Hardman.
  4. Cronulla: The best surfing sub-region in Sydney? There are definitely many who would say so. Cronulla is chock full of quality beach breaks and heavy reefs. Plus, Occy comes from there. Bonus Factor: Shark Island. (Need we say more?)
  5. Ours: Haha, just kidding again—unless you enjoy charging death slabs and fighting gnarly locals. (Which, as it turns out, a few people do.) Bonus Factor: A great place if you like shellfish, as your bound to be digging clams in no time.


Sydney Water: Sydney is the biggest and most heavily populated city in Australia, so the water clarity is understandably sub-par. Surface temps are relatively moderate, however, ranging from 64 to 73 F (18 to 23 C).

The Season: Fall and winter are your best bet (March through August).

The Vibe: Depending on where you go, you could be mixing it up with kooks, pros, working class heroes and super aggressive gangsters. The only guarantee is that it will be crowded.

Things To Do: Sydney is the biggest city in Australia. If you can’t think of something to do, go look at the Opera House with all the other tourists.

Where To Stay: Lots of backpackers in Sydney, so you’ll have no trouble finding hostels and other relatively cheap accommodation options. Which part of the city you stay in depends on what waves you want to surf.

What To Bring: A shortboard and a step-up. A 3/2 wetsuit. Your fanciest flip-flops and a pocket full of cash. Your best hassling skills (and a ticket out of town to the nearby national parks when you realize that everyone else in the water can out-hassle you).

Getting There: Sydney Airports is one of the biggest in Australia, so this one is a no-brainer. Tourist visas can be arranged online before arrival and involve little to no hassle. Airport code: SYD.