If you’re spending any time in Australia, learning to surf should definitely be high on your bucket list! Over 30,000 miles of coastline means thousands of surf spots, world class waves, and plenty of beach breaks perfect for beginners to get their first taste of pure stoke.
In this guide, we take a quick look at the different ways to learn, share our favourite Aussie surf spots that are perfect for catching your first waves, and round up our team’s pick of the best learn to surf packages available.
Should you go it alone, book a lesson or stay with a surf camp?
Ah the killer question!
There’s actually more to it than just time and money, so let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of each:
Board hire only
If you’ve surfed before, know what you’re doing, and feel confident in the ocean, renting a board and hitting the waves solo may work well for you. It’s also the cheapest option, happy days!
Book a lesson
If you’ve never surfed before, don’t be tempted to just rent a board and go; surfing is deceptively hard! Spend a few more dollars and get a proper lesson. You’ll have way more fun, be safer, and you’re also much more likely to nail that Instagram shot of you riding your first waves like a pro!
A good surf school will pick out the best spot for the conditions on the day, show you everything you need to know to get you up and riding, plus teach you a little about ocean safety.
A lesson is also perfect if you don’t have long, or want the flexibility of choosing as many or as few days as you need. It’s more expensive than board hire alone, but usually all equipment is included in the price which eases the blow a bit.
Stay at a surf camp
It’s a simple truth that the more you surf, the better you get. If you want to improve beyond getting up on your first white water waves, soak up the surf lifestyle, and make new friends, you can’t beat the experience of a surf camp.
It might be the most expensive option, but you get all the benefits of multiple lessons, plus everything, including meals and accommodation, is taken care of for you. All you need to think about is surfing and chilling!
The best surf spots in Australia for beginners
As a beginner, the best place to learn is at a beach break where you can catch broken waves in waist deep water, with no strong currents. Australia has a mind blowing amount of surf spots and loads that are perfect for beginners. Here are five of our favourites:
Byron Bay, New South Wales
With its laid back hippie vibe and a variety of breaks for all levels, Byron Bay is arguably one of the best places in the world to learn to surf. Check out Clarkes Beach at the Eastern end of Main Beach. It’s usually slightly less crowded, is sandy bottomed, and offers a gentle right-hander that is ideal for beginners.
Yamba, New South Wales
Situated in Northern New South Wales, picturesque Yamba is another classic Aussie beach town. Beginners have a couple of options here with Turners Beach and Main Beach both offering gentle waves, as well as breaks for more advanced surfers.
Spot X Surf Camp, New South Wales
Situated off the beaten track in Solitary Marine Park between Sydney and Byron Bay, Spot X Surf Camp is a dream location. You’ll find amazing waves with breaks suitable for absolute beginners right through to intermediate and advanced surfers.
What really sets Spot X apart from other locations though, is that it’s one of the few places where you can stay right on the beach. The perfect place to immerse yourself in Aussie surf life.
Noosa is famous as one of the best long boarding spots in the world and also offers a variety of breaks. Noosa Main Beach is one of the few north facing beaches on the East Coast so is well protected and ideal for beginners. Also check out Little Cove, another sheltered spot that is absolutely stunning.
Perth, Western Australia
If you’re hitting up Perth on the West Coast, you’ll still find plenty of opportunities to get some waves. The beginner breaks close to the city such as Cottesloe Beach, can get super crowded so you may find a little road trip pays off.
Lancelin Back Beach, just over an hour away, is beautiful and is usually uncrowded. For the best waves, try straight in front of the car park.
The best learn to surf packages in Australia
It’s not easy choosing between all the different options out there, so to help, we asked the experts (most of our team are die hard surfers!) for their top picks.
Here’s what they recommended…
Sydney to Bryon Surf Adventure with Mojosurf (7, 10 & 14 day options)
A surf camp with a twist, the beauty of this package is that you can use it to travel from Sydney to Byron (or vice-versa), as well as soaking up the surf life in the epic locations of Spot X and Byron Bay.
Spot X’s secluded location means you’ll eat, sleep, and breathe surf. With accommodation right on the beach, you can enjoy long days in the sun and nights around the camp fire with good company. You’ll also have the opportunity to add other activities, like surf rafting, river kayaking or kangaroo golf.
After Spot X, it’s on to the surfing mecca of Byron Bay for more lessons and after-surf fun with your new buddies.
Each package includes your surf lessons and equipment, transport, accommodation, plus all meals while you’re at the camp.
Click here to check out our Mojo Surf Adventures
Mojo Surf Academy and Surf Instructor Course
If a few days stop over in Spot X en route to Byron Bay isn’t enough to get your stoke going then why not take it a step further with the Mojo Surf Academy and spend 4 to 8 weeks enjoying the eat, sleep, surf repeat lifestyle?
You’ll have heaps of time to practice your skills and take your surfing to the next level before heading further up the coast!
Or for those who want to turn the beach into their office the zero to hero Mojo Surf Instructor Course is the way to go. This epic 3 month programme takes you from all the basics of popping and paddling right through to gaining your surf instructor certification – it’s the ideal way to turn your passion into a career even if you don’t have heaps of surf experience!
Click here for more info on the Mojo Surf Academy or the Mojo Surf Instructor Course.
Learn to Surf in Byron Bay with Stoked Surf School
If you’re short on time or funds, a half day adventure with Stoked Surf School could be the answer.
Stoked will take you on a fun road trip to find the least crowded spot with the best conditions on the day. They’ll then run you through some theory on the beach, before (hopefully!) getting you up and riding the waves.
Group sizes are deliberately kept small to make sure you receive enough attention from one of their qualified, experienced instructors, and a photographer comes along on every lesson to capture your best (and worst) moments.
Click here to book a surf lesson with Stoked Surf School
Which surf adventure will you choose?
However you choose to do it, make sure you do it! There’s no place on earth better to get caught up the surf lifestyle than Oz. But don’t say we didn’t warn you, it’s super addictive!
Check out our full selection of Learn to Surf packages in Australia and let us hook you up with an epic Aussie surf experience!