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Gold Coast Australia Surf Guide

Whether it’s the surf videos you grew up watching as a grom or the pristine right handers of Snapper Rocks laid out in your local surf magazines, the Gold Coast has made its name as one of the best surf cities in the world.

Set right near the border of New South Wales, the Goldy is on the east coast of Australia in Queensland and is about as close to heaven as you can find.

Gold Coast Surf Guide

Waves in Gold Coast

The best way to describe the waves on the Goldy would be something around the lines of “All Time”. With world-class waves and world-class surfers being a constant here, it’s no wonder why people flock year round to this surf haven.

If you’re natural footed, you’ll never want to leave.

The town of Coolangatta in the Gold Coast, with all the iconic breaks like Snapper, Kirra, Currumbin and Duranbah, is the land of rights.

You can find waves that suit you regardless of the swell size due to the way the coastline sits, allowing some protections from swell and wind over others depending on where you go.

Surf Culture at Gold Coast

The Gold Coast hosts a lineage of surfing legends like Paul Neilsen, Wayne Bartholomew, Peter Townend, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Stephanie Gilmore – this place continues to be the nesting spot of surfing talent.

The entire culture is centered around surfing where shoes aren’t necessary and the days are easy.

The people are laid back and the weather itself can bring you out of a funk with the striking sun and mesmerizing beaches – it is an easy going community founded in surfing where everyone connects through the coastal lifestyle.

You’ll find everything from hardcore comp surfers to the hippie-like soul surfers in the water and around the town.

Regardless of the type of surfers here, everyone is kind and welcoming – you'll find your place amongst the people within the Gold Coast effortlessly.

Gear Needed to Surf In Gold Coast

It stays pretty warm here all year round, only getting down to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter months.

In the summer, it can be as hot as 85 degrees Fahrenheit so boardies or a bikini is a guarantee for the majority of the year.

Regarding board choice, the entire quiver will suffice.

There’s spots to log, fish, mid length or shortboard based on what you’re looking for.

During the cyclone swells, a performance shortboard is ideal for the more advanced surfers.

The Best Places to Surf on the Gold Coast of Australia

Spot 1: Lennox Head

With a small park and street parking, it’s fairly easy to access Lennox Head. It’s the walk down the cliff that can get tricky but still easy to spot from the top of the cliff from the car park. 

An east facing point break, Lennox is natural footers’ paradise, with long right handers coming in off a conveyor belt of the point.

With a rock bottom and shifting sand bank, there are over the shoulder, long peelers that will result in weak legs by the end of one wave.

It takes any sort of eastern mix swell best with SW winds and isn’t very tide dependent.

Be expecting large crowds, some insane surfing, clean water and a fun time. This is a spot for advanced surfers, so if you’re looking for a place to learn, it might be best to just check this spot out and watch from the top of the cliff.

Spot 2: Duranbah

Also facing pretty directly east, Dbah is a beach that has multiple peaks that stretch from a river mouth rock wall on the southern end and wraps around to the north by Point Danger.

This spot stays pretty consistent and provides both lefts and rights, with a right wedging off of the break wall and some A-frames throughout the stretch. Then a left on the northern end by Point Danger.

Depending on the swell, this place can be a great place to learn for beginners when it’s mellow and on a larger swell it will be pumping out powerful and barrelling ones.

On certain tides, it can break further out and offer some long walls and reform into the inside along the sandbar that can barrel up. 

Spot 3: Snapper Rocks

One of the most iconic waves in Australia, flocks of people migrate to Snapper on a daily basis. If you can find a few to snag amongst the crowd, it’ll be worth your while.

Snapper is a right hand breaking sandbar that breaks fast around the point and slabs up to a barrel almost immediately. If you can handle the shelf and make your way around the section, you can high line and speed your way through to a nice canvas for some turns.

This wave is all about speed and works best on a mid tide with an ENE or ESE swell.

There is a carpack right along the spot and some neighborhood or street parking around the area and usually isn’t a big problem. 

Spot 4: Kirra

Kirra Beach is a stretch that begins at the top end of Big Groyne and ends in the north at Little Groyne.

At the top of the point, a perfect right hand barrel peels off on a proper swell.

It works best on a direct east swell or NE swell and some offshore SSW winds.

It is one of the most beautiful and clean barrels you can find in the right conditions, a long sectionless barrel.

Spot 5: The Alley

Known as Currumbin’s point break, the alley can be a proper right hand barrel on a larger swell.

It is a bit more protected than the other point breaks like Kirra or Snapper, but still a great place to find some barrels or carving sections.

There is a large car park that is right along the beach and easy access to paddle out.

What To Do In Gold Coast When the Waves Are Flat

There’s still plenty to do in the Gold Coast when it’s flat.

If the waves aren’t providing, the beaches are still a great option for laying out, beach days, swimming and hanging out with friends.

There’s also farmers markets throughout the week around Burleigh, Palm Beach, Coolangatta and Currumbin. 

There’s plenty of waterfalls and hikes to find within the area as well as museums, restaurants, cafes and events happening around the city and downtown strip to unwind and enjoy the city.

The Bottom Line: Surfing in the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast lives up to its name, as if the destination was dipped in the sun’s golden honey rays just for those who get lucky enough to experience it.

With many spots to choose from, visiting here is a must. Find some fun times, unreal surf, and get sunkissed in this land of gold.

Venturing through Australia and looking for more surf spots? Check out our guides to Newcastle, Noosa, & Byron Bay.


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