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Where to Surf in Sydney Australia in 2024

One of Australia’s biggest cities and the capital of New South Wales, Sydney is a popular spot for Americans to hear of and visit when in Australia.

A land of many world-renowned beaches, waves and popular tourist spots, it’s a hard place not to get lost in. 

Here’s an outline of the waves to expect when traveling to Sydney.

Sydney Surf Guide

Waves in Sydney

The waves in Sydney vary from beach to beach, with both reef, rock and sand bottoms.

Depending on the area you choose, you can easily find a wave that suits your surfing best.

There’s plenty of places for beginners to learn the trade or sketchier spots for the more advanced surfers to chase some swell.

Surf Culture at Sydney

The surf culture in Sydney is a bit more bustling than other destinations in Australia.

Since it is a big metropolitan city, there’s much more going on than simply surfing.

The community is larger and goes beyond the classic easy going small surf towns, but still find some friendly people and good friends. 

Gear Needed to Surf In Sydney

You can bring any board of your liking depending on what type of waves you’re looking for, a shortboard or twin fin would work nice but a log can work in the right areas.

The water temperatures in the summer months are around 75 degrees Fahrenheit so a swim jacket or some boardies are the call.

A 3/2 mm full suit is the best idea during the coldest months at around 63 degrees Fahrenheit.

You’ll definitely be needing a leggy due to the crowds and waves going on around Sydney.

The Best Places to Surf in Sydney

Spot 1: Bondi

A beach straight away from the center of the city, Bondi is one of the most popular beaches known around the world.

There is a large carpack right along the beach that allows for easy access, along with parking along the city streets or neighborhood parking.

It’s nearly a mile of beach that has various breaks throughout.

It can be a bit chaotic due to the amount of tourists, families, kiddos, groms and everything in between frequenting this beach. 

A classic beach break, the waves slab up pretty nicely depending on how the sandbar is going, since it is shifting a lot due to the southerly swells.

You can find some quick barrels or speedy turns on these waves, so a shortboard best suits Bondi.

It can be a bit wompy on a higher tide and thrash you around, but a fun place to snag a proper bowl.

Spot 2: Manly

One of the best surfing spots you can find in Sydney, Manly beach has three sections: Manly, North Steyne, and Queenscliff.

This place can be great for logging on smaller days and fun for fish or shortboards on larger swells.

The locals are fairly friendly and not too intimidating of a place. It works best on an easterly mixed swell and funnest when it's about head high.

If you’re a beginner, this is most likely the best place to learn as the crowds are minimal and the waves can be perfect canvases to learn on mellow days.

Spot 3: Coogee

This is a left breaking point break along a reef bottom that works on larger swells.

This is not a place for beginners, as it breaks on above average swells and requires a bit more high performance of boards.

There is public parking and easy access to the beach, whether you’re looking for some waves or a spot to watch the surf. 

The waves are powerful and long, starting off with a fast barrel and turning into a wall for turns and carves until reaching the shore. The reef bottom is coral and has sharp rocks intermixed, so surf at your own risk.

Spot 4: Tamarama

Tamarama Beach is a reef break that holds fast and peaky waves.

There is parking along the streets above that allow you to walk down a boardwalk to the sand and along a narrow stretch of beach to paddle out.

It’s a small, sheltered beach that takes in southeast swells during the winter and spring months the best as it usually isn’t breaking most of the year.

Mostly a left hander, you can snag a few rights as long as you stay cautious of the rocks on the northern end of the break. These waves can be fun for shortboarding, finless, or bodyboards.

It’s not very tide dependent and the crowds are fairly manageable if you’re looking for a quick surf. 

Spot 5: Bronte

Bronte Beach is a reef break that peels off some long right-handers.

On a bigger swell and mid tide, you can catch some beautiful waves of your dreams on a shortboard or fish.

This spot is best for intermediate to advanced surfers as it can be a bit too busy and hectic of waves for a beginner.

It takes the southeastern swell the best with west swells to create offshore, perfectly shaped waves.

What To Do In Sydney When the Waves Are Flat

If the surf isn’t ideal, there’s nearly an endless list of things to do in Sydney.

You can explore the famous Sydney Opera House, shop around, find museums, art galleries, and gardens mixed within the city.

The beaches still provide a beautiful place to lay out and spend some time in the sun as well as restaurants and cafes with friends.

The Bottom Line: Surfing in the Sydney

Sydney is well-known for a reason and a spot to check out if your travels lead you to Australia.

The surf is good, the people are kind and the city is lively. Wouldn’t be a bad idea to add this to the list of pit stops on a surf trip – or any trip at that.

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


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