Things to do
Beaches and surf Surf schools
Learn to surf on NSW’s beaches
NSW offers more accessible surf beaches than anywhere else in Australia, making it the ideal place to learn to surf. There are accredited surf schools up and down the coast, offering everything from short lessons to intensive, multi-day surf camps.
Surf schools in NSW
The NSW mainland coastline is over 2,000 km long, including more than 900 km of beautiful sandy beaches, and is home to nine national surfing reserves. The Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea work together to deliver some of the most consistent swells in the country, creating excellent surf conditions. NSW is a great place to learn to surf, with accredited learn-to-surf schools, surf safaris and surfing events up and down the NSW coastline.
NSW North Coast surf beaches are some of the best in the state. Beginners should head to Diggers Beach, a family-friendly surf beach where you can learn to surf in stunning surrounds. Nearby Byron Bay, Ballina, Angourie and Lennox Head Beach are where the 1960s surfing counter-culture took hold. Check out Lennox Head’s famed righthand point-break, or venture inside the north wall at Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach. Surf schools are spread out along the North Coast; try Surfing Byron Bay and Style Surfing School in Byron Bay, Kool Katz at Ballina, or head out on your own and catch a break at one of the area’s top surf beaches.
South Coast is also a very popular destination for learning to surf, known for its vast beaches and strong surf conditions. Shellharbour beach lies between Barrack Point and Shellharbour Village, with an easy wave at the beach's south end. Kiama’s Surf Beach offers opportunities for all levels of surfers, and in Kiama, you can sign up for a surf camp to Seven Mile Beach, which sits between Shoalhaven Heads and Gerroa. You can also book yourself or the kids in for a surfing school holiday program with Pines Surfing Academy in Wollongong, or head south of Bateman’s Bay to Broulee and take a surf lesson there.
beaches of the Central Coast are less than 2 hours’ drive from Sydney. Popular spots for surfing include Terrigal’s beaches, with Soldiers Beach at Norah Head known for its surf-friendly swell. Avoca Beach is a calm 2 km stretch of sand that offers excellent surf conditions with a northeasterly swell, and it’s a popular place to learn to surf. Or head to Umina Beach for beginners lessons with Central Coast Surf School, who also hold lessons at Avoca and Terrigal.
Enjoy Sydneys beaches like a local by following these simple beach safety tips. Always swim between the red and yellow flags surf lifesavers have identified this area as the safest spot to swim in the water. Its also a good idea to always swim with a friend.
Make sure you read any safety signs at the beach and you are always welcome to ask lifeguards for more safety advice. If you find yourself needing help in the water, stay calm and attract attention.
Check conditions before you go and find a patrolled beach by visiting beachsafe.org.au.