Winter in the U.S. is summer in Australia. At this time of year, some of the best surfing beaches are in this incredible South Pacific nation completely surrounded by water.
I have a group of surfer friends who love to combine surfing and travel to exotic areas. Whenever I go with them, even as a non-surfer, I find the surfing areas make great vacation destinations. Surfers know where to find good food and comfortable, yet affordable accommodations just as they can find good waves. Here are five great surfing areas in Australia:
Eaglehawk Neck, Southeast Tasmania
Enjoy surfing in the clean waters of Eaglehawk Neck and Pirate’s Bay. While riding the great waves, surfers often find themselves accompanied by dolphins and seals. The more hardy far off-shore riders occasionally get close up and personal with friendly whales.
The cool place for a casual meal and to meet up with other surfers is Doo-lishus, a cafe (and also now a food truck) owned by local fishermen. As you watch the waves from the outside porch, you can dine on the very best and freshest fish and chips.
Yallingup, Western Australia
Surfers really love the thrills and challenges of what the ocean brings to the seaside resort town at the mouth of the Margaret River. Yallingup features a wide beach and tall, rolling waves at three excellent surfing areas, known as the Three Bears.
The local Yallingup Caves Hotel is best to drink, eat and spend a day or two. Nightly room rates range from U.S. $100. The hotel’s seaside pub serves great food and all varieties of Aussie and imported beers, wines and liquors.
Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland
The Surfers Paradise city skyline is a line-up of sparkling new high-rises along the beach area. It has long sandy oceanfronts, high-rise hotels, shopping, restaurants, pubs and amusement parks. There are year-long surfing areas, and celebrations of the sports each March with the Quicksilver Pro surfing competition and the Surf Life Saving Championships, known as the “Aussies”.
For surfers on a budget, with rates from about $40, there’s the Sleeping Inn Backpackers . The hotel normally runs a pay six nights, get one free promotion. For good food and mixing with locals and tourists, there’s Waxy’s Irish Pub.
Boomerang Beach, New South Wales
This beach is just a few miles south of the town of Forster, and a very popular surfing destination. The ocean waves come to shore in perfect harmony, and sometimes accompanied by friendly dolphins.
Mobys Retreat is a modern hotel, consisting of individual beach houses, is located near Boomerang Beach sites, and offers accommodations for singles, couples and families. Facilities include pool, sauna and tennis. Nearby, there’s boating at Smiths and Wallis Lakes. Prices are $180 for one-bedroom unit.
Poolside at Mobys is Buddha by the Beach, an indoor-outdoor restaurant with contemporary Australian and Asian menus. Our friends suggested we order the twice-cooked duck, spicy veggies and coconut rice.
North Narrabeen, Sydney, NSW
Surfing areas are formed by a sand dune peninsula that stretchs for three miles along the beaches. There’s a tidal lake near the surfing beaches that serves as a splashing playground for children. Narrabeen is a short 30-minutes from downtown Sydney, Australia’s largest city.
Our Aussie friends recommended Sydney Central Backpackers. The hostel located near the Botanic Gardens and Harbour Bridge in the Kings Cross neighborhood. In addition to daily maid service, there’s a community kitchen and a rooftop garden for sunning and picnicking. Prices are from $40, which includes breakfast and airport pick up.
An indoor-outdoor lakeside restaurant is Limani Seafood. Fresh Australian-style dishes include rock oysters, prawns, salmon and crab.
Freddy Sherman is a world traveler and editor of the travel blog travel4people.com. You can follow him on twitter, @thefredsherman
More from this contributor:
International Luxury Train Trips
Using Tripadvisor.Com To Get the Best Room Rate
Visiting Ollantaytambo in Peru’s Sacred Valley