Surfing and Australia are practically synonymous with one another, and New South Wales has some of the best beaches in the country. Here’s a rundown of Bondi Beach and Byron Bay, two of the most popular surf destinations in the area.
If you’re in the center of Sydney, hop on a bus or taxi and in 20 minutes you’ll be at the famous Bondi Beach. Both novices and experienced surfers alike will enjoy the atmosphere here, which becomes one of the area’s prime spots to relax and socialize once the warmer months arrive. First, decide if you want to stay in Sydney or on Bondi Beach, where you can find accommodation like Ravesi’s, a small boutique hotel there. If you have a few years of surfing under your belt, head to South Bondi, where the swells are perfect for short boarders. If you’re less experienced, check out one of the surf schools, like Let’s Go Surfing, which offers everything from private one-one-one sessions to group lessons to packages. If you want a good meal before or after surfing, head to The Hill Eatery, which serves up among the best best ethically sourced meals around. We suggest you try the breakfast salad, which combines poached eggs, kale, spinach, Spanish onion, cherry tomatoes and fresh avocado with quinoa. Then, peruse through Bondi Market before treating yourself to a gelato at Gelato Messina.
If you’re more after a beachy getaway kind of feel. Hope on a plane from Sydney and in about an hour you’ll be in Byron Bay, which is an untapped gem that is unlike anything else we’ve ever visited, but let’s just say the closest thing to it is Montauk-meets-the Caribbean, but with a more laid back feel. There are surf spots there for everyone as well. The Byron at Byron makes you feel like you’re in your own little rain forest bungalow, when you’re actually at a full-service luxury resort. If you’re just learning how to surf, we suggest you book a lesson or two or three with Rusty Miller, a local legend and 1965 United States Surfing Champion. We’ve taken a number of surf lessons, and we can certainly say that he’s one of the best teachers we’ve ever had. You can start surfing at The Pass, where you’ll be surfing on your own in no time. Once you’re hungry, go for a meal at Byron Beach Café, which has spectacular views. If you want to do other outdoor activities, try snorkeling or SCUBA diving at Julian Rocks with Sundive, or a beachside horseback ride with Seahorses Riding Centre.