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Sydney's Top 5 Surf Spots to Add to Your Bucket List

by Roxana Oliver

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Sydney without its surf culture would only be another city. Well, it will always be more than just a city, but you know what I mean! If you’re visiting Sydney and you don’t have time to check out all 70 beaches there, there are some you simply mustn’t skip.

From beginners to those who have a couple of barrels under their belt, you will find something for all levels and tastes. To help you get started, here are my top five surfing spots in a surfing heaven also known as Sydney. Take a look!


Bondi Beach


Bondi Beach is one of Australia’s best-known beaches, and there’s a good reason behind it. It’s more than a beach. Bondi is a lifestyle! If you’re a serious surfer, get to the southern end and see how you like it. If you’re not as experienced, head to the northern corner for some more peaceful waters. Bondi is also good for bodysurfers and those who only want to soak up the beach atmosphere. One thing that bothers me about Bondi is the crowd, especially on the weekends, so if you want to catch some nice waves in peace, better check it out in the twilight or on a weekday.


Manly beach


When the south winds are blowing, check out Manly Beach (the water’s chaos when a north swell’s coming up). If you knew what kind of legends had their first days there, you would head there right now. Beginner surfers have plenty of surfing schools to choose from, plus you can brag to your friends that you hit the same water as Pam Burridge, Bernard "Midget" Farrelly and Manly local (and my personal inspiration) Layne Beachley. What a list of names!


Shark Island


Shark Island, Sydney - Photo ikneedanid

If you’re a novice, better skip this one. I’ve been there a couple of times and it was absolutely crazy. If you’re a seasoned surfer who also happens to be a daredevil, definitely hit Shark Island, but be extra careful when surfing here because of the sharp reef.


Northern Beaches


Sunrise over Long Reef, Sudney - Photo by Crouchy69

Northern Beaches are quite popular amongst Sydney’s surfers, but also amongst those who only want to have a cup of coffee at the beach. If you’re in Sydney and you don’t know where to surf first, I recommend giving Northern Beaches a shot. Even though it can sometimes be a bit packed, you are bound to catch a wave somewhere along the 3 km (1.8 miles) of beach.

While you’re there, check out Long Reef with its sand and rock bottom. Long Reef is also popular amongst kitesurfers and hang-gliders because of its strong winds. Waves there are usually smooth and regular, perfect for any level of surfers. If you’re a beginner and the wind is strong, the conditions are usually milder in the southern corner, and if you’re ready to tackle the big guys, I recommend waiting for high tide. Long Reef is also a home of one of the most beautiful golf courses in Sydney where you can relax after surfing and try your hand at golfing. It’s also perfect for having a drink while enjoying an amazing view of Fisherman’s Beach.


Mackenzies Bay


This is a spot all surfers can enjoy, regardless of their level and experience. Mackenzies Bay is located on the north side and you can easily reach it from Tamarama Beach or you can even paddle from Bronte Beach. Mackenzies is all about the timing, and if you hit the right time….wooo! You’re going to catch some awesome waves. And it’s so special it appears only once every seven years! Talk about secluded paradise.


So, here they are, my top five surf spots in Sydney. If you’re planning on visiting, make sure to hit those spots and have an amazing time. Surfers of all levels can catch a wave at one of those beaches and take home some precious experiences! 


You can find out more about Roxana’s writing by following her on Twitter and Facebook. She is also one of the editors at Higstylife Magazine.


Are you planning a trip to Australia? Would you like to visit one of the birthplaces of modern surfing? Go to BookSurfCamps.com, choose a surf camp in Australia and get ready to chase the continent’s most iconic waves!

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