“There’s nothing that a good day of surf won’t cure” Willie Morris once said… And that’s why a surfer always lives in search of the perfect wave. I went “North to Noosa” (see movie at the end of this article) I planned an Australian surf roadtrip (or surf roadie, how they call it here) along the East coast and discovered the sweetest spots! Wanna do the same!? These are my favorite spots to catch a wave, enjoy good food and experience those cruisy vibes!
1. Crescent Head (NSW)
Surrounded by stunning nature…After a long ride (5 hrs) all the way from Byron we finally arrived in longboard heaven! My friend and I weren’t the smartest, as we flew from Sydney to Ballina to join the Byron Bay BLUESFEST(!), whereafter we started our campervan journey back to NSW to find some waves in Crescent Head. Normally I would suggest you to start driving up North from Sydney in order to pass Crescent Head first and then continue your way up to Noosa. Anyhow, most challenging here was probably our campsite in the middle of Hat Head National Park being totally back to basic without any lights at night and with barely any facilities, but hey?! what else do you need besides your bikinis, a surfable board, wax, sunscreen and an uncomfortable bed built inside your car!? The waves at Main Beach were small but clean and gave us a fun early morning session. Our plans for the rest of the day? Nothing really! As there’s not much more than the beach and two coffee spots Green Room Café & Two Tails Wagging that I totally fell in love with. We charged our energy levels (+ phones!) and read the oldest surf magazines ever! Life’s good….
2. Lennox Head (NSW)
At the Southern end of Seven Miles Beach…Upcoming but still quite unknown by tourists. This cute little coastal village offers just about everything you need to relax, unwind and perfect for an Australian surf roadtrip! From Byron to Lennox its only a 20 min drive through breathtaking scenery. It’s a perfect spot to park your van at night, save money on expensive campsites in Byron and enjoy peaceful environments with the Australian locals.
3. Byron Bay (NSW)
Byron how did you put that spell on me!? I could absolutely write a book about you, but unfortunately I only have a couple more hours before I need to hand in this blogpost. It’s one of my favorite places on earth, I kept coming back and then always stayed longer than planned. Despite all of the shark warnings and my own fear, I never stopped surfing these clean and beautiful waters. From The Pass, which is so super crowded, to Wategos and The Wreck at Belongil..surf is so much fun! I need to mention Black Dog Surfing here for sure as they have always been supporting me with surfboard hire deals and great kindness! Besides surfing we went on adventures…My friend and Byron Bay local Jessie Ehrenburg (check out her beach tipi’s here http://www.gingerandgilligan.com) showed me a secret route to get to amazing white sandy beaches such as “Whites Beach” hidden away from the crowds. For great foodies and coffee we couldn’t stop hanging out at the Bayleaf Café downtown or FOLK a little out of town. After amazing sunsets we mostly finished off our day with a Pacific Ale (Byron brewed beer) and a local band at either The Great Northern or Railway Friendly Bar. Good times guaranteed!
4. Coolangatta/Burleigh Heads (Gold Coast)
One of the Gold Coast’s favorite surf destinations must be Coolangatta. Other than the overrated Surfer’s Paradise, Coolangatta offers super chill vibes and great waves! The superbank (a 2km long sandbank) can be ridden all the way from Snapper Rocks towards Kirra Beach making it one of the longest waves in the world. Personally I loved surfing the Greenmount Point with its long stretched beach good for beginner surf (still some strong rips), but I also had great experiences at Kirra. A good hangout is the Quicksilver Boardriders store with a café, board hire and a barber shop right across the beach on Marine Parade. If you drive further down the coast you’ll end up in Burleigh Heads which is another coastal village with nice beaches, sweet surf, hiking trails and a lovely café called Burleigh Social with delicious juices and nutritious after surf foodies!
5. Mooloolaba/Caloundra (Sunshine Coast)
How travel creates friends and friends create networks! (I wanna wipe away a little tear right now knowing that my friend is literally on the other side of the world and I miss her lots!) On the road, she introduced me to a lovely Australian couple that hosted us for a few nights down the Sunshine Coast. It wouldn’t have been Aussies if there weren’t any surfboards in the house, and gosh how new and fresh they were! Thus, man of the house took us into the waters of Caloundra at 6am and it was tough but absolutely thrilling! Best & beautiful beaches are: Currimundi, Dicky, Kings and Moffat.
6. Noosa (Sunshine Coast)
Blessed with a beautiful array of nature, clear blue water and pristine beaches….we arrived at our final destination: Noosa! Behind all the beauty, Noosa has a prestige sort of flair with upper class tourism in which I find myself almost uncomfortable when walking out of the surf without make up and frizzy hair, thus I wouldn’t call it a chill surf town but once you walk up to the National Park and find these amazing hidden beaches you know that it’s all worth it! I remember that I sat on my longboard at Tea Trees (a right hand point break) while the sun was setting over the water….no words even describe that magical moment and it made me realize again how lucky I was for being there! During a little ride through town we found Husni Ridhwan’s (one of the main characters in the “North to Noosa” short film) surf store and we couldn’t resist to go in and have a look and little chat with this Javanese wave rider. Another gem that we found was Belmondos Organic Market with Clandestino Coffee Roasters, a crazy cool roastery that is a must on your Noosa To-Do list!
As moments fade away and memories last for ever, great friendships were made and an unforgettable journey states in our hearts. As road trips are the foundation of a surf culture, this has been a voyage of discovery that I can only pass on to you! Unfortunately ours lasted as little as 2,5 weeks but if only it could take a bit longer… Till next time!
Watch the short film: North to Noosa here.
*Mandy is one of our guest travel bloggers that has lived in Australia for 1,5 years, she is now back in Amsterdam planning her next adventure! Read more of her articles here!