The Best Surf Spots on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is one of the most popular destinations in Australia for a beach holiday, and for a very good reason – it has everything! With lots of wide sandy beaches, patrolled swimming areas, amazing dining, and entertainment, shopping and more! There is every reason to book yourself a Gold Coast hotel and make it your next beach holiday destination. If you’re a surfer or looking to learn to surf, the Gold Coast is also known as one of the great surf destinations of Australia. There are lots of excellent surf breaks situated along the coast, so don’t forget to bring your board.

If you’re looking to do some surfing while on the Gold Coast, check out these awesome surf spots.

Surfers Paradise

If you’re visiting the Gold Coast for the first time, it makes sense to hit the popular Surfers Paradise as your first ride. It may be the most popular stretch of sand on the Coast, with a backdrop of high rises and a beach full of tourists, but don’t be put off by the crowds. There is often some good swell at Surfers and locals and tourists alike head here to ride the waves throughout the day. The swell here doesn’t quite stand up to the popular surf breaks further down the coast, but Surfers is a reliable spot where you can almost always find some waves.

The Best Surf Spots on the Gold Coast

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Snapper Rocks

Snapper Rocks is situated in Coolangatta, right at the southern end of the Gold Coast, about 40 minutes from Surfers Paradise. This is the crown jewel of Gold Coast surf spots, with the surf breaks at Snapper Rocks generally considered the best on the Coast. The Quicksilver Pro and Roxy Pro surfing tournaments are held here every year, with the world’s best surfers competing. As such, this is a popular surf spot and you’ll be competing with crowds when the swell is good.

Duranbah Beach

A hop across the border from Snapper Rocks will bring you to another popular surf spot which the locals call “D-bah”. Duranbah Beach is a small stretch of sand with a consistent, reliable swell that seems to be there even when it is flat everywhere else. The surf break is for intermediate to experienced surfers.

Rainbow Bay

If Snapper and Duranbah are too busy, or you’re not comfortable with the huge swell at these two well-known surf spots, head up to the long beach at Rainbow Bay. The surf off this nice stretch of patrolled sand is kind of fed off the huge waves at Snapper, and provides nice long, gentle waves that you can seemingly ride for miles. The waves here are great for beginners. The surf break here is considered one of the longest right-handers in the world.

Burleigh Heads

If you head down to Burleigh Heads at sunrise, you’ll almost always see a few surfers bobbing up and down among the waves while the first rays of light break over the horizon. The surf breaks off Burleigh Heads are an old favourite for experienced Gold Coast surfers, often providing huge swell with good barrels and long rides across the three breaks. For beginners, you can learn to surf straight off the beach. Burleigh Heads is the perfect spot for a morning surf, followed by a hearty breakfast at one of the excellent cafes right opposite the beach on The Esplanade.

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Currumbin Alley

Situated at the mouth of Currumbin Creek, the surf break at Currumbin Alley is world-class, with a nice reliable right-hander. “The Alley”, as it’s known to locals, isn’t just for experienced surfers, with nice gentle waves closer to the beach, perfect for novice surfers. If you’re looking to learn to surf, this is one of the best spots to do so on the Gold Coast, with lessons offered by the Currumbin Alley Surf School.

Kirra Beach

Kirra Beach is situated north of Snapper Rocks and Rainbow Bay and provides some good swell throughout the year, making it another popular surf spot on the Gold Coast. The surf here is easy to reach with a short paddle from the sand, often providing some nice long barrels. There’s plenty of fantastic spots for a post-surf feed at Kirra.

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Greenmount is like the “gentle giant” squeezed between Kirra and Snapper Rocks, providing long, gentle rides that any surfer can enjoy. If you’re looking for a relaxing session of long rides on your mal, or you’re a beginner looking to hone your skills, Greenmount is the place to go.

The Spit

The northernmost section of the Gold Coast’s mainland beaches is on the narrow stretch of sand known as The Spit. It stretches up from Main Beach to the rocky point where the Broadwater enters the Pacific Ocean. The most reliable waves can be found in the section between the jetty and the rock walls, where the gathered sand provides consistent swell. The waves here are often nice left-handers that eventually roll all the way onto the beach. It’s another great spot for beginners looking for a casual shore break.

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Miami, Mermaid, and Tugun

The beaches along the central Gold Coast such as Miami, Mermaid and Tugun often have some good beach breaks where you’ll find surfers when the conditions are right. These spots are less crowded than the more popular surf breaks and it’s all about looking at the conditions of the day to see where the surf is. Miami Beach also has a nice laid-back beach vibe to it and you can find lots of cafes and places to eat before or after your surf. You’ll find clean waves at Tugun that are perfect for beginners, but these beach breaks are generally best to get too early in the day before the wind picks up.

South Stradbroke Island

For experienced surfers looking for an adventure, head up to South Stradbroke Island for the day and ride one of the best beach breaks on the Gold Coast. This excellent break takes some skill and energy to paddle to, but is well worth it for the awesome peaks. Only tackle this break if you are an experienced surfer.

The Gold Coast really is one of the best spots to surf in Australia, with world-class surf breaks for the experienced surfers and gentle clean waves for beginners to learn the craft. Whatever your skill level, the Gold Coast has the surf for you. Make sure to pack your board for your next Gold Coast holiday. 

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