Categories > Guides and Tips

A Guide to the Best Surf Spots in Brisbane

A Guide to the Best Surf Spots in Brisbane

Brisbane perfectly encapsulates the Aussie spirit with its laidback lifestyle, stretches of pristine coastlines right at its doorstep, and crystal blue waters that form ripper swells! 

If you’re wondering whether there’s surf in the River City, you came to the right place! Brisbane boasts easy access to the best surf spots in the Sunshine State whether you’re an absolute newbie, a seasoned wave rider, or simply a sun-seeker. 

You’re sure to get stoked as we take you through our guide to the best surf spots in Brisbane! 

Where is Brisbane?

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland located on the east coast of Australia, with the Brisbane River flowing right through its CBD. The bustling metropolis is situated right in between the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast where surf breaks are aplenty! 

The best surf spots are just a few minutes or hours away from the city. So buckle up for a road trip and maybe a ferry ride, too – the waves are calling, mate!

Where to Surf in Brisbane

To surf in Brisbane, you’d need to drive up north or south to catch the breaks. And the great thing about this is, there’s an ocean of possibilities (pun intended)! 

Drive up to Noosa, sift through the sands of the Gold Coast, or hop on a ferry to Straddie, there’s definitely surf wherever you go. Now all you have to do is to search for that perfect break based on your skill level or preference. 

To get you started, check out the best spots that should be on your wave radar! 

The Gold Coast 

The Gold Coast
Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast / Image Source: Flickr

Travel Time: Approx. 75 minutes south of Brisbane

The Gold Coast glitters with surf, it’s the ultimate mecca for wave riders! With 57 kilometers of coastline, there’s definitely a surf break for every skill level – the Gold Coast isn’t called “surfers paradise” for no reason! 

Wanna watch some pro surfers ride through giant tubes? Or maybe paddle out to meet them at the line up? 

Head to legendary Queensland surf break, Snapper Rocks, which is a world-renowned spot that’s home to the Gold Coast Pro. It’s part of the man-made point break, Superbank, which forms one of the longest and most consistent waves in the world! 

On a good day, you can paddle out to Snapper Rocks and ride all the way to Kirra Beach. It’s also known for huge tubes reaching up to 8 feet! 

Since this surf break is one of the most popular in Queensland and even the world, expect the lineup to be pretty crowded most of the time. But it’s still worth the visit if you wanna watch the pros cruise through colossal waves. 

Despite the rise in popularity of Superbank, Burleigh Heads still boast one of the best right barrels down under. The OG Gold Coast surf town still delivers consistent swells ideal for all skill levels plus a vibrant cafe culture flocked by both locals and travelers. 

Meanwhile, Kirra is known for legendary right-hand point breaks on Kirra Point – another favorite among rippers. The endpoint of the Superbank, Kirra Beach, can be a great spot for beginner surfers. 

And lastly, Currumbin is perfect for absolute newbies as there’s several surf schools you can join for some fun sessions learning the waves. 

Pro Tip: 

  • With a number of surf breaks on the Gold Coast, it’s important to choose the best spot to match your skills. If you’re a beginner, then head to beginner-friendly spots first and it’s best to take lessons, too. 
  • Check the surf forecast before heading out. We recommend checking Surfline, Magicseaweed, and Swellnet for up-to-date info on the swells. 

Where to Stay: 

Noosa, Sunshine Coast

Noosa, Sunshine Coast
Image Source: Flickr

Travel Time: Approx. 2 hours north of Brisbane

If a laid-back little surf town’s more your vibe where you can catch some waves, relax by the beach, and just soak in the scenery, then Noosa Heads would be right up your alley! 

It’s on the northern tip of the Sunshine Coast and if you’re a beginner or longboard surfer, the Noosa Main Beach and Noosa Groyne would be your go-to spots. The waves are gentler on these beaches so they’re perfect for practicing your pop-up! 

For experienced surfers, you can head to the Noosa “Points” where you can ride through the most awesome swells on good days.  

While the Double Island Point break is a hidden surfing gem to the south of Rainbow Beach where the waves are endless and you can enjoy peaceful, uncrowded bliss! 

There’s so much more to explore in Noosa apart from the surf as it’s just so easy to fall in love with its overall lifestyle, beautiful natural surrounds, and colorful cuisines!   

Pro Tip:

  • It’s important to note that the Noosa Surf Breaks are internationally recognized as a World Surfing Reserve. This means that the local community is passionate about preserving their beautiful surf breaks. 

Be mindful of surf ethics as they practice three core values in surfing – Share. Respect. Preserve. 

Where to Stay: 

North Stradbroke Island 

North Stradbroke Island
Image Source: North Stradbroke Island Facebook

Travel Time: Approx. 2 hours from Brisbane with ferry ride

North Stradbroke Island or “Straddie” is a spectacular piece of paradise just off the coast of Brisbane that can be easily accessed by ferry from the Redlands. 

If you came there for the surf, then you’re in for a ride! Straddie boasts of beautiful beaches with swells that can really go big! 

Main Beach is where the wild waves are and one of the most popular left-hand point breaks for advanced surfers who can tackle liquid mountains. 

A more family-friendly beach is Cylinder Beach that’s patrolled all-year round. You can enjoy its gentler waters perfect for swimming and body surfing, but on some days it could also serve up some serious swells! 

Finally, Frenchmans Beach is a good choice in the winter with westerly and SW-S winds. But take note that the beach is not patrolled so it’s not an ideal spot for swimming or surfing without a companion. 

Apart from the surf, there’s so much to explore in Straddie with its lush environment, diverse wildlife, whale watching opportunities, rich heritage, and much more! 

Pro Tip: 

  • The waves are generally good during summer and winter. Expect large crowds in the summer, though, but if you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit Straddie in winter.  

Where to Stay:

Woorim Beach, Bribie Island

Woorim Beach, Bribie Island
Image Source: Flickr

Travel Time: Approx 75 minutes from Brisbane

Now here’s a beach for the most absolute newbies! If you’re really just curious about how it feels to get on that board, Woorim Beach in Bribie Island is the perfect place for first-timers. 

It’s also very accessible as you can get to it by land in just over an hour from Brisbane, then head to Woorim Beach located on the southeastern part of the island. 

Woorim Beach generally experiences a shallow shoreline break that transforms into more substantial waves further out. Waves typically range from 0.5 to 1 meter, although they can also get significantly larger occasionally. 

To make the most out of your time catching your first waves, take surf lessons from Bribie Island Surf School!

The island is good for a day trip but it’s also a great idea to spend a night or two camping. You can also book one of their accommodations if you’re not too keen on setting up camp. 

There’s also lots to explore including the Bribie Island National Park and the Pumicestone Passage, which is a protected marine area. 

Pro Tip:

  • It’s recommended to bring a 4WD vehicle to Bribie Island so you can easily access all areas of the island. But if you don’t have a 4WD vehicle, there are rentals available as well as 4WD tours. 

Where to Stay: 

When to Surf in Brisbane?

The best time to surf in the Brisbane surf spots and Australia in general is during winter time from May – September. This is the best time for beginners, too, as waves are more consistent. 

But for perfect wave conditions, it varies for every surf break so it’s always best to check weather and surf forecasts from Surfline, Magicseaweed, or Swellnet. 

Tips When Surfing in Brisbane

So you think you’re ready to ride the Queensland waves? Here’s some tips before you paddle out! 

  • Be ready to go on a road trip to the surfing destinations as they’re not within the Brisbane metropolis. But don’t worry, the best spots are just 1 to 2 hours away! 
  • Choose the right surf spot based on your skill level and preferences and don’t force yourself to tackle waves beyond your skills. Always remember, SAFETY FIRST!
  • Check the weather and surf forecast.  
  • Be mindful of surf rules and proper etiquette. 
  • It’s best to take lessons especially if you’re a total beginner. 
  • Stretch and warm up! 
  • Make sure to apply sunscreen and stay hydrated. 
  • And most importantly, have fun!

Related topics