The Gold Coast: A Surfer’s Paradise

Gold Coast Surf
Photo by Michael Dawes

Queensland‘s weather is iconic and known the world over for being beautiful one day and perfect the next. The climate is sub-tropical which means tourists and visitors are treated to gorgeous weather throughout the year, including during the winter months when the water temperature barely dips below 15 degrees Celsius.

The Gold Coast and Surfing

The Gold Coast is home to a 70km stretch of coastline. That includes epic point breaks, patrolled beaches, and active surf schools. It’s a fantastic place to learn to surf and there are plenty of surf schools to help you get started. Many of the surf schools promote their ability to get you standing on your very first lesson thanks to their experienced and friendly accredited teachers.

Many of the beaches offer perfect conditions for beginner and professional surfers alike, as the winds and easterly swells serve up one- to two-foot swells weekly.

The rest of the time favorable conditions are offered across the area and most have uncrowded waves so you can enjoy more of your time in the water.

Gold Coast Surfing Girl
Photo by

Local’s Favorite Beaches

According to the locals, some beaches are better to frequent based on their surfing conditions, parking, crowds, and point breaks. The beaches which are said to deliver constant ideal conditions for wave catching include: The Spit, Palm Beach, Currumbin Alley, Snapper Rocks, Cudgen Reef and The Other Side.

Arguably the most famous beach for waves is Surfers Paradise Beach. It is an iconic and legendary beach that is a melting pot of locals, tourists, shopping, grand high-rise residences, and deluxe hotel accommodation.

The location boasts access from the retail district straight onto a white sandy beach front that is frequented by winning surf schools and patrolled nearly 365 days a year by committed lifeguards.

It is interesting to note that Virgin Australia even named one of it’s Boeing 737s after this beach.

Safety is key

Water safety is a big focus for local authorities and it is important that you check out what precautions are on offer for each location you wish to explore.

Coastal Watch is an excellent website to visit for real-time videos and information on surf reports, forecasts, news and event information. You can also visit Information Centers to find a list of patrolled beaches on the Gold Coast.

Surfing competitions also feature strongly across the Gold Coast as they dish up premium conditions month after month. Head to the Surfing Queensland website to see the list of organised events, which is not only fantastic weekend entertainment but essential for learning some tips and tricks from the pros.

Gold Coast Surf
Photo by Michael Dawes

The best surfing beaches

Snapper Rocks

This beach is home to the legendary ‘super-bank’ – an open stretch which is said to have the world’s longest waves which includes a reported 1.97km wave opening at Snapper Rocks before closing down at Kirra!

Rolling sets come in and encourage the pros and budding surfers to crowd the barrels in hopes of the perfect wave. It is so popular that it hosts the Roxy Pro and Quicksilver Pro competition each year.

Currumbin Alley

This beach enjoys a gorgeous backdrop perfect for postcard photos complete with surfing enthusiasts. It is one of the most popular beaches along the 70km strip by tourists, locals, beginners and pros.

According to surf schools which operate from this location, it is one of the safest and easiest locations to learn to surf on the Gold Coast. It has gentle, sand bottom waves ideal for a first time surfer learning to perfect their turning and duck-diving.

Cudgen Reef

This beach is situated just over the NSW border. It is one of the only reef breaks you can access via the beach on the Gold Coast.

Solid fast right waves form here on the reef and off the creek mouth along the adjacent beach. The height and turn of the waves depends on the shape and position of the sand wave. It is considered a spot for professional and competent surfers only.

The Whole Story

Whilst the Gold Coast is known throughout Australia and the world as having some of the best surfing beaches, it is not always perfect.

Due to changes in environmental and weather conditions some beaches are suffering. Due to a decision to extend the sea walls near the Tweed River mouth The Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project was commissioned in 2001.

Workers continue to remove sand accumulating at Letitia Spit and pump it north to Gold Coast beaches which have been without the natural northbound flow of sand for three decades.

It is everyone’s job to keep the beaches healthy and make sure the Gold Coast continues to be a surfing paradise for generations to come.

Gold Coast Surf
Photo by Paul D’Ambra – Australia
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13 thoughts on “The Gold Coast: A Surfer’s Paradise”

  1. Thanks for comments guys.

    Chasing the Donkey, I love Gold Coast too, and would often get homesick when I’d be away for longer periods of time. But the thing is, now I often feel nostalgic for UK too, for example, and other places I’ve lived in. All are awesome! 😉

    Teo – I agree, as soon as we touch something, it’s not really natural anymore. I imagine it’s much easier to make money when there are conveniences (hotels, shops, etc.) all around the attraction, be it a beach or anything else.

  2. I’m not a huge fan of the Gold Coast. I went a few months ago to attend the Problogger conference and they’re building a tram line through the city centre so it’s a real mess! Even walking is difficult. I also don’t like all the young, drunk people that appear every night. The beaches are spectacular though!

  3. You raise a good issue. Snowboarders do have a responsibility of being more aware on their backside when riding. I’ve personally rarely every found this a problem, but it is a greater problem for us than for skiers.


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