Sydney Surf Beaches

Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku popularised surfing on his visit to Sydney more than 100 years ago, first hitting Australian waves at Freshwater in 1914. His original board is still on display at the Freshwater Surf Lifesaving Club. Since then, Australia has produced many World Champion surfers.

Sydney has around 70 surf beaches that cater to all levels of surfing skill, from small waves for beginners to big breaks for the more experienced and adventurous. Five Sydney beaches feature on the National Surfing Reserve Register, a list of iconic surfing spots in Australia: Manly, North NarrabeenCronulla, Bondi and Maroubra.

Wave breaks near the shore on Manly Beach

East & south

One of Australia's most famous surf beaches is Bondi Beach, less than an hour on a bus from Sydney's city centre. You'll find serious surfers at the southern end of the beach, while boogie boards and bodysurfers occupy the northern end. Visitors to the area can all enjoy the myriad bars and cafes by the waterfront.

Further south is Maroubra, a kilometre-long curve of sand that attracts surfers, swimmers and families. The Cronulla area comprises four beaches; Wanda, Elouera, North Cronulla and Cronulla, and has a lively surf scene with local board-riding communities and lifesaving clubs.

Surfing, Palm Beach

Northern Beaches

Sydney's Northern Beaches, from Manly to Palm Beach, offer some of the city's prime surfing spots, including Freshwater, Narrabeen and Dee Why and Curl Curl. The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro takes place in Manly in March, with top surfers from around the world competing. In 2021, the World Surf League will hold three championship events at North Narrabeen in April.

Before heading to the beach, check Beachsafe for the latest updates.

Sydney Beach safety


Always swim between the red and yellow flags; surf lifesavers have identified this area as the safest spot to swim in the water. It's also a good idea to always swim with a friend.

Pay attention to the advice of the lifesavers and safety signs. Visit SharkSmart to understand any potential risks in the area you are swimming. You are always welcome to ask lifeguards for more safety advice. If you find yourself needing help in the water, stay calm and attract attention. Check conditions before you go. You can also find patrolled beach by visiting

Don't Miss These Surf Beaches in Sydney