Better than Pipeline? Try these 4 epic surf events
If riding a wave is the greatest feeling in the world, witnessing your favourite pro shred waves must be a close second.
Regardless of whether you’re competing or just watching, the best surf events are incomparable in and out of the water. We’re talking gnarly waves during the day, a line-up of entertainment at night and endless summer, always.
Before you get to Pipeline, try these four Queensland surf events on for size.
NOOSA FESTIVAL OF SURFING
4-11 March 2017 – NOOSA
Surfers head to the Noosa Festival of Surfing every year to hone their skills, show off new moves and keep up with the latest styles and trends.
And there’s no better place for it. Noosa is undoubtedly one of the most stunning destinations in Queensland with national parks, picture-perfect beaches, and pristine surfing conditions.
From under 15 to over 70 and from longboards to finless, the festival is a surfing buffet for everyone. Place your beach towel down and let this event transcend your understanding of what surfing is all about.
If you’ve never been before, here’s 6 awesome reasons why you should go.
If you’ve saved all year to get to an event like this, you’ll want to live a little and splash some cash. If that’s the case, ditch the motel and treat yourself to room service, views and the many luxuries of a five-star hotel like the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort.
Or, you can stick to surfing tradition and park your campervan from $27/night at the Noosa North Shore Beach Campground. Nothing beats the falling asleep to sound of breaking waves.
Your days will be booked solid with festival activities, heats, and entertainment, but you’ve gotta eat, right?
Noosa has the finest restaurants, cafes and bars which means you’ll definitely find the right food fix to top up your energy levels. And once you’ve worked up a thirst, make like a local and head to the Noosa Surf Club on Main Beach to enjoy a cold beer or two.
Want to try a different kind of water sport? Trade board for kayak and head to the Noosa Everglades where you can paddle across 60km of river and lake systems. You won’t find waves here, but you’ll find natural pristine beauty.
Noosa has a lot to offer beyond the festival village so it might be worth extending your stay and mapping out a full itinerary. To get you started, here’s how you can spend 48 hours in Noosa.
Like the Calvin Harris and Rihanna song goes; “baby, this is what you came for”.
Outside of the competition, Noosa fosters sweet surf spots. First Point is most popular amongst the locals and it can get a little crowded, even when the festival is over.
Don’t worry, there are four other surf points in the main area of Noosa. And if you’re up for a surfari, venture across the river to the North Shore where you’ll find decent two-metre waves.
THE QUIKSILVER AND ROXY PRO 2017
14-25 MARCH 2017 – GOLD COAST
Ahh, the big daddy of Queensland’s surf events. This is worldwide TV coverage, elite athletes, and mind-boggling things done with a board.
All the BIG names in surfing will wreak havoc on the breaks off Snapper Rocks at this year’s Quiksilver and Roxy Pro and you can be there to watch it all unfold!
Coolangatta hosts this event every year and always puts on a good show. Nothing beats standing on the beach with the commentary in the background and the surfers on the breaks. Check out some of the highlights from previous championships and tell us you aren’t stoked?!
As soon as you hop off the plane at Coolangatta airport, you’re only metres from the beach and can taste the salt in the air.
And when it comes to accommodation, there is a variety of hotels and resorts such as the popular Mantra Coolangatta Beach.
If you’re travelling on a budget, head to the Kirra Beach Tourist Park. It’s close to all the action and you can snag a campsite from as little as $35/night.
Although Coolangatta is squashed up against the New South Wales borderline, there’s still lots to do on the Queensland side.
A short 30-minute drive north takes you to the heart of the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise. But why would you venture north when you can explore inland instead? Trade salt for fresh water at the ancient Springbrook National Park and experience the cascading waterfalls and nature trails. If you’ve never visited before, the highlight of your day trip will be Natural Bridge – a rock formation shaped by the sheer force of water on an erosive basalt cave.
No need to Google “what to do in Coolangatta”, we’ve got you covered with this epic itinerary.
Coolangatta may be small with approximately 4000 residents, but it serves up some big waves.
The southernmost break is Duranbah Beach. The locals call it ‘D-Bah’ and it’s known to conjure up aggressive waves!
Little Mali is a reef break off Rainbow Beach Bay. This is longboard territory.
Greenmount Beach is favoured by experienced wave chasers. If that’s you, then you’ll also love the breaks off Kirra Point.
WHITSUNDAY SUP CHALLENGE
7-13 MAY 2017 – WHITSUNDAYS
Stand-up paddle boarding (or SUP) is relaxing, a great way to stay in shape and even better when you do it in the Whitsundays.
The Whitsunday Sup Challenge is a holiday/competition/dream/best thing ever/something you need to book right now all rolled into one.
Hop on your recently rented yacht and pick and choose which SUP events you have the energy for and enjoy friendly competition. Once the day is done you’ll be sleeping on the deck watching the stars.
While you’re kicking back between races check out our guide to getting the most out of the Whitsundays.
And, if you really love SUP, here are the best places in Queensland to drop your giant board.
It’s all about the #yachtlife.
Or land-based accommodation.
Whatever floats your board (get it?).
You’re in the Whitsundays and are spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation, especially when the competition is based off the shores of Airlie Beach.
You can either soak in the sun at a five-star hotel like Pinnacles Resort or party on at the popular Magnums Backpacker Resort from approximately $24/night. Either way, you’ll have the time of your life.
“Where do I even start?” is the question you’ll be asking yourself.
If only you had a list of the top things to do in the Whitsundays *sigh*. Well, we’ve got that list and you can find it right here.
And if you’re on a tight budget, here are 13 free things to do in Airlie Beach and The Whitsundays.
25-28 JANUARY 2018 – GOLD COAST
It’s no mistake that two of the four events in this list are hosted on the Gold Coast. It’s Queensland’s surf haven!
But seriously, if you want non-stop action, hang-tens and the opportunity rub shoulders with the most elite surfers in the world, check out Burleigh Pro.
If you’re a pro and you want to warm up for the epic line-up of surfing events in the year, then this is the place to do it. If you’re a local Gold Coast surfer who wants to test your skills against the best in the world, then get in on the action.
Catch zzzz’s at the lavish Solnamara Beachfront Apartments and wake up refreshed for your daily dose of epic surfing.
Or stay at the affordable Burleigh Beach Tourist Park with campsites and villa options starting from $36/night.
P.S. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and polarised sunnies – it’s hot out here!
And when you’re not beachside, check out the raw foods and chic eateries on James Street or hit the shops for a new pair of boardies – you’ll find all the big brand names here.
If shopping’s not your thing, head to one of the theme parks. Dreamworld even has a Wave Rider where you can show off your skills. Or, if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, make it your mission to ride every rollercoaster.
You can’t visit Burleigh Heads without getting some gnar on the backside, bruh!
Go wave chasing at the Tallebudgera Creek mouth or paddle around the headland for more surf breaks and swells.
There’s also a handful of surf spots along Burleigh Beach that you can try.