Burleigh-Heads-Barrel-Feature

Surfing endless stoke: 11 spots in Queensland for your next surf

“Radical dude, I was frothing on those barrelling bomb sets out the back.”

Clichéd surfing lingo is out and the search for awesome waves is in. Queensland has been the breeding ground of numerous world champion surfers who honed their skills on the long right-hand point breaks and beach breaks up and down the coast.  

So if you’re planning on chasing some warm water surf we put together a list of 11 surf spots to check out on your next surf trip.  

For those just starting out in their search for the stoke, check out these surf schools on the Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast to learn the basics.

Snapper Rocks

Starting on the Southern Gold Coast, Snapper Rocks is an amazing right-hand point break, dubbed the Superbank, attracting a crowd of shredders and grommets. It’s home to a world championship tour event – the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro. Rides of several hundred meters will give you jelly legs if you manage to paddle into a peeling set wave.

This break works best on E-SE swells and is relatively clean in southerly winds, the dominant wind throughout much of the year. It remains relatively consistent over most tides with the lower tide offering more barrel potential. Be prepared for a long paddle back against the current or a run up the beach in a bigger southerly swell.  

Kirra

Kirra has earned legendary status. In fact, it has been described as the best right-hand sand point break in the world. When conditions align it will throw up some of the best barrels of your life if you maintain the breakneck speed through the sections.

Big SE swells are best but in cyclone season even E and NE swells when the sand is right will have you whooping and hollering. Expect to share it on a good day with a few hundred of your closest friends.

Is even the possibility of just one clean wave worth it? You betcha!

If you’ve pulled a double shift in the water and struggling to stand, rest your aching body at Kirra Surf Apartments just a short walk, or crawl, up the sand. If Kirra is your first stop on a camping road trip pitch your tent at Kirra Beach Tourist Park and settle in for a week of waves.  

Burleigh

Burleigh Heads | Surfing spots in Queensland

Photo by @akheelmavjee

If you are still keen for more leg burning waves head north to the famed, Burleigh Heads. Here you’ll find another sand bottom right-hand point break. You jump off from the basalt rock-strewn point to bunt for the famous thick, heavy barrels.

Burleigh works best in a big S swell and is offshore in the winter SW winds, although it does offer great protection from the S-SE trade winds.

Once the sun sets head to Burleigh Brewing Company for a locally-brewed lager and to relive your epic barrel riding prowess. If you’re staying around town, we filed 48 hours for you here.

North Stradbroke

Leave Brisbane City behind for a weekend and catch the ferry over to North Stradbroke Island.

Main Beach at Point Lookout offers up a great wedgey left next to the headland below the clubhouse while beach breaks stretch off to the south along the 32km of sand. Being a sand island, it escapes the turbidity problems associated with heavy rain events so expect crystal clear water most of the year.

Main Beach will be highly dependent on sand conditions for the beach breaks, however, being more exposed wave heights will generally be a little bigger than on the mainland. Best in S swell events and offshore in SW winds.  

With camping and a surf school on the island, this is the perfect destination for a chill time away. If you’ve only got a weekend we’ve crammed the best of the island into this 48-hour itinerary.

If you need all the mod-cons on your beach stay consider booking into Allure Stradbroke Resort for modern beach shack vibes.

Moreton Island

Moreton Island surf | Surfing spots in Queensland

Photo by @samjuke

If you want a totally off-grid surf experience, pack the 4WD and head over the Moreton Island. Traversing the sandy tracks crisscrossing the island is half the fun and makes finding waves an epic adventure.

Exposed to swells from both north and south, waves abound on the east coast however you’ll have to plan your trip to hide from the winds.

Offshore in SW winds, there are a few spots offering protection from prevailing SE/NE wind combination. We won’t spill all the secrets here so seek and you shall find.

Pitch your tent at a number of campsites and for those pancake-flat days consider a side trip to the oldest lighthouse in Queensland.

Kings Beach

While Kings Beach in Caloundra won’t produce a world champion any time soon, it makes the grade on this list as it’s the best beach on the Sunshine Coast to hide from the NE sea breeze in summer.

As a patrolled beach, surfers are usually restricted to the southern end where you can generally find a bank offering up some fun with a few closeout air sections. Bodyboarders will rejoice on the fast shallow left breaking over the rocks just south of the groyne.

Just a bit further south, on the right conditions, Caloundra Bar can throw up waves that will go viral in seconds. It’s not consistent but when a big NE swell comes wrapping down the coast this is one spot to keep an eye on.

The Caloundra Coastal Walk links these three spots and offers a great vantage point for the early morning surf check and a warm-up walk.

Coolum Beach

Coolum Beach provided the training ground for current World Surf League competitor Julian Wilson, so it’s got to be good, right? Situated about halfway between Caloundra and Noosa, it’s a little more exposed to swell, particularly more southerly swells that are blocked further down around Maroochydore.

Coolum offers a vast expanse of sand to spread out on and chase a beach break further north. A small headland offers a sheltered corner for those learning to surf while the foreshore skatepark offers the chance to practise your grab rail airs.

To scope out the rest of the coast why not climb Mount Coolum which offers panoramic views of the coast and hinterland.

Noosa

Noosa Surf | Surfing spots in Queensland

Photo by @beckpayne

What I wouldn’t give to have been part of the first crew who stumbled through the bush onto the Noosa points.

Like the famed points on the Gold Coast, Noosa Heads is world famous. Offering great longboarding waves on smaller days, you can still expect to see a skilled crowd hanging 10 when the swells roll in. With such fun waves, you won’t feel out of place here if you ride old school vintage twin fins, replica single fins or just your high-performance thruster.

Noosa National Park offers multiple points and the further you walk the more the crowd thins. They’re best on southerly swells that wrap around the headland and protected from SE winds. That being said you might still find some waves on a NE swell as long as the wind is light.

If you just can’t get enough of the Noosa surf vibe why not time a visit during the Noosa Festival of Surfing. When it comes time to refuel, you’re spoilt for choice on Hastings Street.

Follow Phil Jarratt’s recommendations if you only have a weekend to spare.  

Double Island Point

Once a well-kept secret by Sunshine Coast surfers, the popularity of Double Island Point exploded after a cameo role in Endless Summer 2. You’ll need a 4WD to explore the area heading out from either Rainbow Beach or Noosa North Shore. You have to time your trek for tides so be prepared for an early start.

The setup features a wedgey beach break to the south of headland. While to the north, if the sand is right, you will be treated to an exceptionally long peeling right. With both sides of this headland offering fun waves, adjust your target destination depending on prevailing conditions.

You can camp on the beach in designated areas or if you prefer amenities then consider the Rainbow Beach Holiday Park. As surfers, we should have respect for the natural environment that provides our stoke so take your rubbish back with you and don’t drive on vegetated dunes.  

Agnes Waters

Agnes Waters | Surfing spots in Queensland

Photo by Reef2Beach Surf School via FB

Considered the last true surf spot on the mainland coast heading north, the towns of 1770 and Agnes Water in the Gladstone region offers up fun but inconsistent waves. While these can lack the power and structure of waves around the Gold Coast you can still whet you surf appetite here.

If you want to hang-five, the best conditions are a NE swell and light winds however it’s offshore in a south-westerly. A rocky headland gives way to a sand bottom wave. On flat days head out with 1770 Liquid Adventures to explore that area on a kayak.

Great Barrier Reef

While the consistent surf spots peter out on the Queensland coast, if you have an adventurous spirit and a boat head out to the Great Barrier Reef to look for waves. Not suitable for beginners, expect fast-breaking barrels over shallow reefs. However, if you time the run you can expect perfection like this crew scoredThis is one for the true surf explorer.

What’s your favourite surf spot in Queensland?

PS. If you can’t get enough saltwater vibe head along to these 4 surf and water sports events.