Better than Pipeline? Try these epic Queensland surf events
If riding a wave is the greatest feeling in the world, witnessing your favourite pro shred waves must be a close second.
Whether you’re competing or just watching, Queensland 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.
Not to mention that the events are hosted in some of our state’s prettiest beach towns.
So before you get to Pipeline, try these four Queensland surf events on for size.
NOOSA FESTIVAL OF SURFING
22 February – 1 March 2020
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.
So special, it’s also just been named as the tenth World Surfing Reserve.
From under 15 years to over 70; from longboards to finless, the festival is a surfing buffet for everyone. You’ll catch dogs hanging ten, and tandem surfers too. Find your spot on the sand and let this event transcend your understanding of what surfing is all about.
The festival also includes the World Surfing League Noosa Longboard Open – enter for your chance to qualify for the world champs.
If you’ve never been before, here’s 6 awesome reasons why you should go.
If you’d prefer to stick to surfing tradition, park your campervan from $44/night at Noosa Caravan Park.
Your days will be booked solid with festival activities, heats, and entertainment, but you’ve gotta eat, right?
Noosa has fantastic dining scene, 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 for a 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 beauty (in one of only two everglades environments in the world!).
Noosa has a lot to offer beyond the festival, so it’s worth extending your stay to soak up seaside village vibes. To get you started, here’s how you can spend 48 hours in Noosa, a few free activities, and what to do if you have the kids in tow.
Outside of the competition, Noosa is home to some 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.
CORONA OPEN GOLD COAST
26 MARCH – 5 APRIL 2020
The big daddy of Queensland’s surf events. We’re talking 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 Corona Open. 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.
You’ll taste the salt air as soon as you touch down at Coolangatta airport.
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 $37/night.
Coolangatta’s good vibes, quiet coves and casual dining will keep you occupied for at least a weekend (here’s a great guide) but there’s plenty to do nearby if you get itchy feet.
A short 30-minute drive north takes you to the heart of the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise. But if you can drag yourself away from the beach, trade salt for fresh water at the ancient Springbrook National Park to experience 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.
Coolangatta may be small, but it serves up some big waves. None more iconic than at Snapper Rocks where the Pro is held.
For longboarders, Little Mali is a reef break off Rainbow Beach Bay.
Greenmount Beach is favoured by experienced wave chasers. So if that’s you, then you’ll also love the breaks off Kirra Point.
GOLD COAST OPEN
7 – 10 May2020
It’s no mistake that the biggest Queensland surf events are hosted at the state’s surf haven: the Gold Coast.
For non-stop action, hang-tens and the opportunity rub shoulders with the most elite surfers in the world, visit in February for the Gold Coast Open at Burleigh Heads.
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, get in on the action.
This year’s event features men’s and women’s surf divisions. There’ll also be live bands, skate pipe shows and jams, clinics and sunrise yoga sessions.
Or stay at the affordable Burleigh Beach Tourist Park with powered campsites and villa options starting from $48/night.
On and beyond the beach, Burleigh Heads dishes the goods: both on your plate, and when it comes to activities.
You can’t visit Burleigh Heads without getting in the water.
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.
Agnes Water Surf Festival
Surfing talent can be found along the entire Queensland coastline, and it’s on show during the annual Agnes Water Surf Festival.
Stay tuned for more details to be released soon!
Beyond Queensland surf events, you’ll find the waves worth catching year-round at these top surf breaks.