Surfing can be dangerous so ensure you have the right knowledge and skills before heading out. Remember to check the conditions and don't surf alone. For more surf safety tips, visit beachsafe.org.au
If you want to try something new or meet like-minded people, contact a licensed tour operator. Parks Victoria licenses tour operators who can help progress your surfing and make sure you get the most from your session.
Great Ocean Road
Just a short drive from Torquay in Great Otway National Park, Bells Beach is one of Australia's most famous surfing spots. Home to the Rip Curl Pro, it's a must-visit for experienced surfers. It’s a popular spot for locals too, so remember to be respectful in the water. Here you'll find two long right-hand reef breaks that can even be connected when conditions allow. Visit between March and October, ideally when there's a south-west swell and offshore north-west winds. If you're not game to tacking the surf yourself, the viewing platform is a great place to watch the surfers in action.
Also part of Great Otway National Park, past Cape Otway is Johanna Beach. Experienced surfers come here for the left and right-hand beach breaks and large swells of up to five metres. It can be a heavy wave and is best surfed in smaller south-westerly swells and north-easterly winds. Nestled behind the dunes you'll find Johanna Beach Campground, so why not set up camp and make a weekend of it?
Next to the famous Twelve Apostles is Gibson Steps, part of Port Campbell National Park. Before you catch a wave, sit back and take in the spectacular cliffs. Visit when there are smaller swells and north-easterly winds.
Bells, Johanna and Gibson Steps are exposed beaches. There are often large waves breaking in shallow water, and the currents can be strong – they’re best suited to advanced and expert surfers. Leave no trace when you visit these remote, pristine locations.
Dip into the excellent surf beaches of the Mornington Peninsula National Park. One of the most popular spots is Gunnamatta Beach. High swells and reefs make for consistently good breaks. The mix of sand bars and the occasional rocky reef produce great conditions when the swell is coming from the south-west and the wind blows from north-easterly. March to May is a great time to visit.
Other popular spots along the exposed coast include Rye Ocean Beach, St. Andrews Beach and Portsea Back Beach.
You'll find similar conditions dotted along the coastline from Cape Schanck to Portsea. These beaches are generally for experienced surfers and feature dumping waves and strong rips.
There are several places to catch a wave at Wilsons Promontory National Park. Along with most of Victoria, winter brings the best waves and empty line-ups. The wide beach break at Norman Beach is best at mid to high tide and during easterly winds. The sheltered beach is popular with swimmers and surfing is only allowed south of Ramp 5. Squeaky Beach is one of the best surf spots at the Prom – the swell travels between Norman and Great Glennie Islands and results in more consistent conditions. A little further along, try Picnic Bay or Whisky Bay. Head to Wilsons Promontory for a day trip or stay at Tidal River. There's a range of camping and roofed accommodation options. Make sure you check out the peak season bookings page for information about staying at Tidal River over popular holiday periods.
The broad sandy beaches and powerful tides of Venus Bay at Cape Liptrap Coastal Park are also popular spots for surfing. They work best with moderate south-westerly swell and north to north-east winds. Westerly winds can blow out the surf and intensify the currents.
The wide surf zone at Sandy Point guarantees numerous breaks to spread out along. The beach runs from Shallow Inlet, where it is more exposed and catches most of the swell, to Waratah Bay, which is more sheltered and can be a great spot for beginners and families. The best conditions here occur in a moderate swell and north to north-easterly winds.
Cape Paterson Surf Beach is another nearby option with reliable surf that decreases in size towards the cape. The main break is a righthander but there is a left reef too. Offshore winds blow from the north.
Cape Conran Coastal Park has options for surfers of all abilities. The small beach break at East Cape is great for learners. The beach is shielded by the cape, which conditions manageable for beginners most of the time. The Houses, a reef break just off the beach, also works in a moderate swell, and just to the east of the beach is the tranquil wooded Banksia Bluff Campground. The surf at the remote Pearl Point is best tackled by experienced surfers. This spot works best in moderate swell and northerly winds. Camp close to the waves at the remote Pearl Point Campground.
Ninety Mile Beach is one of Australia's longest beaches, stretching for 125 kilometres. A fantastic spot for long nature walks, it's also popular for surfing. The best surfing is found at Red Bluff, where the reef provides consistent breaks. Another good spot is toward the lake entrance, which can produce some longer rides. All spots along Ninety Mile Beach are best in a north-westerly wind, with moderate swell from the south east.