Surfing has been synonymous with Australian culture since the late 60s and no matter what the weather or season you’ll see surfers bobbing on the water all around Australia’s coast. But late summer is when the country’s surfing action really heats up and everyone, from first-timers and grommets (young surfers) to old-timers and professionals, grabs a board and hits the waves.
Between February and April is the best time for spectators to catch the action as Australia hosts the World Qualifying Series. Watch revered surfers at the Quicksilver Pro Gold Coast, Newcastle’s Surfest and Margaret River’s Drug Aware Pro. Cap it all off with a visit to iconic Bells Beach and the Rip Curl Pro and take your time exploring some of Australia’s most iconic beach destinations.
Quicksilver Pro Gold Coast, Queensland
The Quicksilver Pro opens the World Qualifying Series in late February on the Gold Coast. A year-round surfing destination, the Gold Coast likes to sleep late, tan hard and party all night long. Watch the pros rake up the sea at Kirra, Broadbeach and the legendary Snapper Rocks Superbank, home to some of the world’s longest waves.
Surfest, New South Wales
Surfest celebrates two World Qualifying Series events for male and female surfers. Held in Newcastle in early March, more than 10,000 people line Merewether Beach to see the surfers test their skills on the fabled right-hand breaks and huge southerly swells.
Drug Aware Pro, Western Australia
The world’s top surfers converge on Surfers Point in Margaret River for the Drug Aware Pro in mid-March. With around AU$100,000 in prize money up for grabs, as well as valuable points for the World Qualifying Series, this event is a must on every surfer’s calendar. As well as pumping waves, the gorgeous Margaret River region is equally revered for its fabulous wine.
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Victoria
Finish your surf tour on Victoria’s iconic Bells Beach. The Rip Curl Pro takes place over Easter and is the world’s longest-running surfing contest. Watch world champions such as Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning from a dramatic cliff top vista.