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Learn to Surf on Your Aussie Gap Year!

About 4 months ago, I had never touched a surfboard in my life. Now, I surf at least two times a week and love it! Learning to surf on your Aussie gap year is a must. Surfing is the perfect hobby to get in to. Not only is it great fun, but you will meet loads of new people, and see lots of incredible beaches! 

Hey! My name is Bernie, I came to Australia 4 months ago on a working holiday visa. I’ve always enjoyed adventure spots (skating, Skiing, BMX) so learning to surf on my Aussie gap-year was a must on my bucket list! I started surfing 2 weeks after arriving in Oz and haven’t stopped since. In all the time I have been surfing, I’ve never seen a shark, just some friendly dolphins! Having the right location, and right support can be crucial when learning to surf. You can just throw yourself in head first (literally!), or you can have some lessons to get yourself kickstarted. Below are four of my favourite spots for learning to surf!

4 Great Beginner Surfing Beaches in or Around Sydney:


7 Mile Beach

Though Gerroa is a couple of hours south of Sydney, 7 mile beach is a great beach to learn on. You have (the clue is in the name) 7 miles of beach to play with, so you can take up as much room as you like splashing around! If you’re lucky, you may even bump into some friendly dolphins while surfing, which is a pretty surreal experience! This is where Surf Camp Australia is based – which is an amazing 2 or 5 night experience. Everything is organised for you: the transport there, accommodation, more food than you could wish for, and surf lessons. Quite literally ‘Surf, eat, sleep, repeat’. If you want to surf on your Aussie gap year, and are keen to get your surfing kickstarted, UltimateOz Surf Camp at 7 mile beach is the way to do it! Check it out here, or email the Ultimate travel crew to get booked in.

Bondi Beach

Bondi is Sydney’s most famous beach, I’m sure you’ve heard of it already! Not only does Bondi have a great atmosphere, but it is fantastic for learning to surf. Rent a board and jump right in, or you can get a few surf lessons to get the ball rolling. Check out our Ultimate Sydney package if you’re keen to kickstart your surfing at Bondi!  

Maroubra Beach

Maroubra is a few beaches south of Bondi, just below Coogee. Well renowned for being a wave magnet, Maroubra is a very popular one with the local surf addicts. Fortunately, it is not quite as popular as Bondi so you should have a little bit more space to do your thing!

Garie Beach

Located in the Royal National Park, Garie beach is just over an hour drive south of Sydney. The drive down there is amazing, with great views of the national park and surrounding nature. Garie is popular with Aussies, so you are bound to bump into some cruisey chaps living in their cars with a surfboard! The beach is pretty quiet even on the busiest of days, so you will be able to have a paddle in the water without worrying about others. And you have over a kilometer of beach to play with!


So there you go, my favourite four beaches in and around Sydney for beginner surfers! There’s no better time to learn to surf than on your Aussie gap year. Just dive in, give it a go and you’ll be having fun in no time. And remember, the best surfer out there is the one having the most fun! 

I haven’t ventured to North Sydney just yet, so apologies if I have missed out any real gems! Let me know down below if there are any good ones I have missed.

P.S. All photos were taken by me – follow @bern_ek on Instagram to keep up with my surfing adventures!

Why You Should Go To Surf Camp Australia

Is it just me or is “surfing” one of the first things that pops into your head when you think about Australia? Not that Australia is the only country where you can surf, not even close! But it just has that vibe, you know? Warm weather, tropical beaches, blue water, blonde-haired surf dudes and chicks, Rip Curl and Billabong… Surfing is just Australian culture. If you don’t go surfing once when you’re traveling in Australia, you’re definitely missing out!

1. The best way to learn how to surf

This wasn’t my first time trying to stand up on a surfboard, but I was probably one of the few people that had tried surfing before Surf Camp. I was super stoked that I was surrounded by people that all came to try surfing for the first time. You don’t feel like you’re better or worse than anyone. Everyone is on the same level, a.k.a. the beginner’s level and the only reason why you’re together at Surf Camp Australia is to learn how to surf, have a great time and make memories.

Since I only have weekends off, I did the Weekender / 2-day Surf Camp. Over the whole weekend, there were 3 full surf lessons, which is very intense..but amazing!

2. The itinerary: Sleep, eat, surf, eat, surf, eat, party, sleep and…Repeat!

Saturday you wake up early, have a big breakfast and head straight to the beach. After a super fun introductory surf lesson, you head back to camp and lunch is served. There is another surf lesson that same afternoon and then another one Sunday morning. In less than 2 days, everyone in my group was able to stand up on their surfboard and catch some kick ass waves. Surf Camp managed to turn us all into actual surf dudes and surf chicks in only 2 days! “Gnarly, dude!”

Learning to surf at Surf Camp Australia

3. Amazing instructors

Every experienced surfer can make it look so easy, but it’s actually a very difficult sport. It can be quite exhausting and everything depends on what mother nature decides to do with the weather that day. There are 3 factors that determine whether you’ll have an easy or hard time surfing: waves, wind and tide. Luckily, there are plenty of professional surf instructors at Surf Camp to teach you how to surf in different weather conditions.

4. Group and individual help

That’s what I liked the most about Surf Camp! You’re at camp with a big group, but you still get individual help during the surf lessons. When I was at Surf Camp, my group consisted of 50 people! It was great to be able to meet so many people and I felt like I became part of a big family of beginner surfers. But 50 people is quite a big group to learn how to surf. So to make the surf lessons more productive, they put us into much smaller groups, of about 10 to 15 people.

For each small group, there were 2 surf instructors, which is why everyone at surf camp had the chance to receive some individual help each surf lesson. The surf instructors go into the water with the group without surfboards and help you pick the best wave and get onto your surfboard. Too bad I wasn’t able to do the 5-day Ultimate Surf Camp, because I definitely would have become a professional surf chick if I would have had more time to practice!

The instructors at Surf Camp Australia are awesome!

5. The real Aussie experience

When you arrive at Surf Camp Australia, it looks like you’re stranded in actual surfer’s paradise. Everything is colourful. There’s sand everywhere, palm trees, fun surf quotes in the cabins – an instant feeling of holiday and summer! But it’s mostly the instructors and people that work at Surf Camp that make you feel like you’re in paradise. They live and work at Surf Camp every day and the only thing they want is for you to have a good time. The atmosphere is great, peaceful and super laid-back. All of them use Aussie slang, make Aussie jokes and they make you do the shaka sign probably every 5 minutes! In other words, it’s the actual Aussie experience and it’s awesome!

Learn to surf Aussie style at Surf Camp Australia

6. The best food you’ll ever have

You know that feeling of terrible hunger you get after you go swimming? Well… imagine that feeling, but 10 times worse. Surfing takes up so much energy and you’re literally starving when you’re done with a surf session and you get out of the water. Luckily, the kitchen team at Surf Camp Australia are life savers (aka incredible chefs) and every time they manage to make the best food ever.

When I was at Surf Camp, they prepared the yummiest meals for us. Hamburgers, ham rolls, pasta bakes with delicious barbecue meats,… It was heavenly! Not only is it the best food you’ll ever have, it’s also the most food you’ll ever eat in a couple of days. The last thing they want is for you to starve, so they will make so much food, your plate will be overflowing and you won’t be able to carry it back to your seat!

The food at Surf Camp Australia is awesome

7. Surfing in Spring, Summer and Autumn

It’s autumn in Australia right now and when I was at Surf Camp, which is 2 hours south of Sydney, the temperatures were quite low, around 20C degrees. You couldn’t really walk around in shorts and we had to turn on a heater in our cabin at night. Now you’re probably asking yourself, why would you go to Surf Camp in 20C degree weather? That’s way too cold!

But I can honestly tell you, the weather conditions were perfect. The sun was out and there wasn’t any wind. They actually made everyone put on sunscreen because even though it’s not the middle of summer, we would definitely get sunburned. Also don’t forget that if you go surfing, you have to wear a wetsuit. It protects your skin from scratches and rashes from your surfboard, and it also makes you stay super warm when you’re surfing in the Pacific.

In other words, if you’re thinking about doing Surf Camp Australia, I only have 2 tips for you:

  1. Don’t think about it, just do it! It has definitely been my best and most fun weekend in Australia so far. I loved it so much, I might actually go back next month.
  2. Two days is just way too short. If you have the time, do the 5-day Surf Camp. You’ll be able to have the full experience, make a lot more friends and for sure be a better surfer after 5 days than in only 2 days.

And just so you know, Surf Camp doesn’t only include return transfers from Sydney, your accommodation, all meals and surf gear. You’ll also get free photos and videos of you surfing & extra freebies such as an awesome Surf Camp t-Shirt, cap and a $20 Rip Curl voucher!

Want to learn how to surf? Check start dates and book your Surf Camp adventure here!

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This weekend is the quarter finals of the Margaret River Pro Surfing Competition. Some of the world’s best surfers will be watched by thousands as they take on world class waves.

Here at Ultimate Travel, we love surfing! It’s why we have an awesome partnership with Surf Camp – so we can offer a great package that teaches you to surf! For five days, you get to practice your surfing skills with all the new friends you met on your Ultimate Oz week and at the end of the trip, you’ll be a bona fide surfing god/goddess!

Who knows … when you’ve finished, you may even be as good as this guy:

I don’t know about you, but this gives me serious goosebumps!