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East Coast Australian Surf Trip Tips

a sign on the side of a road

The East Coast of Australia is a mecca of pristine beaches and awesome surf, no matter
what level, whether just starting out or surfed for decades, there are hundreds of
kilometres of coastline to be explored and no better what to do than in a camper van.
It’s roughly a 900 Kilometre trip from Gold Coast to Sydney and with world famous waves,
camp spots on the beach and welcoming Aussies at every turn, it’s the surf trip of all surf
trips.
A surf trip in a campervan is probably one of the most memorable and enjoyable ways to
experience the famous Aussie Surf Culture, below we have listed some tips to get you
started.

Major Towns

Gold Coast
Gold Coast is synonymous for a reason, the birthing ground of some of surfing’s greatest
and the starting event of the world championship tour, surfing is literally lived and breathed
on the Goldy. If you’re a newbie, it’s one of the best places to learn to surf which is why we
run daily lessons.

Byron Bay
Bohemians, artists, surfers and travellers congregate in Byron Bay all year round, and for a
very good reason. From good waves to craft beer, gorgeous beaches and mellow vibes there
is something for every traveller. There is no shortage of camping grounds to park your
camper, but beware local council crackdown on sneaky roadside overnight sleeping. If
you’re in need of a free overnighter, check out sleepy hollow rest area 10 minutes north of
Byron.

Coffs Harbour
Some of the most pristine beaches and great little surf spots are tucked away in this part of
the coastline. We’re not going to give them away though, exploring and finding unexpected
little gems are what makes a surf road trip so much fun. North of Coffs are some great
national parks which offer up cheap beachside camping – What’s better than waking up and
looking at the surf from your bed?

Newcastle
Australia’s second oldest City and New South Wales second most populated city after
Sydney, has top-notch surf beaches, cool bars and for the art and history buffs plenty to see
out of the water. The surf culture is alive in kicking in Newcastle, and there are breaks to
suit surfers of all level. Be sure to check out Bar Beach, south of city centre after the sun
goes down for a night-time floodlit swim or surf.

 

Sydney
Everyone knows about the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera house, but what you
might not realise is the surf beaches around Sydney are rich in Aussie surf history and
culture. Don’t let the big city vibes deter you from finding surf, there are plenty of beaches
and surf spots to be explored.

Budget Tips & Tricks

Hot Showers
East Coast Australia is famous for its warm balmy temperatures and while for the most part
of year showering in the cold water beachside showers is comfortable, temps can dip and
the desire for a hot shower increases. If you’re on a budget and don’t want to fork out the
$$ for a hotel room or a fancy campground, do a quick google search for a local public
swimming pool. Almost all have hot showers and are open until early evening with entry
being anywhere from $2 – $6 per person.

Cheap Eats
Check the local pubs, taverns RSL and surf clubs in each town for a cheap meal out. Most
will have a nightly special and it’s usually a pretty good feed. A $10 steak, salad and chips
always sound like a good idea after a big day in the surf.
If cooking your own food, shop for your groceries at supermarkets around 8 pm, some of
the meat, bread and other perishable food from the day will be discounted for a quick sale.

Free Camping
While councils are starting to crack down on free campers in most coastal towns there is still
plenty of free to cheap spots around. Check the National Parks websites for free to $12 per
night beachside camp spots, as well as wiki camps. Free Camping Australia on Facebook is
also a great resource for finding spots and getting information quickly.

Wildlife

Australia has got some pretty amazing wildlife, and yes while some of our critters bite, the
majority are pretty harmless. With that being said, avoid feeding any wildlife anywhere.

Whales
Whale season on the East Coast Australia runs from June to November, be sure to check any
headlands if travelling at this time of year to spot some of these majestic creatures at play.

Sharks.
There are sharks in the ocean off the East Coast of Australia but if you’re smart it’s unlikely
you will even see one. Avoid surfing river mouths at dusk and dawn. And if you absolutely

must surf solo, strike up a conversation with a local fisherman or beach walker and make
sure there isn’t a ‘sharky’ reason for there being no surfers out. Follow Dorsal Watch on
Facebook for live up to date info on shark sightings.

Creepy Crawlies
Ah, there is a plethora of bugs and insects who call East Coast Australia home and they
aren’t shy. You’ll discover plenty of bug life on your journey, we recommend stocking a can
of insect repellent and you’ll be bite free and happy. Try not leave your shoes outside the
camper overnight and if you do make sure you check them before you put them on… just to
make sure there aren’t any 8 legged squatters calling your shoe their new home.

Bin Chickens and scrub Turkeys.
Two animals you will see plenty of in your travels are the Scrub Turkey and the Ibis, also
affectionately known as the Bin Chicken. If an ugly bird has made off with your food, you’ve
had the pleasure of meeting one of these flightless pests. Completely harmless these birds
hover around bins, bushland, unsuspecting campers and picnic goers. They can’t fly, they
taste awful, they’re basically Australia’s ugly version of Yogi Bear. Keep all food secure, even
packaged goods.

Booking a campervan with Australian Surfing Adventures, not only gives you a set of wheels
for your epic adventure, but everything included from cooking gear to surfboards, so all you
need to worry about is your next wave.