Noosa surf: 48 hours in Noosa, surfer style
Whether you’re a keen surfer or keen to learn, Noosa has a wave with your name on it. But which wave, and what to do when you’ve had all the stoke (that’s surf talk for fun) you can handle?
I first visited Noosa in 1967 as a grommet (that’s surf talk for kid) in total surf style: a grungy panel van with six boards roped to the roof. Decades later, I settled in permanently with my family. Yep, the place is that good.
If you wanted to immerse yourself in surf culture in Noosa completely, you’d need half a lifetime but you can easily scratch the surface and ride its dreamy waves in a weekend with this Noosa surf itinerary.
PM – Prepare for your Endless Summer of Noosa surf
Fly in, drive in, however you make it to Noosa just get ready to sink into its laidback vibe in time for dinnertime.
There are plenty of place to stay along Hastings Street that’ll give you prime surf check vantages from the balcony, like Bella Casa.
If you’ve made it in time, sunset beers on the deck of the Noosa Surf Life Saving Club, watching the last sets of the day roll through, is pretty special.
6AM – Noosa surf check
The early bird gets the prime spot in the line-up, especially if you’re visiting on a weekend. So set that alarm and grab a shot of caffeine from the coffee cart at Sails, which offers the best view of First Point.
7AM – Surf in a World Surfing Reserve
Noosa has five world-class point breaks with a backdrop of a beautiful coastal national park. It doesn’t get much better than that, which is why Noosa has just become one of only 10 World Surfing Reserves. It also has a rich surfing heritage, dating back to the early 1960s.
Although it is the most visible of our points and attracts a crowd, you can’t go past First Point for quality of wave. I’m fortunate in that being a regular in the Noosa surf line-up, I get my share of waves.
When conditions are right, take a stroll out through the park to Tea Tree Bay. Being more exposed to swell, there’s often a little wave there when First Point is flat, but if there’s not, I just call it “taking my board for a walk”.
10AM – Refuel your temple
There’s nothing better than a hearty brekkie after your surf at Café le Monde on Hastings Street.
As well as a mean bacon and egg roll on a Tanglewood brioche bun with kimchi mayo they’ve got activated black rice pudding through to a Noosa spanner crab omelette on the menu if you’re feeling a little fancy.
Check out where to grab a bite to eat for the rest of your visit with this food and wine guide to Noosa.
11AM – Noosa surf means hand-shaped logs
Need some new threads or got your eye on a new board? Hastings Street has you covered with all the major surf brands but take a 10-minute drive to Captain Sip Sops to say hello to Thomas Bexon, who you’ll find shaping his Thomas Surfboards out the back of this barber-slash-surf store.
You’re also in the ‘hood of Laguna Surfboards and Shotgun Surfboards, which have been shaped locally since 1980. Head to Noosa Surfworks to watch them in action.
2PM – Learn to surf in Noosa
Check the tides, it’s time to get back out there.
If you’ve got access to a car, there’s a whole coastline of beaches and surf spots waiting to be discovered. Start with the north corner of Sunshine Beach – it offers a good fun variety of beach breaks over the sand and is protected from the north-east wind.
Only a beginner? Hit up one of the local surf schools for a group or private lesson on one of the friendliest beach breaks going.
5PM – Sunset session
After an afternoon surf session, there’s nothing better than a fish taco washed down with a cold beer, and fortunately, Noosa has two of the best places for just that.
I love the post-surf, sunset hours ambience of Halse Lodge, Noosa’s only heritage building on Hack’s Hill, just behind Hastings Street. Being older, I vibe off the energy of the backpackers who stay there, and I love to sit out in the leafy courtyard and slurp on the best tacos.
Another spot beloved by the locals is Village Bicycle in Noosa Junction, for much the same reasons, minus the leafy courtyard.
7AM – Bend and stretch
Any surfer knows, strength and flow in the water starts with a strong core. Start the day out with pilates at Noosa Flow in Noosaville, a power flow yoga class at Zenko Yoga, or take to the water on a different kind of board with a SUP yoga class on the Noosa River with Kat Harding Yoga.
9AM – Noosa surf safari
Noosa needs east swell and south-east trade winds, so the Coral Sea cyclone season (February to May) is our best window, but contrary to conventional wisdom, Noosa can get quality surf at any time of year.
If you’ve got access to a 4WD and the swell is working, venture over to Noosa North Shore to drive up the beach to Double Island Point for long rights near the lighthouse.
For a more high-end option for surfing in Noosa, Tropic Surf can help you out if you’re keen for a local guide to take you to all the hot spots and they can also hook you up with gear if you’ve flown in without your board.
PM – Keep that surfing feeling
Take the surf home with you and visit Noosa Longboards’ store on Hastings Street. Pick yourself out a branded tee or cap (so everyone knows where you’ve been all weekend), or splash out on some vintage surf wear or signed surfing memorabilia for the walls at home.
When to visit for Noosa surf
During the “8 days of pure stoke” that is the Noosa Festival of Surfing, the town is just electric, particularly if there’s a good swell on the way. Thousands of surfers from around the world congregate, ready to pounce on every wave they can, and yet the vibe in the Festival Beach Bar on the sand is nothing but cool. Expect plenty of tall stories, backslapping, laughter and great live music. Need more convincing? Find out all you need to know with this guide to the festival.
For the older crew, the Noosa Malibu Club’s Wrecks and Relics weekend during the winter is not to be missed. It’s a “stoke B4 stroke” over 50s longboard competition and get-together.
Come October, the Noosa Surf Film Festival is a celebration of surf culture and independent filmmaking and photography, and is essential viewing for anyone hooked on the feeling.
Can’t get enough of Noosa surf? Discover the rest of the town with these guides:
- See what else you can do in Noosa over 48 hours
- Add these spots to your surfing safari
- Find out where the locals prefer to eat, drink, surf, and stay with this local’s guide