Beach | Adventure | Family 11 July 2016

The Southern Gold Coast’s Top 4 Surf Breaks

The Gold Coast’s name might come from the city’s beautiful golden sands, but this coastal city is really all about the surf. As the 8th official World Surfing Reserve, the Gold Coast’s surf breaks and epic swell have been recognised on the world stage, joining the likes of Malibu in California and Ericeira in Portugal.

Stretching 16km from Burleigh Point down to Snapper Rocks at the state border, the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve is loaded with the longest waves and best surf breaks on the coast. A breeding ground for grommets and a beacon for some of the best in the business, the southern Gold Coast is rich with surfing culture. 

If you enjoy catching a wave on your holidays, or would like to send the kids out there, here are four brilliant beaches to catch top quality waves, learn to surf, or watch the pros hang ten on the Gold Coast.

Currumbin Alley

Never surfed before? The Alley is the spot on the Gold Coast for beginner surfers to give it a go. Consistent, easy-to-catch waves within Currumbin Alley give novice surfers and grommets the chance to trial the sport. Once you’re done attempting to ride the white wash, kids will love playing in the sand and building sandcastles. More advanced riders can try the pristine right-hand break further out.

Crystal clear waters of Currumbin Beach with surfers enjoying the easy-to-catch waves by the alley

Kirra Beach

Kirra beach is a local favourite. When the idea of becoming an official World Surfing Reserve was floated by government officials there was unprecedented community support behind the idea. Some 4,000 local surfers rallied at Kirra Beach in 2014 to express support for the plan. Part of that was due to the local’s fight to rejuvenate the legendary Kirra break, which was lost when the development of the Superbank shifted Kirra’s pipeline-style wave to a dismal break on a lucky day. Now back on the surf scene, Kirra is internationally recognised in the surfing community and has the best sand-breaking right-hand point in the world.

Two surfers walking by the shoreline carrying their surf boards


Duranbah Beach, or D-Bah to the locals, is always pumping. Not a spot for beginners, this beach is known for its large swell and powerful, top-quality surf break that both surfers and boogie boarders love. While the warm water might seem inviting, this world-class surf break is best left for the pro but that doesn’t mean you can’t pop down to spectate. After all, this is Mick Fanning’s local surf spot.

Bird's eye view of the crystal clear waters of the Duranbah Beach with surfers enjoying the waves

Snapper Rocks

At the southernmost end of the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve, there’s a legendary story linked to Snapper Rocks. Back in 2002 a local surfer caught an epic two-kilometre long wave from Snapper Rocks to Kirra beach, riding for some four minutes in total. At Snapper Rocks expect swell that’s pumping and a clean break, perfect for a learner and a delight for the experienced.

Two girls practicing the surf boards before they catch the waves

Where to learn to surf on the southern Gold Coast

Holidaying with a wannabe grommet or always wanted to try surfing yourself? There are a couple of fantastic surf schools and board hire spots on the southern Gold Coast that will have you standing up in the white wash in no time. 

Rainbow Bay, sandwiched between Kirra and Snapper Rocks, is a local favourite and where Coolangatta Learn to Surf offers lessons. Tucked in the bay, here you can focus on the skills while enjoying long waves protected from rips and currents.

Currumbin Alley is well-known as one of the most beginner friendly surf spots thanks to long, slow, frothy waves. Since 1993 the Currumbin Alley Surf School has offered group sessions, classes for kids and private lessons with an instructor.

Oaks Calypso Plaza is just minutes from the airport and opposite the beautiful Coolangatta Beach, making it the ideal destination for your next family holiday and perfectly positioned to catch a cheeky morning wave while the kids are still in bed.