Sydney is a great place to learn to surf.
You can learn to surf literally across the road from your hostel. Or you could have a surf tour pick you up from your hostel and take you over sand dunes to an uncrowded beach just out of Sydney.
Finally, you can even take a 5 day tour from Sydney to Byron Bay that stops at many beaches along the way.
All schools cater for first time surfers and will provide you with surfboards and wetsuits.
Learn To Surf Near Your Hostel
If you want a couple of 2 hour lessons, there are plenty of surf schools near the main hostel areas:
Bondi Beach: Let’s Go Surfing ($75 per two hour lesson; less with international concession card)
Manly Beach: Manly Surf School ($50 per two hour lesson)
Maroubra Beach: Sydney Safe Surf Schools ($55 per two hour lesson; less with international concession card)
Full Day “Learn To Surf” Tours
You can take a full day out of your vacation to learn to surf at uncrowded beaches just outside of Sydney.
There are a number of companies that organise day trips, such as SydneySurf and Waves Surf School.
Here’s how they work.
Waves Surf School, for example, will pick you up in a 4WD from one of three backpacker / hostel precincts: Coogee (8:30 am), Bondi (8:45 am) and Central Station in the city (9 am).
Waves staff will drive you for 45 minutes out of the city.
The last part of the drive will be over sand dunes, hence the need for a 4WD (although surfers do have an image to keep up with)!
The fact that you are driving to beaches which are only accessible by 4WD pretty much guarantees you will be surfing at uncrowded beaches.
On a Waves surf tour, you are guaranteed over four and a half hours of surfing time. This will give you the chance to consolidate new skills, as well as have a great time and meet other travellers.
The cost of a Waves one day tour (including lessons, transfers, surfboard, wetsuit and lunch) is $69 AUD, which is not a bad deal.
5 Day “Sydney To Byron Bay” “Learn To Surf” Tours
If you’re looking for an extended surfing holiday in Australia, you can also join learn-to-surf tours that will take you from Sydney up to Byron Bay (about 800 km or 500 miles to the north).
These tours stop at a number of beaches along the way as they wind their way up the coast.
For example, Surfaris Remote Coastal Adventures run a five-day learn-to-surf tour from Sydney to Byron Bay.
The thing I like about Surfari’s is that the tour operators will stop the bus wherever they see good waves, rather than at predetermined locations.
All surf schools will generally provide you with a surfboard, a rash vest and a wetsuit. You’ll need to bring a swimming costume (to wear under the wetsuit) a towel and sunscreen.