Wrap a place in ocean and it’s going to produce surf.
In Tasmania’s case, the waves range from the size of city buildings to playful beach breaks. Learn to surf at a Hobart beach or on the beach-strung east coast, or tackle big waves on King Island, the west coast or in the hallowed surf cathedral of Shipstern Bluff in south-east Tasmania. Just remember that wetsuit.
Best surf spots
Surfing along the south-east coast is exceptional. Southerly swells bring good surf to Cloudy Bay on Bruny Island and South Cape Bay, but things get truly epic on Turrakana / Tasman Peninsula. Grab a wave at Teralina / Eaglehawk Neck, but it’s the power of Shipstern Bluff that has written this peninsula into surfing legend. Only the best surfers will want to tackle Shippies – Australia’s heaviest wave, and regarded as one of the world’s wildest rides. Take the walking trail to the bluff to witness the action.
Tasmania’s capital city sits on an estuary, which means city breaks are few and far between. However, Clifton Beach is one of the state’s most popular surf spots, offering consistent left- and right-hand waves. Park Beach, near Dodges Ferry, is a family favourite on a summer day.
Give Tasmania’s sunny side a wave, with reliable surf along the coast from Bicheno to St Helens Point. Savour the surfing vibe in Bicheno and seek out the wave at the mouth of the Scamander River. In the south, Marion Bay has the famed Boneyard, considered by many surfers to be among Australia’s best right-handers.
The west coast is Tasmania’s wild west – the largest wave ever recorded in Australia was here. The town of Marrawah is the focus of the surf scene, with its three beaches - Ann Bay, Mawson Bay and taypalaka / Green Point - delivering long rides in a westerly swell.
Shielded by the Australian mainland over the horizon, the north coast has fewer big waves, but still has a couple of renowned breaks. At the mouth of the Mersey River in Devonport, surfers ride a point break into the river, often alongside cargo ships. The north’s best surf is on King Island, where Martha Lavinia has been rated by Surfing Life magazine as one of the world’s 10 best waves.
Got the itch but not the knack? Surf schools across Tasmania can have you standing on a board in little time. Options include 42 South Surf School (Scamander), Coastrider Surf Academy (Clifton Beach), Blue Lagoon SUP and Surf (Park Beach) and South Coast Surf School (Clifton Beach).