If you’re looking for an epic surf break, Tasmania delivers the goods.
The tiny island state is home to some of Australia’s best surf beaches.
Whether you’re looking for an easy wave or a wild and unruly break, Tassie’s beaches appeal to surfers of all skill levels. Surfers come from far and wide to experience Tasmania’s coast. Right in the path of The Roaring Forties, Tassie’s strong westerly winds create prime swells for keen surfers.
So, which beach should you hit up first? We’re not going to lie; there’s a lot to choose from.
Here are our nine favourites.
Martha Lavinia Beach – King Island
King Island is a small, remote island off the coast of Tasmania. With wild winds creating heavy swells, Martha Lavinia Beach is ideal for skilled surfers looking for consistent breaks and barrels. There’s often an offshore swell at Martha Lavinia, so there’s bound to be good surf while you’re here. But it can get cold. Really cold. Make sure you have the right gear for this – 4mm suit, hood and booties – before you hit the beach. Once you’ve surfed Martha Lavinia Beach, nothing will compare.
Shipsterns Bluff – Cape Raoul
Want a big wave? This is where you’ll find it. Surfing Shipsterns Bluff is not for the faint-hearted. Amateurs step back; this beach is for the experts. Shipsterns Bluff faces a constant low-pressure system that creates frequent wild waves and cold-water surf conditions. Accessible by boat, jet-ski or two-hour hike, only the most committed surfers come to Shipsterns Bluff to experience Australia’s heaviest swell.
Cloudy Bay – Bruny Island
Take a 20-minute ferry ride from Hobart to Bruny Island, home to the beautiful Cloudy Bay. Southeast winds create ideal surf conditions year-round for surfers of all skill levels. The swell can get quite big, but there’s always a pocket of milder conditions in the west corner of the bay. Cloudy Bay is an easy day trip from Tassie’s capital. If you’re planning a trip to Hobart, add Cloudy Bay to your list and catch a dream wave.
Bay of Fires – Binalong Bay
Bay of Fires stretches from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point. There are sweet spots right along the coast, but the best peaks are in the south, closer to Binalong Bay. Surfers love the Bay of Fires during winter when offshore winds mean the surf’s up day after day. If you’re after an unforgettable place to stop on your surf roadie, head to the Bay of Fires on Tassie’s east coast.
May’s Point – Lauderdale
It’s time to give our beginner surfers a little love, which brings us to May’s Point. You may not find the heavy barrels of Shipsterns Bluff, but you’ll see soft swells of up to five feet. May’s Point is located between Cremorne and Lauderdale (only a 20 minutes drive from Hobart) and home to ideal-shaped swells for surfers finding their feet out in the water.
Eaglehawk Neck – Pirates Bay
For some of Tassie’s best peaks, head straight to Eaglehawk Neck. The beautiful, uncrowded coastline is lined with prime surf spots for both amateurs and skilled surfers. Whether you’re looking for a soft swell or a heart-pounding barrel, there’s a spot for you along Eaglehawk Neck. This narrow sand strip between Forestier Peninsula and the Tasman Peninsula is worth checking out even when the swell is flat, so a trip to Eaglehawk Neck is never wasted.
Lighthouse Beach – Marrawah
Lighthouse Beach is another hot location for extreme surfers. We’re talking Antarctic weather blasts, rugged coastline, cold water conditions, reef breaks and monster waves. If you’re up for an adventure, this is where you need to be. The thing is, Lighthouse Beach is best surfed in winter when southwest winds hit the coast. In summer, the surf is often flat. You need good gear and hearty stamina to tackle Lighthouse Beach’s winter conditions, but it’s well worth it.
Friendly Beaches – Freycinet Peninsula
When there’s a southwest wind, Friendly Beaches gets an impressive offshore swell that surfers will drive across Tasmania for. Located near Bicheno, Friendly Beaches is a long stretch scattered with sandbanks that create amazing surf breaks. Freycinet Peninsula is home to the famous Wineglass Bay, so it can get busy in the summer months. Luckily, the best swells appear in autumn when you’ll have the peaks all to yourself.
South Cape Bay – Cockle Creek
It takes a dedicated surfer to reach South Cape Bay, but the seven-kilometre trek doesn’t stop people from coming to surf these swells. As Australia’s southernmost surf beach, South Cape Bay is home to rugged, natural coastline and clean, consistent breaks. Like many of Tasmania’s beaches, South Cape Bay’s breaks are best in autumn and winter when there’s a southerly swell.
Tasmania’s surf beaches are some of the best Australia has to offer. From amateur swells to professional-level breaks, Tassie’s coastline has it all. With beaches so remote you need to hike to get to them, a Tasmanian surf experience is like no other. If you’re looking for the wave of a lifetime, you’ll find it in Tassie.