A Guide to Surfing on the Central Coast (2024)

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It’s tough to get answers out of locals about the best surfing locations, with their unspoken vow of secrecy regarding the top spots, however we managed to get a few answers out of them. Lucky for us, it’s not hard to find great surfing areas on the Central Coast – they’re everywhere. But which one to pick? Whether you’re a newbie to the sport or a lifelong pro looking for a new wave, we’ve compiled a list of the best locations on the Central Coast to catch a ride, and what swells, crowds and levels of expertise make them so.


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Best Surfing Spots on the Central Coast

Macmasters Point

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Regardless of the swell, the nearby Cafe, rock pool and genuine sense of isolation of this place makes Macs a good spot to visit on any day. Speaking of surfing, however, if you’re an expert looking for a 3 meter plus wave, coming to Macs Point on a day when there’s a South East or Easterly swell is one of the best options for you. W to S winds and higher tides also create a nice moderate-length, right-hand break that can range from upright barrels to fat, turning waves. A bit of skill is required however to avoid the sea eggs and sharp rocks beneath.

Avoca Beach

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Avoca is undoubtedly the most popular surfing location on the Coast, and there’s a reason why. Aside from its many cafes to choose from for an energy refuel post-session, its waves are extremely consistent due to being open to most available swell, so can cater to all levels. If you’re a beginner, Avoca’s corner is the place for you. If you’re an expert, Avoca’s point break off the rocks is the best place to be when the W or S winds hit, or the E to SE swells. It’s at this time the beach break produces some huge lefts and long rights, though sometimes you have to watch the lefts running into the rip. If you’re not into crowds though, and the N to NW winds are blowing, we recommend North Avoca and it’s point, which produces some great lefts and rights.


Another great spot for those with a bit more experience looking for a deepwater wave is Copa Point – here, the N to W winds hit the rock and throws the water over really quick to make a nice fat, left-handed shoulder wave. There’s also a good beach break here however for those just starting out.


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If you grew up doing nippers at Wambie, you’d know how to surf big waves. Offshore in W winds, Wamberal can be a pretty big wave destination when the sandbanks are right, for those who have been in the game for a while. It also helps that this place has the best beach Café around.

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Due to being sheltered a lot from the ocean swell by the Skillion, this beach is often considered to be a giant pool compared to its neighbour, Wamberal, making it great for beginners when a NE swell isn’t coming along. However, when the Southerly hits, there’s no other place on the Coast you’d rather be. Terrigal Point becomes a monster-wave destination of grinding right-handers for those brave enough to face it.

Shelley Beach

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A good family beach destination, this spot has lots of different breaks for all levels of surfers. The southern end works best under S to E swells, but it’s the Northern end that can hold swell up to 3 meters under the right NE/ SE conditions.


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One after another they come,” poet Jack London once wrote of waves, “with smoking crests, the white battalions of the infinite army of the sea.” That is certainly very true for this aptly named beach towards the northern end of the Coast, being open to most available swell and so producing consistent waves. The best time to visit definitely has to be under NW winds with 2.5-meter swells, steep take-offs and a good left break. A side note, also – this beach has the best sand dunes on the Central Coast hands down, with the monstrous behemoths offering a great view of the long coastline.

Norah Head

This heavy reef break is best visited by experienced surfers only under big NE and SE swell conditions.

Forresters Beach

Or “Forries” is another spot recommended for only experienced surfers, boasting a heavy take-off and short right hand on the southern end in S swells. This beach hosts a number of surf breaks including the reef break Banzai and Forries Lefts among others.

The Box

“The Box” refers to the channel of water between Ocean Beach and Box Head, at the point where the South Swell hits the sandbar and forms a nice long, clean left up to 1500 meters in length for intermediate and advanced level surfers. It can be accessed by paddling out from Lobster Beach or Ocean Beach, or alternatively via boat, though only fires on rare occasions.

Little Beach

If you’re after a quiet, secluded spot to surf, this small beach beside Bouddi National Park can produce some great waves on occasion.

Learn to Surf on the Central Coast

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Want to try your hand at one of the Coast’s fav sports? Thankfully, we have lots of enthusiastic and local instructors ready to teach you!

Central Coast Surf Academy

This academy offers all types of classes – private, women’s only, camp-style, children and adults – in Avoca, Terrigal, Toowoon Bay, Shelly Beach, Wamberal, MacMasters and Copacabana. Find out more about this great opportunity here.

Central Coast Surf School

Central Coast Surf School has been bringing new Coasties into the sport for 25 years and is based in Terrigal, Avoca and Umina.

Sal’s Surf School

With a community-centred approach aiming to increase lifeline physical activity and fun among locals, this surf school is run on the shores of beloved Umina beach. Learn more about Sal and her school here.

Surf Coaching

Run at Norah Head and Soldiers Beach by the incredible Sandra English, a pioneer in Australian female surfing and owner of her business for over 20 years. Read more about Surf Coaching here.

Learn to Surf

Offered at both Avoca and Terrigal, this surf school is committed to giving all their customers a taste of the fun, fitness and ocean knowledge that comes with surfing. Check them out here.


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A Guide to Surfing on the Central Coast (2024)
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