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Shoalhaven’s Best Breaks for your Break

Holiday Haven
14 Feb 2023

Ready for a board meeting? The unspoilt South Coast offers a stretch of golden sands and a relaxed surf culture like no other. You’ll be assured a friendly wave every visit – no matter what level ‘yeewwww’ are at. Check out our quick guide below.

Culburra Beach

Learning and Beginners

Even if you’ve never stood up on a wave before, the Shoalhaven has the conditions to get you up and riding in no time at all. To earn your boarding pass, the southern end of Seven Mile Beach has reliable beginner waves. Pick up some gear from RipCurl Ulladulla or take a lesson with surf legends Pam Burridge in Mollymook and Narrawallee Beach or with Jerry at Jervis Bay Surf School

You’ll find gentle foam-board-friendly waves at Cave Beach in Booderee National Park. Culburra Surf Beach is also a favourite – with some of Australia’s best beginner waves making it easy to be up and riding in no time. (Advanced surfers can also be assured some good waves, as well as at neighbouring Warrain Beach). 

Other friendly spots include Conneeleys Reef near Cudmirrah, and Gannet Beach near Bawley Point. This latter spot can be a nice quiet option (but will attract crowds in summer!).

Bendalong Beach

Intermediate Surf Breaks

Once your skills improve, the coast really opens up with an abundance of reef breaks and bommies from north to south. Crooky (Crookhaven Heads) is a great option at the mouth of the Shoalhaven River near Culburra.

Windy Gully at Currarong is another great spot – a friendly spot which is protected from large Southerly swells. Further south, Bendalong (Inyadda) Beach provides a great spot stretching between the villages of Bendalong and Manyana. The beach faces south-east and has multiple sand banks that create amazing surfing opportunities.

Jewel in the crown for intermediate surfers is Mollymook Beach – a popular spot that offers a mix of safe swimming and satisfying surfing. The southern reef is great in south-west conditions, while there are also plenty of fun beach breaks along the 2km stretch.  Nearby with Rennies Beach a favourite with surfers and easily accessible from the Ulladulla township. 

Further south, the Murramarang National Park offers some secluded but rewarding breaks – including Pretty Beach and Pebbly Beach – home to the famous surfing kangaroos (a myth arising from a photograph of a kangaroo in the low surf). You’ll also find Depot Beach and its neighbouring Boat Harbour break, set around the rock platforms that are a feature in this stretch of coast.

Finally, North Durras (Shoalhaven’s most southern beach) has consistent sand banks that make it a popular spot for intermediate surfers. The northern reef is popular in bigger swell while the northern end of the beach faces south and is protected from the north-eastern wind.

Dolphin Point Beach - Image via

Advanced Surf Breaks

Culburra Surf Beach may be a family favourite, and a breeding ground for famous pros like the Wright family. However, its neighbouring Warrain Beach (separated by Penguin Head) is not recommended for families and small children as the ocean waves along this 4km stretch from Culburra Beach village to Currarong (including the mouth of Lake Wollumboola) can prove challenging. Just north of Culburra, Commie is another popular break at Comerong Island (access may be restricted).

On the other side of the sheltered waters of Jervis Bay, Taboo at Sussex Point is popular with advanced surfers. And a little further south, Cunjurong Point Beach leads out to Green Island, a famous surfing spot popular with local longboarders. The beach sits near the mouth of Lake Conjola – you can access this spot from Manyana. Be aware of the currents, which can often be strong. 

Mollymook may be a friendly golden arc for beginners and intermediate surfers, but for a challenge, try the Golfie break at Golf Course Reef at the southern point of the beach. On the other side of Ulladulla, Coomee Nulunga Beach provides a south-facing beach near Warden Head that is commonly referred to as ‘The Bommie’ for the reef break behind the beach. Ask any local surfer where to find this one!

Equally popular with surfers is Dolphin Point Beach – a rock platform beach frequented by local surfers, near the entrance to Burrill Lake. The lookout is also a great spot to check the surf conditions. And speaking of lakes, if you’re at Lake Tabourie, try the Dum Dums hollow reef break on the south side of Crampton Island.

Finally, advanced surfers will love the famous Guillotines surf break at Bawley Point – popular for its shallow barrelling waves. The waves break onto the rocks, which allows onlookers to get right up close to the action – it can certainly put on a spectacular show in big swells. Yeeeeewww!

Dum-Dums Reef Break Tabourie Point Beach - Image via

As a disclaimer to all of these beaches and breaks, it all depends on the surf conditions – intermediate breaks can be substantially more advanced in large swells. Before heading to the beach, always check Beachsafe for the latest updates.

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