Gold Coast, Australia
Aussies love their surf, and one of the most popular places to ride the waves in Australia is on the Gold Coast of Queensland. Since about 90 percent of the nation's population lives along the coast, surfing plays an important role in the lives of many Australians. You can see the influence of surfing on everything from fashion to food to music. And Aussies know their surf spots.
With 57 beaches and numerous world-class point breaks, the Gold Coast --- with waves swells ranging from a few feet to 25 feet (less than a meter to 7.62 meters) -- is a great place for both beginners to learn the basics of surfing and advanced surfers to ride some epic waves. There are also too many excellent surf breaks to count. Some of the most popular include South Stradbroke Island, The Spit, Burleigh Heights, Main Beach, Surfer's Paradise, Broadbeech and Tallebudgera Beach. Home to the most consistently good waves in the country, the Gold Coast hosts the first round of the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour. The sub-tropical climate here provides warm water temperatures year round.
It's pretty easy to catch a wave here, too. In the morning, if the waves' swells are coming from the east and the wind conditions are good, you can easily spot a break and are almost guaranteed some great waves. You can catch the biggest waves in the winter. But tourists beware: Due to the popularity of this spot, locals like to guard their turf. Locals keep quiet about the best spots to catch big waves, and often flock to lesser-known locations to beat the tourist rush.