australia's surfing coast

from eden to bondi, to byron bay & beyond

Norah Head

Norah Head - // Australia's surfing coast //

Soldiers Beach, on the south side of the head, faces southeast and, with a well protected north end, is a favourite with board-riders when the summer northeaster is up. Sweetly-curved one kilometre in length, the beach features clusters of rocks that build nice sand-covered reefs but demand due care when falling off your board.

There are reliable waves year-round, best when the swell comes in from the south or east. The left-hand point-break is beloved of long-boarders, although as soon as it gets over two metres the short-boarders take an interest in it too.

The beach break can be world-class on its day, notably a spot down the south end called Sunset which can generate big rights and lefts with a heavy hold-down section. Off Norah Head at the north end is a series of left and right-hand reef breaks that work on different waves and tides, though they’re for experienced surfers only. When the swell drops away these reefs are great for snorkelling, and the rock pool on the north side of the headland is perfect for a lazy swim and ideal for families.

There are two holiday cottages by the lighthouse and a viewing platform for spotting migrating whales, while Norah Head Holiday Park has cabins for two to six people plus camping/caravan sites. There is also a cluster of excellent restaurants a few minutes’ walk from the beach.

Getting there:
Norah Head is 108km north of Sydney, about six hours’ drive. You can also fly Sydney to Coffs Harbour, which is about a 30 minute drive to Nambucca Heads.

Learn to surf school:
Terry McDermott Surf School

Things to see and do in the area