If you asked someone to name one female Aussie surfer, it’s likely the answer would be Sally Fitzgibbons. The 27-year-old athlete and all-round legend has become a household name, thanks to building a strong fitness brand on top of being one of Australia’s highest ranked surfers.
Despite being freakishly athletically talented in general (she was an athletics track star in her teens) Sally is first and foremost a surfer girl from NSW’s south coast. So, we figured who better to ask for surfing beach recommendations than the Fitz herself?
Here, Sally gives us the lowdown on her five favourite surf spots in NSW:
1. Broken Head, Byron Bay
Located on the south side of Tallow Beach, Broken Head is one of Byron’s best surf breaks. A word of warning, though, the area gets some pretty strong rips, so isn’t suitable for beginners.
Getting there: To get to Broken Head, you can take a 15-minute walk along the beach from the Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park or drive 5 minutes down the road.
2. Elizabeth Beach, Forster
This beach in the small coastal town of Pacific Palms is a bit of a hidden gem, meaning it tends to attract less crowds than some of Forster’s other surfing spots.
Getting there: Elizabeth Beach is a 20-minute drive from Forster, following The Lakes Way through the national park then turning left into Lakeside Crescent. Parking is available at the Ruins campground.
3. North Steyne, Manly
Situated in the middle of Manly Beach, North Steyne’s impressive waves make it popular with advanced surfers. It also happens to be one of Australia’s oldest surf life-saving clubs.
Getting there: North Steyne is easily accessed along the beachside promenade from The Corso in the middle of Manly. It’s a 4-minute walk from the middle of Manly, a 15-20 minute walk from Shelly Beach and 2-minute walk from Queenscliff.
4. 7 Mile Beach, Gerroa
Where it all started for Sally! Protected from north winds and swell, the waves here are perfect for practising catching whitewater waves or catching soft green waves that roll a long way until they reach the shore.
Getting there: Located on Beach Road in the 7 Mile Beach National Park, the beach can be accessed by car from Sydney or Wollongong by turning off the Princes Highway to Gerringong and driving south through Gerroa to reach the park.
5. Werri Beach, Gerringong
This surf beach on NSW’s south coast is known for its consistency — you can catch a decent wave no matter what time of year you go.
Getting there: From Sydney, drive south on the M1 and then the A1, turning off at the Gerringong Fern Street exit to Werri Beach. Follow Fern Street and then turn right onto Geering Street which leads down to the south end of the beach. There is parking along the cliff edge which offers an easy, paved walk down to the beach.
Love getting active in the great outdoors? Check out our URBAN ADVENTURES section. While you’re at it, why not sign up to our regular newsletter? It’s packed full of discounts, exclusive competitions, free workouts and more!