Surfing in the sun is one of Australia’s national pastimes. Those that love surfing never miss a chance to pop down the coast for the weekend to catch a wave.
But what happens when you combine surfing and camping? You get the harmony of two brilliant hobbies that work so well together it’s like a meat pie with tomato sauce.
Every surfing adventure is kind of like a mini camping trip anyway. You’ve to go to pack the car with gear that you’ll need and no doubt you’ll get to the beach realising you missed something. Camping is exactly the same.
If you camp but don’t surf or surf but don’t camp, you should really start thinking about taking up the other half of this sweet, sweet combo. Trust us when we say this, it’ll be worth it.
For some, picking a good surf beach is almost as hard as choosing the right camper trailer from the Mars Campers range of on and off-road camper trailers.
Thankfully, we have a team dedicated to helping you find the right trailer. We also have this handy blog that’ll help you choose the best surf beach near you.
If you’ve gone surfing before, then you’re likely a master at packing the right things. Camping is no different, and when you combine the two, it’s actually a pretty straightforward affair.
Having two checklists; one for surfing and one for camping is a great way to make sure you never forget something.
While making sure you have everything is at the top of the list — finding room for it all may be a bit more difficult. A vehicle with the towing ability and a camper trailer is one way to make sure you always have enough room.
A Mars camper trailer means you’ve got all of the necessary gear to go camping comfortable, plus the added benefit of storage space — some people even pack small boats on a camper trailer; your surfboard is no problem.
Camping and surfing go hand-in-hand because beach camping is one of the most popular options for Australians. You’re staying right on the beach to maximise your time on the surf.
However, one thing that campers and surfers share and struggle with is keeping warm. A surf camping trip means that you’ll often be needing to rug up and warm up very quickly. Some handy tips we can give are:
Just like a surfboard, your campsite needs love and attention to maximise your time and interaction with it.
The first thing you should do it make sure, if beach camping, that you can stay on the beach. Some places require permits to stay there.
For you surfers, if you’ve got a fibreglass coating on your board, don’t leave it in the car or shed on scorching days; it will weaken the lamination. Just like you, you’ve got to keep it nice and cool in the shade.
Caring for your campsite is just as important as your surfboard. You wouldn’t spill coffee or food over your surfboard so don’t do the same with your campsite. Keep it clean and maintained just like a surfboard. Regular maintenance of your camper trailer and your surfboard will do wonders.
Just like camping, surfing should involve about a hundred different bags; of which, you’ll have no idea what’s in them, but at least they’re with you. Invest in a quality surfboard bag. It’ll protect it from the sun and bumps along the way.
Campers understand bringing random wire, tape, string, tarps and other weird and whacky things for on the spot fix it jobs when things go south. Surfers are the same; grab an epoxy repair kit to keep your board healthy on the go.
For beginners and experts alike, it can be difficult to find and catch the best wave for your skill level. There’s nothing worse than paddling out to catch an uneventful wave or ones that are way beyond your skill level. Let’s look at how you can pick the right surf.
Not everyone likes to consider themselves a beginner. However, it’s hard to pinpoint when any surfer graduates from that title. Regardless of your surfing skill level, there are ways to research and understand the surf without the need for years of experience and general intuition.
Surfline is a global surfing website that has all of the data and information you need to understand what’s happening on the surf near you.
Since Australia is a beloved destination with famed surf beaches, the information is reliable and update to date.
You can check out the surf height tide, wind, swells and even the water temperature.
For beginners, it’s recommended that you pick a beach with low to flat wave weights, tides and slow winds at around 20 knots or lower. This’ll give you consistent waves for you to practice on that aren’t dangerous.
A good rule of thumb is to look for waves that start at about waist height and go no higher than the top of your head.
Finding a consistent surf beach can be difficult. Quite often surfers will have their favourites, but even then, they can be an untamed beast. Here are a few beaches that are a great option for surfers all year round. First Point, Noosa Heads, Queensland Being able to catch a ‘green wave’ means paddling out, finding a spot where an unbroken wave will pop up, and you’ll be paddling for dear life.
First Point in Noosa is one of the best places to go because it’s a) Noosa and b) a great spot for easy to catch and surf waves.
Unfortunately, staying on or near First Point with a camper trailer can’t be done because you’re not permitted to stay in the Noosa National Park and the surrounding area is a local tourist hub.
The next best thing though is the north shore beachfront campground. This campground is a favourite spot for campers, especially surfers as well.
It’s a very long strip of beach that offers flat grounds for beach cricket, early morning jogs and of course, an evening beer.
New South Wales is a popular destination for surfing despite the much colder waters. Which makes you think, are those surfing in cold water more dedicated surfers than their northern cousins?
Many people go to Clarkes Beach because it has strong protection from swells and winds that could hinder surfers. It’s THE place to go for practice with its small waves that are surprisingly speedy.
The combination of low wind, good swell direction and consistent waves means that the area is trendy. During the year you’ll often find the beach full of surfers, and during school holidays it’s a great destination for surfing lessons.
Small beaches with small waves can only get you so far. It’s like buying a camper trailer just to ever drive along paved roads — what’s the point? It’s time to test and on and off road camper trailer and your surfing skills with these destinations for surfing experts.
We’ll kick things off with Prevelly Bay, which is a world-renowned location for surfers who wish the tackle the best of the best. The swells on this beach rise to six metres and attract some of the best surfers around the globe to test their skills.
For camping in Prevelly Bay, we recommend the Prevelly Caravan Park. The campsite offers powered and unpowered sites. There’s a kitchen available with BBQs, hot showers, toilets and laundry.
There are many places along the Fleurieu Peninsula to learn surfing or brush up on your skills, but Knights Beach is not a place for that.
One reason why Knights Beach is a tough place to surf is because of the fast yet short waves that appear on the coast. It’s the reason why the National Body Boarding Circuit is held at this beach.
It’s a great place to go when you’re moving up the ranks in the surfing pecking order but don’t want to hit waves that are the size of double story buildings. Knights Beach is fast-paced, but the waves are manageable.
Knights Beach Resort is a family campsite that offers inexpensive sites right near the beach. It’s a great place to park your camper trailer and dump your surf gear. Unfortunately, there aren’t many places to camp near Knights Beach.
However, the beach more than makes up for the few camping arrangements nearby. It’ll truly test whether you’re a camper first or a surfer first.
We can’t talk surfing without mentioning Bells Beach. There’s a reason why this is the home to Rip Curl Pro’s tournaments, and it would seem that you can’t truly call yourself a surfer without catching a wave on this beach.
The waves are consistently strong and powerful; meaning you’ll need to do some serious paddling to find and catch a wave.
If you’re not a strong or experienced surfer, then you’ll be doing a lot of work for little reward if you can’t handle these waves. Perhaps the most frightening part of Bells Beach is the constant swarm of onlookers expecting you to be a pro surfer.
The closest campsite to Bells Beach is Jan Juc Park. It has powered and unpowered sites that give you access to BBQs, a games room, swimming pool and internet. It’s a great place to stay that’s only a short drive to Bells Beach.