World surfing great Layne Beachley going hard at First Point.
World surfing great Layne Beachley going hard at First Point.

Your guide to Noosa’s best surf breaks

SO just what makes Noosa worthy of being declared a world surfing reserve on Friday, February 21?

Well the Save The Waves Coalition which decides such rare distinctions has no doubt that its coastal treasures are a very worthy choice.

"Chosen for it high quality waves, distinct environmental characteristics, surf history and community support, the Noosa World Surfing Reserve is an exemplary coastal community dedicated to the preservation of their coastal and surfing resources," the coalition said.

"The Noosa World Surfing Reserve includes five world class point breaks and three consistent beach breaks, offering quality surf in variable conditions.

"Although the area does experience swell 'droughts', particularly in late winter/early spring, it is rare for there to be no rideable waves."

Here is the Coalition appraisal of these surfing gems:

North Sunshine, open to south swells, offers protection from summer north easterlies, while Noosa West's consistently good sand banks offer fun waves in southerly wind conditions when the points are too small to break.

Alexandria Bay, a short beach at the north-eastern-most point of the Noosa headland, is a swell magnet that breaks when nowhere else does.

Noosa's five rock and sand-based point breaks offer a variety of waves to suit all skill sets, from learners to experts.

First Point, the closest to town, is a deceptive set-up in that it can present friendly peelers most of the year, then dredging low tide sand barrels during Coral Sea swells.

Likewise Johnsons (or Little Cove) is perfect for learners much of the time but can also be the most hollow of Noosa's waves.

National Park, from pitching Boiling Pot through to Car Parks, is a serious high quality wave, while the outer bays of Tea Tree and Granite pick up more swell and offer long, perfect rides.

While Noosa's points are most consistent during cyclone season (December to May), southern- generated swells can swing just easterly enough to produce quality waves at any time of year. Noosa enjoys approximately 280-300 days of rideable surf per year.

Three of Noosa's five famous point breaks (and more than half of the World Surfing Reserve) are within the protected boundaries of the Noosa National Park, Queensland's most-visited National Park.

The remaining breaks covered in this submission are bordered by a mix of privately-held land and dedicated parkland. The private land falls under strict building regulations (eg 4-storey height restriction) as part of the Noosa Plan.

The original, land-locked Noosa National Park was created in 1939 and opened by the Governor of Queensland in 1949. It did not include what is now the coastal walkway, and a large section behind Alexandria Bay was earmarked for residential development. The then development-driven Noosa Shire Council wanted to build a coastal road to connect the new developments with the commercial hub of Hastings St.

In 1962, Dr Arthur Harrold and Max Walker founded the Noosa Parks Association, Queensland's first community-based conservation group, to fight for the extension of the park around the entire headland.

The NPA won its first battle against all odds in 1964, when the Queensland government blocked the coast road plan by extending the park to the sea. But this was only the beginning Dr Harrold and the dedicated members of the NPA were to spend the next 30 years fighting the developers to maintain Noosa's unique coastal environment.

Protected species found within the Noosa National Park include the koala and the brush turkey.


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