The festival, presented by Vonu Pure Lager, has been bringing some of the world’s best longboarders to Noosa for almost 3 decades and is woven into the fabric of Noosa’s surfing culture. But it’s always been about more than riding waves – there’s live music every night including former Beautiful Girls front man Mat McHugh, film, art, workshops, beach yoga, surf-loving breweries, guided walks through the Noosa World Surfing Reserve … and of course the incredibly popular surfing dogs...
Noosa’s surfing points and beach breaks from the Noosa River mouth, across beautiful Laguna Bay and around the Noosa National Park Headland were named the 10th World Surfing Reserve in 2017 – globally recognising not just the outstanding waves that Noosa is known for, but also how surfing has been at the heart of our region’s environment, culture, economy and community for decades. The Noosa Festival of Surfing wraps all of this up into 9 amazing days where world champions, professionals, surfing die-hards and young guns put on a stellar show for the rest of us.
Apart from the dozens of surfing events, this year’s festival also kicks off the World Surf League longboard world championship, with both men’s and women’s defending champions, Steven Sawyer of South Africa and Californian Soleil Errico starting their title defence in Noosa. Our own world longboard champion Josh Constable will be among the field of over 60 surfers looking to take the Noosa crown and a share of the $30,000 prize purse.
With a healthy swell predicted for the festival, there’ll be plenty of action for spectators who perch around the headland, on the boardwalk and on the beach.
To open the festival and welcome surfers from around the world, the traditional paddle-out in Laguna Bay, flanked by the Noosa National Park headland will be on Saturday 2 March at 5.30pm.
With all respect to the surfers, one of the most popular events for spectators is the Vet Shop Australia Surfing Dog Championships at First Point on Sunday 3 March from 2pm. Get there early to grab a spot.
The tandem exhibition on Sunday 3 March from 3pm is another fun one to watch as surfers ride the waves with someone on their shoulders.
And if you can’t be in Noosa to watch it, every heat will be beamed live to the festival’s Youtube Channel by Swellnet – see the Facebook page for details on how to tune in.
Vonu Beach Bar:
There are great beach vibes along with gorgeous sunsets across Laguna Bay at the Vonu Beach Bar, on the sands at First Point, Noosa Heads, open every afternoon and evening. Live music every night including former Beautiful Girls front man Mat McHugh on Sunday 3 March, 5pm - 6.30pm, free.
Official opening party:
Saturday 2 March, after the formal opening ceremony and traditional paddle-out, Thomas Surfboards, 4 Project Ave, Noosaville.
The Board Meeting Surf Charity Dinner:
Gala Tropicana Surf Charity Dinner to raise funds for the BoardMeeting Surf Charity and have fun, featuring the Funny Tricks show by comedian and magician Brad Manuel and his Not Sponsored brand, Sunday 3 March, 7-10pm, Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas, $130 per person, auctions, raffles and more. Phone 1300 334 566 for tickets.
Sand sculpture workshops:
Keep the kids entertained on the weekends with the Sandman, Dennis Massoud.
She to Sea Art Exhibition:
All-female exhibition of surf-inspired art, photography and textiles with works by Let Me Sea, Fenna de King, Marnie Morat, Beck Payne, Amanda Davidson and more, Tuesday 5 March, Halse Lodge, Hastings Street, with live music, bar and food.
Land & Sea Brewery:
Several events, including a surf-inspired trivia night on Monday 4 March at Land & Sea Brewery, 19 Venture Drive, Noosaville. They'll also host a birthday party for surfing icon, festival head commentator and Noosa legend Tom Wegener on Tuesday 5 March, 8pm, with surf films and locally-brewed beers. All welcome, free.
Surf Art Expo at Heads of Noosa Brewery:
Owen Cavanagh curates a week-long exhibition of surf art, demos, workshops and competitions at the new Heads of Noosa Brewery, 85 Rene St, Noosaville. Try your hand at surf art! The opening party is in the Taproom on Friday 1 March, 6pm with The Sandflys, then the show is open every day from 11am to 7pm. There's a Kombi Run and show and shine on Sunday 3 March from 11am to 3pm; and market days on Saturday 2 and 9 March from 11am to 5pm.
Bring their own classic blend of surfing beats to the Noosa Reef Hotel, Noosa Heads, Friday 8 March for a night of surfy-stomp night. Hosted by Gary “Kong” Elkerton - tickets $25 online.
Surfing Reserve Heritage Walks:
Guided walks through the Noosa World Surfing Reserve.
Noosa Beach Yoga:
Free classes each weekday morning from 7am on the sand at Main Beach to get your day off to a healthy start.
The Science of Surf with University of the Sunshine Coast’s Dr Javier Leon, highlighting the need for environmental
awareness by surfers and the protection of the Noosa World Surf Reserve, and teen surf drone workshops.
Two closing parties:
Café le Monde has live music on Saturday 9 March with local bands Dosed, The Flat Whites and Los Laws, 8pm, free. On Sunday 10 March, Miss Moneypenny's has the official closing party where the World Surf League World Title leaders will be crowned, 7.30pm, free - book a table on 5474 9999.