In 2020, Noosa became the 10th World Surfing Reserve, recognising decades of best practice in coastal management and protection that have resulted in Noosa's international reputation as one of surfing’s natural wonders.
In Noosa, people have long been passionate about protecting the coastline from pollution and over-development. This is why today, locals and visitors can still enjoy pristine beaches, outstanding surf zones and an abundance of wildlife in Noosa's waters and along the coastline.
The Noosa World Surfing Reserve has taken on the responsibility of helping to continue that protection into future generations.
A World Surfing Reserve identifies, designates, and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones, and surrounding environments around the world. It serves as a global model for preserving wave breaks and their surrounding areas by recognising and protecting the key environmental, cultural, economic and community attributes.
The Noosa World Surfing Reserve is a 5km stretch of waves from the Noosa River mouth, around the Noosa National Park headland, to North Sunshine Beach. It offers 5 world-class point breaks and 3 consistent beach breaks, with something to suit all surfers - from learners to champions.
Keen to jump on a board and experience Noosa's world-class point and beach breaks? Find out about Noosa's best surfing spots below.
The Noosa World Surfing Reserve abides by the code of ethics set out by World Surfing Reserves, which was designed to protect surf ecosystems across the globe.
The mission statement of World Surfing Reserves is to “proactively identify, designate and preserve outstanding waves, surf zones and surrounding environments around the world”. The program serves as a global model for preserving wave breaks and their surrounding areas by recognizing and protecting the key environmental, cultural, economic and community attributes of surfing areas.
Noosa World Surfing Reserve - Core Values
The guiding mantra is to Share. Respect. Preserve.
In the words of our traditional owners the Kabi Kabi people Wunya Ngulum – Welcome!
Share –We are here to share the stoke of our World Surfing Reserve with everyone, share knowledge and expertise, share the waves.
Respect- We teach respect in and around our WSR for the environment, culture and local community, respect for the Surfers Code, respect for the line-up and personal levels of ability, respect for those who came before us.
Preserve – We work to preserve the outstanding waves of our WSR, preserve the surrounding environment, surf culture, history and economic benefits to community.
Now that you are in Noosa and you want to hit the surf, there are a few rules to take into consideration before you start. They will help make your surfing adventure FUN. First of all grab your board, leash, towel, sunscreen and make your way to the beach. If you are surfing at Noosa Main Beach, the points, Alex Bay or Sunshine Beach, then you will be entering the Noosa World Surfing Reserve.
These are the surfers that live here. Show some respect and they will respect you in return. Go and sit with them in the water, be polite. They will probably catch more waves than you because it’s their home break.
So dangerous if the surfer is to his or her feet: the rule is it’s their wave. Don’t try to take off or drop down the face of the wave alongside. This is deemed the worst manoeuvre in surfing, showing no respect to your fellow surfer. It is also one of the most dangerous things to do and can cause terrible injuries to both yourself and the others.
There are two main rules here:
1. Surfer on the inside, closest to the breaking wave has the right of way.
2. When a surfer is to his or her feet first, up and riding the wave, don’t turn on the inside to catch the wave. This is NOT cool and is called “Snaking”.
These two acts show a lack of respect. Paddling up the inside of a surfer who has been waiting in line for the next wave isn’t cool at all. Dont turn and catch a wave on the inside of a surfer already riding or paddling onto a wave. This will cause friction in the water and is certain to lead to an altercation.
When a larger set approaches and you are out of position, take on the white water instead of paddling wide hindering other surfers. Don’t throw your board, instead paddle through the white water using a “duck dive or turn turtle”. Never let your board go: try to hang onto it as you may “clean up” a fellow surfer. Most of all take turns and respect your fellow surfers, after all you are all out there to have FUN.
- Wear a legrope at all times; a loose board can become lethal
- Avoid surfing near swimmers and swimming near surfers
- Do not push learners on boards into the path of an oncoming surfer
- Jet ski operators should stay well wide of surfers; your wake ruins the waves
Surf code brochure
The Noosa World Surfing Reserve, in conjunction with the Noosa Surf Club, Noosa Council and Noosa Radiology have implemented an AED (defibrillator) program which has installed potentially lifesaving defibrillators within a three-minute range of any point along Noosa's world-famous surfing beach and point breaks, to create a protected area around the Noosa World Surfing Reserve, stretching from the river mouth all the way to Tea Tree Bay and onto Alexandria Bay. Read more.