The East Coast of Australia is by far the most populated area in the country. Surfers from all over the world do the Sydney to Byron trek, stopping in anywhere from the slabs of the South Coast to the beachies of Port Macquarie, all the way up to the iconic headlands of Snapper Rocks. But most never venture much farther than the Gold Coast – and that’s what makes Queensland’s Sunshine Coast such a novelty.
Welcome to Australia’s most relaxed beachside holiday locale, home to some of the world’s most iconic right-hand point breaks, and home to up-and-comer Harry Bryant.
So Harry, whereabouts do you live?
I live in Sunshine Beach on the Sunshine Coast... and before you ask, it never rains…
Ha! Can you tell us a bit about what it’s like in that part of the world?
Noosa Heads is three hours north of the Gold Coast, and it’s been the best place in the world to grow up. I lived walking distance from the beach, my school and the skate park – I would basically just rotate between the three. I have a great group of mates who love to surf and are all really creative with filming, art and photography. We are surrounded by national parks and nature at its finest. Beach breaks, point breaks… it’s paradise.
You’re from Sunshine Beach, but what other suburbs make up the Sunny Coast?
Well Noosa Heads is right over the hill for me, and about 20 minutes north is Coolum Beach, where Julian Wilson grew up.
Can you walk us through a few of the local breaks?
My local beach is called “Dog Shit Alley” as it’s a Dog Beach. It’s a fun wedgy left-hander that bounces off a rock cliff. It’s protected in a northerly wind and it gets super fun throughout the summer.
Teetree Point is by far my favourite of the Noosa Points. The section out behind the rock is the best part of the wave, and when there’s sand it tubes. When there’s no sand you can do little Mason Ho inspired ollies over the rock. Hours of fun to be had!
What sort of swells work best for these spots?
Noosa loves anything from the north or the east, or both... anything too south gets blocked by Bribie Island.
Where would you suggest someone to go if they’re just learning to surf? What about if they’ve got some experience?
If you’re learning to surf, stick to the Gold Coast! Haha, just kidding. The Noosa Groin is a great place to learn how to surf. Former pro surfer “Merrick Davis” has a surf school there that’s been running for as long as I can remember.
But really, the Noosa Points accommodate everyone. If you’re intimidate then start at First Point, and as you progress, make your way up the points.
And, what do you do if the surf isn’t working? What else is there to do around the Sunny Coast?
If there isn't surf at the beach, Sunshine Beach Surf Club is always six foot and offshore, haha. I’m usually in there sucking on a beverage and having a yarn with some of Sunshine’s icons. And if I'm not there, I'm at the skate park.
What do most people do for work around Noosa?
A lot of my mates have trades and work around the Sunshine Coast. A few people have to head to Brisbane when there’s not much work around. Seeing my mates and my dad work as hard as they do really makes me appreciate how lucky I am to be making a career doing what I love. Whenever I start taking it for granted, my old man brings me to work with him for a day.
What’s the best time of the year to come visit?
The summer, hands down. There’s something about summertime in Noosa that I love. Just spending all day at the ceach with all your mates, dragging down all my CatchSurf foamies and posting up for the day – that stuff never gets old. I’ve gotten used to the crowds these days and I kind of love it to be honest.
Is there any nightlife?
There’s definitely some pop around Hastings Street, in the heart of Noosa, on the weekends. Cafe Le’monde hosts DJ’s. KB’s in the Junction is a backpackers bar that can get pretty wild. Go to Mooshka for Taco Tuesdays, go to Halse Lodge if you’re looking to cut the budget and play a game of ping pong. Soda is good if you’re having a bit of a party, and Village Bicycle has amazing food and nice drinks.
What’s the best ice cream shop around town?
Massimo’s at First Point is the best ice cream I’ve ever had to date! I went through a stage when I was young and all my friends worked there – I didn't pay for an ice cream for about five years. Every kids’ dream growing up!
Holy Mackerel on Gympie Terrace do a mean fish’n’chips!
And, good restaurants… where are your favourite eats?
My family friends own a restaurant called Mooshka in Sunshine Beach, and it has amazing food. There’s something about supporting local family businesses that makes your food taste even better too. I washed dishes there when I was 13 and saved up for my first trip to Hawaii!
And, what should someone do for accommodation, if they wanted to stay around where you live?
Dolphins Backpackers in Sunshine Beach is a sweet spot. It’s owned by my best mates’ parents. They have nice rooms for a reasonable price, and there’s a pool table, a ping pong table and great vibes there during the afternoons. Me and my mates hang there all the time and talk with the backpackers – you meet some characters! It’s also a two-minute walk from the beach.
What’s the best way to get around?
Mopeds are key when in Noosa. No need to look for parks or get stuck in traffic. If not, jump on the 627 bus line – it’s free in the holidays.
Are there any spots you should avoid around the region?
Tewantin. They say the best part about Tewantin is the road out... Haha, no, I’m kidding. I have heaps of friends there – there are definitely some specimens getting around though. Just be prepared for a bit of something… different.
Any good day trips that someone should take?
A day trip up the beach to Double Island Point is a great day. Fill an eski, hire a 4x4 and shoot up there for the day. You won’t regret it. Also, I recommend a walk through the National Park. It’s amazing, I have lived here my whole life and every time I walk through there it blows me away how lucky I am to live in such an amazing part of the world.
Wanna visit this part of the world? Now you have all the know-how, thanks to Mr Harry Bryant.