04 May Surfaris Surf Camp Review
A short distance from the surf village of Crescent Head lies the Surfaris Surf Camp. I went on a learn to surf adventure to find out what one of the oldest running surf schools has to offer.
Located about five and a half hours north of Sydney is the Surfaris Surf Camp situated amongst a beautiful costal national park. Not only is the area scenic and full of wildlife (pelicans, dolphins etc.) but by doing a tour with Surfaris part of your money actually helps to maintain a national park.
So how is the surfing? Great actually. Surfaris boasts “more surfing time than any other operator” which is hard to argue with considering the model under which they operate. On non-travelling days (i.e. to and from Byron or Sydney), you spend the whole day on the beach. You could leave the camp at around eight and return by six in the evening. You can surf all day if you have the energy for it and a picnic is packed on the bus. On average the lessons lasted around three hours each (two a day) but like I said this is limited only by your own stamina to surf.
Surfaris other defining feature is that you are not restricted to one beach. On one morning we drove to five different beaches to find the best surfing conditions. This may seem like an arduous task but at the end of the day you came to surf and you want the best conditions for it. What is also appealing is that you are taught not just about how to surf but water safety and how to distinguish great surf conditions for yourself after the surf camp is over. The instruction is to an excellent standard and the system they employ ensures everyone has equal time with the instructor. Kyle (who kind of reminds me of the chicken from the movie Surfs Up) was a great instructor and provides that personal touch.
So what about all the extras? There’s optional yoga lessons, free internet and a pool. One thing that is lacking is that there isn’t a staff photographer with the option of buying photographs at the end of your trip. The food is plentiful, healthy and they cater well for different dietary requirements. The accommodation type is dorms with the option to upgrade to a double room with ensuite. For some reason in my head I thought the accommodation and facilities wouldn’t be as good as city accommodation because of the lodge being so remote. It’s a great place to stay and the facilities are equal to if not better than a lot of other places I have stayed on the East Coast, urban or otherwise.
The night time entertainment is something I have never seen before. On different nights of the week local bands will come and perform at the lodge. It’s pretty interactive and chilled out. Everyone grabs a drum or tambourine and gets involved. I don’t think I have ever had so much fun with a triangle before!
Is this tour for you? As five day surf tours go this is one of the cheaper options and great value for money considering meals, transportation and all things surf are included. Group sizes tend to be between 15-20 reaching a maximum of 30 in peak season. Surfaris doesn’t really suit the youth market (18 year olds on a gap year before university for example). If you want to do a bit of surfing, get crazy drunk and do it all over again this tour probably isn’t for you. As a family run operation it does have a more relaxed, homely feel to it, especially with Brucie running around between your legs and being affectionate (Brucie is a cat and not some deranged uncle before you ask).
If you want a chilled experience, serious about surfing and want a beautiful location to do it in, the Surfaris learn to surf adventure is the one for you.
This tour was sponsored by Surfaris.