East Coast Home Less - Angourie

Easily the best week of my year, every year, is the 10+ days spent with the family, 4 hours down the coast at Angourie. For me, a week dedicated to surfing, eating and sleeping will surpass any other type of holiday anywhere, but a week in this beautiful, lazy town is the best of the best.

This haven that I wish I could call home is located about 10 minutes’ drive from the slightly more well known and larger town of Yamba. Angourie is a combination of literally five streets, two shops and three of my favourite surf breaks on the Australian south-east coast.

We start furthest north with Spookies Beach and Point. It’s a rock point with a semi-visible slab sitting submerged just off the exposed rocks. It breaks quick and hollow at low tide in three feet and still has plenty of fun ones about as the tide gets up. Even on a good day, it is arguably the least crowded of the 3 breaks, helping it to live up to its spooky name and nature. Sitting out there alone can be unnerving, but is quickly forgotten when a set rolls through and you only have the occasional sketchy drop and close running rocks to compete with.

The famous Angourie Point is next heading south. An easily accessed viewing platform high above the break makes for countless hours of sitting and watching, tossing up the short trek down against the conditions in the water. The point itself is a long right hander, that with the right swell breaks high up the point and gives up more than a few promising sections for a good hundred metres. The rock bottom wave has produced and been home to some of the greatest surfers of all time including one of the pioneers of Australian surfing, Nat Young.

On the other side of the headland is Angourie’s Back Beach. It begins with a left-hand point and continues further south with plenty of promising banks stretching 1500m or so before reaching the next headland. North to north-west winds produce a clean day at Back and the break will generally attract its fair share of both short and long boarders depending on the swell.

As with every spot, on any coastline, ever; no local will wish a further crowd of any size or shape into the water. Angourie is certainly no different. So what I’m saying is don’t go there, but if you are ever near, definitely go there, you don’t want to miss out. 

This year was special, however, because running down to the beach before dawn every morning I had under my arm an excellent condition second hand Neal Purchase Junior shape. We lucked into good surf for most of the 10 days with the swell sitting up relatively consistently. Most of the time out of the water was spent reading 80s and 90s Surfer mags filled with incredible stories of both the early north shore Hawaii and northern beaches of Sydney days. While also making 100% sure not to pass over the astonishingly innovative anti-drug campaigns and retro surf ads.

The dream is over for another year though, and back to the crowded beaches of the GC we go. Till next year Angourie.

Written by Bill Job
Photos by Tim Salisbury and Bill Job